Living ATI is more than simply saying no to drugs and alcohol. It’s about realizing that the negative influences we are exposed to on a daily basis are beneath you, that you make a conscious decision to live your life with the dignity and respect you deserve.

However, we understand that rising to meet the challenge can be overwhelming. We’re here to help @ LivingATI.com

There might come a point when you ask yourself, who am I really? Am I being real? Am I still the kid my parents think I am? And more importantly, who do I want to be?

The truth is, you’re a lot of things to a lot of people – you’re interesting like that. You can be one thing online and still be kind of different in person. You can be someone to look up to, and know what it feels like to get rejected. You can be righteous in your decisions and still make mistakes.

But, with so many versions of yourself, it’s easy to forget the one thing that keeps you real – the pure-grade, original first edition of yourself.

The point is, when you reach the moment where you have to ask yourself, who am I really? Press pause. Hit reset. And remember, you’re Above the Influence.


Adolescence is a time when peers play an increasingly important role in the lives of youth. Teens begin to develop friendships that are more intimate, exclusive, and more constant than in earlier years. In many ways, these friendships are an essential component of development. They provide safe venues where youth can explore their identities, where they can feel accepted and where they can develop a sense of belongingness. Friendships also allow youth to practice and foster social skills necessary for future success.

Nonetheless, parents and other adults can become concerned when they see their teens becoming preoccupied with their friends. Many parents worry that their teens might fall under negative peer influence or reject their families’ values and beliefs, as well as be pressured to engage in high-risk and other negative behaviors.

In actuality, peer influence is more complex than our stereotype of the negative influences from friends. First, peer influence can be both positive and negative. While we tend to think that peer influence leads teens to engage in unhealthy and unsafe behaviors, it can actually motivate youth to study harder in school, volunteer for community and social services, and participate in sports and other productive endeavors. In fact, most teens report that their peers pressure them not to engage in drug use and sexual activity.

Second, peer influence is not a simple process where youth are passive recipients of influence from others. In fact, peers who become friends tend to already have a lot of things in common. Peers with similar interests, similar academic standing, and enjoy doing the same things tend to gravitate towards each other. So while it seems that teens and their friends become very similar to each other through peer influence, much of that similarity was present to begin with.




To date, (Jan 2015 – Sept 2015) Benefis ER reports 199 patients admitted for overdose

With so many voices and opinions out there, it’s important to understand the facts.

Fact is that while you’re a teen (and even into your early 20’s!), you’re still growing and developing, and drug abuse during these years in particular can have a lasting impact. Another fact to consider: the brain is much more vulnerable to addiction as it continues to develop as well. 90% of Americans with a substance abuse problem starting smoking, drinking or using other drugs before age 18.

When it comes to drug use, individual reactions and experiences vary, so it’s important to understand the usual risks and effects, both short- and long-term. Knowledge can be the key to making your own best decisions.

Keep reading to the get the facts on the most frequently abused substances. 

View local TRENDS and YOUTH RISK BEHAVIORS from our area. 

These are the top 10 drugs affecting our Montana communities today:

alcoholAlcohol bath saltsBath Salts weedMarijuana ecstacy-04Molly/Ecstasy/MDMA methMeth
otcOver-The-Counter Drugs presctiptionPrescription Drugs inhalantInhalants spiceSpice/K2 tobaccoTobacco
  Club Drugs Cocaine DMX Hallucinogens  
  Heroin Rohypnol Steroids    


View local TRENDS and YOUTH RISK BEHAVIORS from our area. 



This term is a bit more complicated than merely “smoking opium”. It starts when you have your first high, the world is peaceful, everything is perfect, you’re numb, but in the best way possible. But, soon, it starts wearing off. Fast. Your mind races, you’re pulled out of your dream world. You crave the drug more and more, wanting to feel the same way as you did on your first high. You go to the dealer and buy the same amount you had the first time, and smoke. Still feels good, but not as good as first time. You go and buy more. Closer, but not quite there. You’re stuck, you don’t know what to do. You want to go back to that little dream world and stay forever, but your body is already developing a tolerance. You panic. You use all your money to buy more and more and more, but still, not the same as that first time. You realize that you have no more money, so you start selling your things, pawning whatever could get you that next bag. Still, nothing compared to what you had on that first, magical time. So, you’re broke and own nothing. But you don’t care, all you care about is getting back to the first high. You start stealing, doing “favors”, whatever gets you the money for the attempt. Your life becomes a living hell, all in search of a repeat of the first high. That’s chasing the dragon.




Prescription drug abuse is when someone takes a medication that was prescribed for someone else or takes their own prescription in a way not intended by a doctor or for a different reason—like to get high. It has become a big health issue because of the dangers, particularly the danger of abusing prescription pain medications. For teens, it is a growing problem:

  • After marijuana and alcohol, prescription drugs are the most commonly abused substances by Americans age 14 and older.
  • Teens abuse prescription drugs for a number of reasons, such as to get high, to stop pain, or because they think it will help them with school work.
  • Most teens get prescription drugs they abuse from friends and relatives, sometimes without the person knowing. 19% of local high school students admit to using prescription drugs that don’t belong to them.
  • Boys and girls tend to abuse some types of prescription drugs for different reasons. For example, boys are more likely to abuse prescription stimulants to get high, while girls tend to abuse them to stay alert or to lose weight.

When prescription drugs are taken as directed, they are usually safe. It requires a trained health care clinician, such as a doctor or nurse, to determine if the benefits of taking the medication outweigh any risks for side effects. But when abused and taken in different amounts or for different purposes than as prescribed, they affect the brain and body in ways very similar to illicit drugs. When prescription drugs are abused, they can be addictive and put the person at risk for other harmful health effects, such as overdose (especially when taken along with other drugs or alcohol). And, abusing prescription drugs is illegal—and that includes sharing prescriptions with family members or friends.

 painscripts where graphic  reasons_graphic



The following stories are real. The names have been changed to maintain anonymity.
Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.






Safeguarding prescription medicine properly is easy once you know what to do, and it’s important for the health and safety of your family and others who come into your home. If medicine is not stored properly, there can be serious consequences:

  • The medicine may get into the wrong hands if a family member or visitor takes it without your knowledge.
    They may use it incorrectly to try to treat a medical condition — or worse, they may abuse it.
  • Heat, humidity, or changes in temperature may damage the medicine.1
  • Children or pets may be accidentally poisoned by ingesting easily accessible medicine.

STORAGE OPTIONS: Below are just a few of the products available to help secure your medication.

 lockbox lockbag  pillcase
Medicine Safe/Lock Box Locking Medication Travel Case Portable Medication Lock Bag

If you have prescription medicine in your home, it is your responsibility to properly safeguard and dispose of it.  Here are some general rules to follow:


DO ask your community pharmacist if any of the medicine you have been prescribed may have the potential for abuse.
DO lock up medicine that is at risk for being abused in a cabinet, drawer, or medicine safe.
DO keep medicine in a cool, dry place that is out of the reach of children.
DO store medicine in its original container — the label on the bottle provides important information about the medicine.
DO keep an updated list of all prescription medicine in your home. Take an inventory at least twice a year — when clocks ‘spring’ forward in the spring and ‘fall’ back in autumn, for example.
DO talk to your community pharmacist about how to properly dispose of unused or unwanted medicine. Additionally, you can access disposal information online at www.fda.gov by searching for “Rx drug disposal.”

DON’T leave medicine in places that are easily accessible to children or pets.
DON’T store medicine in a bathroom medicine cabinet where humidity and temperature changes can cause damage.
DON’T share prescription medicine. Healthcare professionals prescribe specific medicine for individuals based on personal medical histories and other health factors. A medicine that works for one person may cause harm–even death–to someone else, even if symptoms are similar.
DON’T take medicine in front of children who often mimic adults.


View local TRENDS and YOUTH RISK BEHAVIORS from our area. 



It is important to get rid of medicine that has expired or is no longer needed. There is no set rule for disposing of all medicine, so talk to your community pharmacist about the best way to get rid of unused or unwanted medicine in your home.


Turn in your unused or expired medication for safe disposal.


  • Nonprescription Meds
  • Sharps
  • Mercury Thermometers
  • Medical/First Aid Supplies

For more information, please visit dea.gov

The official drop box location is at the Montana Highway Patrol Office at 812 14TH ST N, Great Falls, MT behind Dante’s Restaurant and is open 24/7. Call 406.453.1121 for more information.

Cascade County's Prescription Drug Drop Box

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Cascade County\'s Prescription Drug Drop Box 47.514652, -111.283811




Drug use and abuse are complicated subjects, so it’s normal to have a lot of questions. Find straight answers to some of your toughest questions on drug abuse, addiction and related topics from our panel of trusted doctors and scientists. Who are these experts? Read all about their credentials and qualifications here.


View local TRENDS and YOUTH RISK BEHAVIORS from our area. 



Alliance for Youth 9x12 Poster

Sticker Shock is a youth-led initiative geared towards changing adult attitudes about selling and/or providing alcohol to minors in our community.  This initiative is happening right now at local convenience stores in Cascade County and at the Montana State Fair! Cleverly designed and eye-catching stickers, window clings, hang-tags and buttons worn by alcohol severing personnel remind consumers that are purchasing and/or providing alcohol to anyone younger than age 21 it is against the law.  More importantly, it can prevent unnecessary harm including death to our youth.

Awareness and action come from partnering with local leaders, youth, prevention advocates and business owners around restricting third-party sales and preventing youth substance abuse! According to the most recent Cascade County Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 24 % of high school students reported having obtained alcohol through social sources such as family, friends and strangers.



The “Talk. They Hear You.” Underage Drinking Prevention National Media Campaign aims to reduce underage drinking among youth ages 9 to 15 by providing parents and caregivers with information and resources they need to start addressing the issue of alcohol with their children early. 







Are you feeling weighed down by pressure, and don’t know what to do? It might help if you talked to someone. There are lots of great resources available. Here are just a few to get you started.

Need help with emotional or psychiatric problems?

Voices of Hope 24/7 Crisis Hotline: (406) 453-HELP (4357) or 1 800 273-TALK (8255) Center for Mental Health: (406) 761-2100

Need help dealing with a drug or alcohol problem for you a friend, or family member?

Gateway Community Services (406) 727-2512 Benefis Addiction Services (406) 731-8888 Great Falls Public School District CARE program (406) 268-6770 Rocky Mountain Treatment Services 1 (855) 221-8963 Indian Family Health Clinic (406) 268-1510 Drug Facts – Get quick facts about drug risks.

When Your Parents Use Drugs – Learn more about your parent’s drug use and answers to questions you might have.

National Association for Children of Alcoholics – For more information and help.

Alateen For more information and help.

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
Your parent can call SAMHSA for help. Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357), 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Need drug information or treatment in your area? Gateway Community Services (406) 727-2512 Benefis Addiction Services (406) 731-8888 Great Falls Public School District CARE program (406) 268-6770 Rocky Mountain Treatment Services 1 (855) 221-8963 Indian Family Health Clinic (406) 268-1510

Having trouble coping with pressure and want to talk to a counselor right now? Voices of Hope 24/7 Crisis Hotline: (406) 453-HELP (4357) or 1 800 273-TALK (8255) Center for Mental Health: (406) 761-2100

Need help with sexual or violent assault: YWCA 24/7 Hotline: 1 800 352-7449 Victim Witness Assistance Services: (406) 315-1111

Looking for advice on other topics?

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free suicide prevention service available to anyone in suicidal crisis. Its mission is to provide immediate assistance to anyone seeking mental health services. Call for yourself, or someone you care about. The call is free and confidential. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255), 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

National Eating Disorders Association – The National Eating Disorders Association provides a toll-free helpline to connect people with resources, information, or referrals to national and local treatment providers. Call 1-800-931-2237, Available Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

S.A.F.E. Alternatives – Self-injury is known by many names, including self-abuse, cutting, self-mutilation, or deliberate self-harm. S.A.F.E. Alternatives is a nationally recognized group that provides counseling, treatment referrals, and resources if you need help. This toll-free 800 number is an information line, but hotline information is available on the S.A.F.E. website. Call 1 1 800-DONT CUT (366-8288), Available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.



NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) – Get more facts about the science behind drugs and addiction.

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) – For free resources or referrals to treatment, visit SAMSHA website to download information or to speak to someone now, call the help line. Call 1-800-662-HELP, 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Boys Town National Hotline – Boys Town National Hotline is a 24-hour crisis, resource and referral line staffed by highly-trained counselors who can respond to your questions about family and school problems, pregnancy, suicide, chemical dependency, sexual and physical abuse. They also have a chat room staffed with trained counselors. Call 1-800-448-3000, 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Covenant House “NineLine” Hotline – This is a general hotline for teens with any kind of problem – from substance abuse to family and school problems to relationships, The Covenant House’s expertise is in dealing with homeless and runaway youth. Call 1 800 999-9999, 24 hours a day/7 days a week.


View local TRENDS and YOUTH RISK BEHAVIORS from our area. 


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Substance Abuse Prevention Alliance (SAPA) is a working coalition that falls under the City County Health Departments, Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), which addresses all areas of substance abuse  education, awareness, prevention, intervention and treatment. The SAPA is a very diverse coalition of dedicated professionals and community members that courageously and diligently work to make Cascade County an even more vibrant and healthy place to live in Montana. Below are the names and agencies involved with this coalition::

Benefis Healthcare  •  City County Health Department  •  Great Falls Public School District  •  CARE Program
United Way  •  Gateway Services  •  University of Great Falls  •  Great Falls Police Department  •  Cascade County Sheriff’s Office
Youth Court Services  •  Walker Design Group  •  KRTV  •  Great Falls Interfaith Association  •  In His Hands




The purpose of the Alliance for Youth app is to provide youth with useful and relatable information about mental health and suicide prevention… all at their fingertips.  Whether the user be the at risk person, or a friend or family member, through a custom app we can make sure the information they receive is accurate, relevant, and trustworthy. It also provides additional resources such as safe spaces for those who might be in a vulnerable state..



Download here: