Upstate Organization Working to Prevent Substance Use and Addiction in Teens

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Did you know that teens in our community report that 3 out of 10 of their middle school friends are vaping or experimenting with substances?

Did you know this number grows to approximately 8 out of 10 among high school students?

While working at the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office five years ago, the founder and CEO of RIZE Prevention, Martine Helou-Allen, had a vision that every teen- and their family- live free from drug use and addiction. After years of passion and research, she created RIZE Prevention in June 2021. RIZE Prevention offers innovative, evidence-based prevention and early intervention programs as a solution to the rising tide of addiction that is compromising the quality of life of our youth and their families today. Our mission is to empower teens to resist drug use and make healthy lifestyle choices.

RIZE’s programs have been developed in partnership with federal government agencies, in addition to the SC State Department of Education, using the latest prevention science research and recommendations. Their programs “go upstream” and reach teens before they experiment with or initiate drug use. RIZE approaches teens with respect and encouragement. They seek to empower them by giving them knowledge about drug use and active resistance skills, but also enlightening them to why they may be seeking substances to solve their emotional issues, and how this “self-medicating” can lead them to a life of addiction.

RIZE Prevention’s iRIZE Program in middle schools changes kids’ mindsets about substance use. The organization teaches them that drug use shouldn’t be considered a “rite of passage”, a means to gain autonomy, or a risk-free way to address their emotional needs. The iRIZE Program is designed to support a young teen’s journey of development by engaging their power of choice and providing them with support and skills to resist drugs and live positive lives.

Components of the iRIZE program include:

  • Motivational presentations
  • Mentorship
  • Important life skills guidance
  • Parent resources
  • Mental/behavioral health resources and financial assistance
  • iRIZE Club

This 2022-2023 School year iRIZE is at the following middle schools in the Upstate:

  • Hillcrest Middle School
  • Berea Middle School
  • Greer Middle School
  • Woodmont Middle School
  • Laurens Middle School
  • Gray Court-Owings Middle School
  • Hickory Tavern Middle School
  • Sanders Middle School

Visit our website at and join our email list to find out more information and get news about events, volunteer opportunities, or corporate sponsorships.

Written by RIZE Prevention.