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Our Work

Since our inception in 2007, Thrive Mat-Su has been our community’s leader in addressing substance abuse issues. Acting as a catalyst for change, Thrive Mat-Su mobilizes resources and forges partnerships to impact the Valley in lasting and measurable ways.

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Thrive Mat-Su will lead a data-driven coordinated community response to prevent and reduce underage substance use.

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A community where individuals thrive in an environment that supports healthy choices regarding substance use.

Strategic Prevention Framework

Thrive utilizes the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Administration (SAMSHA) Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) as its planning process for preventing substance use and misuse.


Assessment: What is the problem & how can we learn more?

Capacity: What do we have to work with?

Planning: What should we do and how should we do it?

Implementation: How can we put our plan into action?

Evaluation: Are our efforts succeeding?

Cultural Competence: the ability to interact effectively with members of diverse populations.

Sustainability: the process of achieving and maintaining long-term results.

Indicators & Substances

Thrive Mat-Su tracks alcohol, tobacco, prescription drug, and marijuana. Our indicators include

  • Past 30-day use

  • Perception of Harm

  • Perception of Peer Disapproval

  • Perception of Parental Disapproval

  • Peer Climate & Connectedness in School

  • Caring Adult in Their (Youth) Life

  • Volunteering

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Key Strategies

The Be [You] Media Campaign

THRIVE is working to change personal beliefs of youth and adults on the risks and consequences of underage drinking and illicit drug use. The approach is to focus and educate the community on the positive things happening in Mat-Su with youth. It is important that positive messaging is used to balance concern and hope to engage the community in the conversation. Drinking is not a “rite of passage.” Most high school youth don’t drink. Risks and legal consequences of underage drinking and illicit drug use can be more serious that we think.

Increase Accessibility of Mat-Su Youth Programs

What can we do to get more youth engaged in community programs that strengthen positive peer-to-peer and peer-to-adult relationships? There are a lot of programs out there, but do youth know about them? Can youth and families afford to be a part of community programs? How are youth going to get there? THRIVE is working to improve the youth services infrastructure of the Mat-Su Borough.

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Get More Youth Active in Quality Programs

Last, but not least, we need to get more youth into safe, supportive spaces, and activities. A lot of work needs to be done at the community level with messaging and accessibility, but it all leads back to the question of getting youth and young adults involved in actual, everyday programs and activities. By promoting youth leadership, developing social supports, reducing adverse childhood experiences we can make help Mat-Su youth reach their full potential.

You can also view our full strategic plan.

Community Support

Thrive Mat-Su has been able to support local efforts related to our goal of addressing substance use in the community, including:

  • Drug ID kits for Palmer Police Department, Wasilla Police Department, & Alaska State Troopers

  • Youth Town Hall

  • 10,000 drug education books for Wasilla Police Department’s school outreach program

  • Be[You] t-shirts, supporting the media campaign & publicizing that 78% of Alaska teens don’t drink

  • 2,000 Mat-Su Valley Resource Guides

  • Alaska State Government Conference

  • Provided staffing and publicity for Drug Take-Back Days in Palmer, Wasilla, & Talkeetna

  • Sunshine Community Health Center’s Youth Training and Resilience Program

  • Conversation Starter boxes to strengthen families by encouraging conversation