We engage, educate and empower all sectors of our community to reduce and prevent underage substance use.

Who We Are

VARSA is a Vashon Island non-profit coalition working to reduce youth substance use. Our coalition includes a committed group of Vashon Islanders who have come together to engage, educate and empower our community to reduce and prevent underage drug and alcohol use.

What We Do

VARSA is participating in the Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative CPWI), a Washington State program to plan, develop, and implement community-wide strategies to reduce and prevent underage drug and alcohol use on Vashon.

Why We Do It

Our Island has an underage drug and alcohol consumption issue that in some cases is 50% higher than the state wide average. We want to engage the wider community, educate families, and empower our young people to make healthy choices.

Our Partners

How YOU can get involved!

VARSA needs everyone in the community working together to create the kind of environment that raises healthy youth with the skills and values for leading authentic, responsible, and productive lives. There are lots of different ways to help out, from volunteering on a single project to becoming a Sector Leader



It takes a lot of people-power to put on the projects we have in mind.  We need volunteers to help.

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Whether you can represent a sector or be a partner with the coalition, we want to hear from you.

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Every penny makes a difference, from corporate event sponsorship to donating your piggy bank.

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The Issue

Despite the many advantages of growing up on this beautiful island, Vashon youth show high rates of underage drug and alcohol use.
Over the last decade, data from the statewide Healthy Youth Survey (HYS) has consistently indicated underage alcohol and drug use is higher on Vashon than state averages across all grade levels, with first use starting as young as sixth grade.
There is a common belief that the Island has favorable attitudes towards underage drug and alcohol use.
Many students don’t understand the risks, have friends who drink and use drugs, and believe that social norms and the changes in legislation promote drinking and drug use.

The Risks

19% of twelfth graders have driven under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the last month.
73% of adults think other Islanders are OK with underage drug and alcohol use.
In the last month 27.8% of 10th graders have used marijuana.
Alcohol use amongst twelfth graders is 50% higher than the state average.