The Denver Resource for Awareness and Prevention

  • About DenverRAP

    Home- DenverRAP About Us

    The Denver Resource for Awareness and Prevention (DenverRAP) was developed by the Denver Office of Drug Strategy (DODS) in 2011. We strive to help meet the overwhelming need for substance abuse prevention information, education and other resources in Denver.

    DenverRAP provides upstream prevention programming in Denver focusing on  youth drinking and other substance abuse topics to parents, youth, service providers, and the local community.

    DenverRAP currently offers the following programs and resources to the community:

    • Presentations to youth and adult community groups
    • Referrals for youth and parents with substance use issues or questions
    • Parent Toolkits for parents or caregivers containing strategies for talking to your kids about alcohol (available en Espanol)
    • Pamphlets and other materials for distribution at events

    Contact DenverRAP at 720-423-2269 for more information on our community offerings.

    What is Upstream Prevention

    When we discuss upstream prevention, we often refer to the following story:

    “There once was a man who lived in a village situated near a waterfall along a river. Every day he would take a walk along the river’s edge near the waterfall. On one particular day he heard a shout coming from the water and saw a kid caught up in the current, about to go over the waterfall. Springing into action, he swam out to the kid and pulled him to safety. The next day he was on his regular walk when he heard another shout and saw another kid in the current. As he pulled this one to safety he heard yet another shout from the current. The people of the village began to realize that there were an overwhelming number of kids caught in the current being swept towards the waterfall. They began to get organized; they trained lifeguards, built watchtowers and trained everyone in CPR and mouth-tomouth resuscitation. They saved a lot of kids but they weren’t able to save all of them, some still went over the waterfall. One day the man started to walk upstream. The others began to say to him, “Where are you going? We need you here!” He replied “I’m going upstream to see if I can keep some kids from falling in the river in the first place.”

    Upstream prevention seeks to build protective factors into a community, by teaching resiliency and coping, and strengthening youth-adult connectedness, so that, kids never fall in the river in the first place, or when they do they know how to swim and get themselves out of the river while the waters are still relatively tranquil.

    (Sources of Strength)

  • The DenverRAP Activity Calendar


    DenverRAP Activity Calendar

    Your resource for fun, FREE activities to do at home in the Denver area

    Click HERE for a printable version of the APRIL activity calendar with clickable links.


  • Resources


    Learn More About the Resources Available

    in the Community and on the Web

    Local Resources

    It is easy to recognize when you need help,

    but often it is difficult to determine where you need to go to get the assistance you need. DenverRAP is working to help you find the organizations in the community to provide you with the services you need. Click HERE for our detailed list of resources ranging from places to go to get help with homework, to mental health services, to after school activities. If you need to find a resource that isn’t on that list, feel free to CONTACT US, and we will work to find what you need.

    If you are worried about yourself or someone you know, and need immediate assistance, call MetroCrisis Services at 1-888-885-1222. Trained counselors are available 24/7 to listen and help connect you to other local resources that can help.

    Click on the links below for resources in the Denver community.

    Web Resources

    The web is full of information on alcohol and other drugs,

    but remember – you can take the most ridiculous, misinformed, just plain wrong “information,” and dress it up in a slick Website. If you’re not an expert, this can make obvious misinformation seem like real, scientifically accurate, clinically sound advice. It isn’t always obvious what information to trust, and how to make that decision.

    To help clear up the confusion, and to provide a handy, one-stop clearing house for teen substance abuse information, we’ve assembled some links and resources we’ve come to know and trust.

    Resources for teens:

    Above the Influence! – Above the Influence is a national organization, run through the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, a program of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Their goal is to empower teens to resist poor influences and bad decisions. The site has lots of user-generated videos and other content and is very good at speaking to teens with respect in their own vocabulary.

    Friends Drive Sober – Friends Drive Sober aims to help teens say no to impaired driving, the definition of which includes drunk driving, driving while high, and even texting while driving. The site includes links to distracted driving prevention apps for your smartphone, state and municipal traffic safety offices and other resources.

    Shatter the Myths! – This is the Website of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and is focused on providing information about the upcoming National Drugs Fact Week (NDFW). The site is colorful and engaging, with videos, free downloadable T-shirt transfers and other teen-centric content.

    The Cool Spot – With an edgy, anime-influenced look, and a selection of interactive games, “The Young Teens Place for Info on Alcohol and Resisting Peer Pressure,” is engaging, offering teens not only some good, simple definitions of peer pressure, but delving into why kids use it, why it works, and how to exercise your “Right to Resist.” Warning: side bar navigation makes annoying sounds.

    Resources for parents and other caring adults:

    Speak Now! Colorado – Speak Now! gives parents strategies and tools for talking to their kids about teen drinking. There’s a Web app that will send your kid a (very positive) text message to initiate conversation about underage drinking, a guide to developing an anti-drinking teen action plan, and a guide to Colorado’s possession and ID laws, and other alcohol informational resources.

    The Partnership at – (formerly The Partnership for a Drug-Free America) is a clearing house for information on all sorts of substance abuse issues, including prescription drug abuse, teen and binge drinking, as well as prevention, intervention and treatment. To find resources in Spanish, visit If you’re looking for advice, support, or to commiserate with other parents who may be walking in your shoes, has a toll-free parent helpline at 1-855-DRUGFREE.

    The Search Institute – The mission of The Search Institute is “to provide catalytic leadership, breakthrough knowledge, and innovative resources to advance the health of children, youth, families, and communities.” They provide surveys, speakers, training materials, podcasts, and other educational resources to parents, teachers, librarians, and teens.

    Parents Empowered in Utah – Videos, articles, texting apps, games and other prevention strategies and tactics with an emphasis on parent-child relationships and conversation.

    College Stats As your kids develop and leave the nest for college, they’re faced with many stresses – leaving home for the first time, independence, maintaining grades, managing a personal budget and meeting social expectations. The list keeps going. College students often lean to drugs and alcohol as coping mechanism (more on that in this guide to understanding addiction in College), so it’s critical that they’ve had these conversations early on, before they’re on their own.


  • Marijuana

    Marijuana is now legal in Colorado for Adults


    So the pressure you’re already facing to try pot isn’t going away. But it’s still your job to get the best 411 you can about it. Be smart when someone offers you pot.


    Denver Resource for Awareness and Prevention (d-RAP) offers resources and information to help you make fun, positive lifestyle choices. We trust you to make good decisions, but we’re here to support you when you need a helping hand.


    Download this fun infographic with the information and support you need about the effects marijuana can have on your body and your mind, and some great alternatives to smoking pot!



    As a parent, there are going to be times when you need help discussing issues both big and small. That’s why we created the Parent Toolkit with ideas on how to start talking to your child about underage drinking and marijuana use. You are the most important person in your child’s life. The more you talk with your kids about not drinking and using marijuana, the more you can influence and encourage them to make healthy choices that will help them succeed in life.


    Download the  Parent Tool Kit to learn more about talking to your kids about alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs, as well as facts about drug use, and resources to help get the conversation started.

  • Social Action Toolkit



    Everyone has the power to create change in their community. It might be a small change, like adding recycling bins to your community park; or it could be large, like changing your peers’ attitudes about teenage drinking. No matter the size, every positive change is important, and is well worth the effort it takes to accomplish it. Each of these changes starts the same way: when
    someone who cares takes action.


    Denver RAP has designed a toolkit specifically for youth and teens as a starting point for their own social action campaign. Download the Social Action Toolkit now to find instructions, resources and examples to help you build and successfully complete a campaign that creates positive change in your community.


    We can provide the information and resources, but the change you create comes from you. Whether you want to take action in your school, neighborhood, or town, you have the power to do it!

  • Contacts

    Michel Holien 

    Manager, Prevention Services 


    Leah Raffa 

    Community Prevention Specialist


  • Quick COVID-19 Resource Guide for the Denver Community

    Posted by Leah Raffa on 4/2/2020

    Quick COVID-19 Resource Guide for the Denver Community

    Denver Logo

    Thank you to the Denver Office of Behavioral Health Strategies for this resource.

     General Information on COVID-19

    General Assistance Information

    • Denver 211
      • Operators ready to help you find the resources you need
      • Web-based search for resources near you
    • Denver 311
      • Operators ready to help you find the City of Denver resources you need
    • Denver Human Services
      • Food, cash, and medical assistance
      • Child care
      • Child support
      • Jobs
      • Aid for older adults
      • Shelter and housing
      • Additional assistance
    • Benefits in Action
      • Food resources – whether it’s SNAP navigation and application assistance or finding open food banks and pantries
      • Access health care and need help navigating services and applying for benefits
      • Navigating and/or applying for Medicare benefits
      • Assistance paying for heat
      • Just need someone to talk to
    • Front Range Mutual Aid
      • If you are looking for help, or looking to provide help, this group can help you connect with others

    Denver Public Schools Computer Helpline for Parents (Grandparents)

    •  DPS has a hotline to help parents (and grandparents) who are attempting to connect their kids’ computers to the online learning environment.
      • Help is available at the DoTs Hotline 720-423-3888. After selecting “1” or “2” for English or Spanish, option 3 is for help with devices including Chromebooks. Once you press “3” it will ask if you are a DPS parent. If so, press *

     Food Assistance

    • Org
      • Lists food pantries in the Denver Metro Area (can search by city or zip code for closest location)
    • COVID-19 Emergency Hunger Relief Fund
      • This Fund will provide flexible resources to entities working to support the food and nutritional needs of communities who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and the economic consequences of the outbreak.


       Health Supports and Guidance

    • Health Coverage for the Uninsured
      • Connect for Health Colorado has opened an emergency Special Enrollment period from Friday, March 20 thru Friday, April 3, 2020. Coloradans who are currently uninsured or about to lose coverage due to COVID-19 are able to get health insurance that starts April 1, 2020.
    • Walgreens
      • FAQs for the pharmacist
      • Shopping options

    Assistance for the Elderly

    • Denver Office on Aging
      • Includes links to:
        • Denver Coordinated Workgroup (excellent list of resources)
        • Older Adult Resource Director
        • Adult Protective Services
        • Disability services
        • And more

    Financial Assistance (and Other Supports) for Workers

    • Unemployment Insurance
      • During layoffs, all employees are encouraged to apply for unemployment insurance. Those who are job-attached (meaning workers will be expected to return after a separation of up to 16 weeks) should file as “job attached”.
    • One Fair Wage
      • Emergency COVID-19 tipped and service worker support fund
    • Service Industry Relief Efforts
      • Colorado restaurants and other food-service businesses are banding together to make sure industry workers are not left behind during the coronavirus crisis.
    • Families First Coronavirus Response Act
      • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act responds to the growing health and economic crises with provisions for paid sick leave, free testing and expanded unemployment benefits. Here’s a brief description of what’s in the package.
    • IRS Free File
      • Includes a number of free online filing options for both federal and state returns available for households making $69,000 or less.
    • com
      • Through United Way’s partnership with H&R Block, every household with a simple return can file their federal and state taxes for free (this option does not include filers who are contract workers, i.e. Uber or Lyft drivers).
    • Work-Share Program
      • May allow certain employees who have reduced hours to claim partial unemployment benefits
    • Colorado Emergency Child Care Collaborative
      • Are you someone whose job involves providing an essential service (health, safety, etc.) in the state of Colorado, in need of backup childcare? If so, this is the child care collaborative for you.
    • Emergency Paid Leave Rule
      • This rule is meant to limit the spread of highly contagious disease and enables workers in at-risk occupations to access testing

    Workplace, Labor, and Employment Resources

    • Federal Loan Assistance for Small Businesses
      • Colorado small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can now seek individual small business loans up to $2M as part of the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
    • Small Business Emergency Relief Fund (City of Denver)
      • Denver Economic Development and Opportunity (DEDO) is setting up an emergency relief program to provide cash grants up to $7,500 to qualifying small businesses. The highest priority will be the industries most impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, such as the food industry.

    Mental Health Support

    • Colorado Crisis Services
      • 24/7 support from licensed clinicians and peer professionals
      • Referrals to walk-in crisis centers
      • Resources locator
    • Kind Connection Program (Spark the Change Colorado)
      • Kind Connection brings individuals within the community together by phone to support one another during these difficult times. Our Kind Connection volunteers are equipped with relevant and accurate information, resources, and tools to help you navigate this uncertain time.
    • Colorado Mental Wellness Network #IsolationHacks
      • CMWN is rolling out new ways to pass on wellness virtually. To support our community and those having a challenging time with physical distancing, we will be posting daily tips and opportunities to keep our community motivated and well.

    Housing Services

    • A Colorado Tenet’s Guide to Covid-19
      • This tenant’s guide was put together by a local attorney who has studied the patchwork of eviction moratoriums and other proactive measures put into place throughout the state. (DISCLAIMER: This post should not be construed as legal advice, and I am not an attorney – Candi Cdebaca.)
    • Energy Outreach Colorado
      • Bill payment assistance for households across Colorado who can’t afford their home energy costs
    • Denver Water
      • Denver Water has suspended all water shut-offs due to delinquent payment to ensure all customers have access to their drinking water.
    • Xcel Energy
      • Xcel Energy will not disconnect service to any residential customers until further notice. If you have difficulties paying your bills, contact them and they will help you set up a payment plan that works for you.

    Phone Payment Assistance

    • Lifeline Program
      • Lifeline program has provided a discount on phone service for qualifying low-income consumers to ensure that all Americans have the opportunities and security that phone service brings.

    Internet Accessibility

    • Internet Essentials
      • Comcast is offering the Internet Essentials package free for low-income customers for 60 days

     Relief Funds for Non-Profit Organizations

    • Coloradans COVID Relief Fund (Gov. Polis Office)
      • The Colorado COVID Relief Fund’s purpose is to raise funds and coordinate the allocation of those contributions.
      • Organizations helping with the response to COVID-19 will be able to apply for funds starting the week of 3/23/20.
    • Colorado Assistance Fund (El Pomar Foundation)
      • Grants from the fund will be distributed to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations or government entities supporting access to appropriate healthcare and meeting basic human needs such as food access, rent and utilities assistance, and emergency services for individuals and communities impacted by the virus.
    • Critical Needs Fund (The Denver Foundation)
      • First round of grants from the Critical Needs Fund focused on nonprofit organizations engaged in collaborative COVID-19 work, with an emphasis on organizations that may not have access to federal relief funding.
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