Blog: Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment

One Week From Today: Reclaiming Futures Juvenile Justice Webinar

We're only one week out from our webinar about how the Reclaiming Futures model is uniting juvenile courts, probation, adolescent substance abuse treatment, and the community for cost effective juvenile justice reform. 

Please register for a free webinar on Tuesday, April 30 at 10 a.m. (PDT)/1 p.m. (EDT)
What you'll learn:

  • Communities have a compelling need to break the cycle of drugs, alchohol and crime 
  • Reclaiming Futures is connecting young people to caring adults 
  • The six-step model is pointing to better outcomes for youth

About the presenters:

Susan Richardson is national executive director for Reclaiming Futures. Formerly, she was a senior program officer in the health care division of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in North Carolina, where she led a three-year effort involving the state's juvenile justice and treatment leaders to adopt the Reclaiming Futures model by juvenile courts in six North Carolina counties. She received her B.S. in Public Health, Health Policy and Administration, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Margaret Soukup is the project director for Seattle-King County Reclaiming Futures, in Seattle, Wash., where she serves as Science to Service/Workforce Development Coordinator Project/Program Manager III, Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division (MHCADSD). Margaret has a master's degree in psychology from Antioch University Seattle and a bachelor's degree in applied science, social sciences from Washington State University. 

Addiction Recovery: Getting Clean At 22; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Juvenile Justice Reforms Approved (PalmBeachPost.com)
    The Dream Defenders, a youth group focused on juvenile justice issues, called this week for protection from arrests at school for minor incidents. The group also called for an end to pepper spray and solitary confinement in jails run by Florida counties and to stop putting teens in the juvenile justice system for misdemeanor first offenses.
  • Juvenile Detention Alternatives Gain Ground in States, DC (JJIE.org)
    “There is reason to think that we may, and I emphasize may, have reached a turning point in this era,” said Bart Lubow, director of the juvenile justice strategy group at The Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore. He made the comments Wednesday at an AECF-organized three-day conference of some 800 professionals from juvenile justice and child welfare fields in Atlanta.
  • Proposal Would Keep 17-Year-Old Felons in Juvenile Court (SJ-R.com)
    Youths under the age of 18 charged with non-violent felonies will be handled at the juvenile court level, rather than being tried as adults, under a proposal passed by the Illinois House Tuesday.
  • Your System, Your Choices: Teaching Youth the Juvenile Justice System (StrategiesForYouth.org)
    Dr. Miner-Romanoff found that “100% had no idea” about the juvenile justice system and the potential for harsh sentencing before their arrest and incarceration. This, she says, indicates that for these young people severe sentencing did not act as a deterrent.
  • Opinion: Reduce Teen Recidivism; Treat Kids Like Kids (SJ-R.com)
    "Back in 2008, The State Journal-Register used this space to urge Illinois lawmakers to approve a bill that would allow 17-year-olds accused of minor crimes to be tried in juvenile court instead of adult court."

[VIDEO] Mentoring Works - Following Olivia in Seattle

Reclaiming Futures helps communities develop networks of caring adults that connect justice involved youth to a wide range of activities where they learn social skills, job skills and new behaviors that help them stay drug-free and crime-free long after they complete treatment and probation.
Are you trying to recruit mentors in your community?
Please take a moment to share Olivia's story of gratitude for her Reclaiming Futures King County mentor, Hazel Cameron. We thank Hazel, of the 4C Coalition Mentoring Program, who helped Olivia break the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime. 

 

National Drug Control Budget Supports Treatment and Prevention

On Wednesday, April 10, President Obama announced the largest requested percentage increase in federal funding for drug treatment in over two decades.
The President’s Budget requests a $1.5 billion increase for treatment and prevention services, over the fiscal year 2012 level.
 
Please take a moment to review the funding highlights:

  • $76.8 million will fund grants made directly to approximately 605 community‐based coalitions (including 139 new grants) focusing on preventing youth substance use
  • President Obama’s drug budget calls for $1.5 billion increase for drug treatment and prevention over fiscal year 2012.
  • The budget calls for largest requested percentage increase in drug treatment funding in over two decades.
  • The total amount requested for treatment and prevention is $10.7 billion.
  •  

Save the Date: Reclaiming Futures Webinar April 30

Do you want to learn how the Reclaiming Futures model is uniting juvenile courts, probation, adolescent substance abuse treatment, and the community for cost effective juvenile justice reform?

Please register for a free webinar on Tuesday, April 30 at 10 a.m. (PDT)/1 p.m. (EDT)
What you'll learn:

  • Communities have a compelling need to break the cycle of drugs, alchohol and crime 
  • Reclaiming Futures is connecting young people to caring adults 
  • The six-step model is pointing to better outcomes for youth

About the presenters:

Susan Richardson is national executive director for Reclaiming Futures. Formerly, she was a senior program officer in the health care division of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in North Carolina, where she led a three-year effort involving the state's juvenile justice and treatment leaders to adopt the Reclaiming Futures model by juvenile courts in six North Carolina counties. She received her B.S. in Public Health, Health Policy and Administration, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Margaret Soukup is the project director for Seattle-King County Reclaiming Futures, in Seattle, Wash., where she serves as Science to Service/Workforce Development Coordinator Project/Program Manager III, Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division (MHCADSD). Margaret has a master's degree in psychology from Antioch University Seattle and a bachelor's degree in applied science, social sciences from Washington State University. 

Kind Love vs. Tough Love – What’s A Parent To Do? News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Rehabilitated Life, Reformed Juvenile System (CitizensVoice.com)
    A series of reforms spurred by a state panel that investigated the kids-for-cash case has transformed the handling of juvenile cases under the leadership of Ciavarella's successor, Juvenile Court Judge David W. Lupas.
  • Report Suggest Changes for Juvenile Justice Health Services (TimesDispatch.com)
    A recent review of medical services provided to youths by the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice found care adequate but makes numerous recommendations. Among other things, the American Correctional Association suggests that the juvenile centers adhere to regular sick call times, establish effective infectious-disease control plans and require less administrative work for nurses.
  • [Slideshow] Juvenile Justice Center Groundbreaking (Macon.com)
    Bibb County, Georgia Commission Chairman Sam Hart speaks at the groundbreaking for Bibb County's new Juvenile Justice Center on Friday morning.
     

Team Offers Positive Choices for Teens in Hocking County, Ohio

Thanks to the teamwork of Hocking County Reclaiming Futures, many teens in Southeast Ohio are receiving the support they need to break the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime.
Learn how this team creates healthy activities for young people. In a story, published by the Logan Daily News on April 1, they:

  • Hiked trails with a soil & water conservation education specialist,
  • Created art from recycled and reclaimed items, and 
  • Learned to identify trees and shrubs in the Hocking Hills

Reclaiming Futures teens are learning to give back too. By donating art objects for programming at the Bishop Educational Gardens, they are creating goodwill in the community. 
Kudos to Hocking County Reclaiming Futures for building educational partnerships for court-involved young people. Together, they are connecting teens to positive activities and caring adults.

Much Ado About Sizzurp; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Age-Old Issue Persists about Justice (NWHerald.com)
    Illinois treats a 17-year-old who shoplifts an iPhone as an adult criminal: held with adults in jail, tried in adult criminal court, sent to adult prison if incarcerated, and issued an employment-crushing permanent criminal record, according to a recent report by the Illinois Juvenile Justice Commission.
  • Overhauling Juvenile Justice (RockdaleNews.com)
    Georgia is on the brink of the most sweeping overhaul of the juvenile justice law in three decades and Rockdale is on the leading edge of those trends. “It’s going to be a new world,” said Rockdale Juvenile Court Judge William Schneider.
  • School Policies Must Adjust for Juvenile Justice System to Improve (EdWeek.org)
    Changes in school policies will go a long way to dealing with some of the problems with the juvenile justice system, new recommendations for Congress and President Barack Obama say. In particular, the National Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention Coalition says schools rely too heavily on law enforcement to handle behavior problems students, resulting in arrests for behavior that doesn't threaten the safety of other students or staff. The arrests can trigger a chain of contact with the juvenile justice system with a lifetime of repercussions.
  • Addressing Girls' Health Needs at Juvenile Detention Centers (Los Angeles Times)
    L.A. County health and probation officials are trying to better identify and treat problems of girls in custody that often go undiagnosed and untreated.

Community Members Rally to Help Teens in Hardin County, Ohio

By bringing together juvenile courts, probation, treatment, mental health, educators and the community, Reclaiming Futures Hardin County has accomplished a lot in two years.
According to a 2012 report, participants in Reclaiming Futures Hardin County reduced substance abuse from 100% at intake to 28% at six months in treatment. At 12 months in treatment their illegal activity dropped to 5% (29% below the national juvenile court average).
This month, Hardin County Reclaiming Futures welcomes Judicial Fellow Judge Steven D. Christopher, to their team of caring adults who are emphasizing treatment over detention.
Judge Christopher fills the vacancy recently left by retired Judge James S. Rapp, who has helped lead many successes, including a 92% graduation rate at Hardin Community School.
Reclaiming Futures Hardin County remains committed to providing:

  • Individualized treatment plans based on screening and assessment 
  • Evidence-based drug and alcohol education and treatment
  • Supervision
  • Public education
  • Mentors
  • Educational and vocational services
  • Family support

Please listen to project director, Khrystal Wagner, interviewed March 12 on WKTN Radio:
   
Are you interested in helping your community break the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime? Here’s how you can help teens in Hardin, County and everywhere: 

Senate Committee Approves Changes in Juvenile Justice System; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Advocates for Juvenile Justice Reform Rally at Hearing for Bel Air Teenager Accused of Killing Father (DaggerPress.com)
    Friday’s demonstration came ahead of a motions hearing in Robert Richardson’s case, and was the latest organized by a group which seeks to have his case—and Richardson himself—moved back into the juvenile criminal justice system.
  • The Crucial Role of Prosecutors in Juvenile Justice (JJIE.org)
    The role and responsibilities of the juvenile prosecutor are plentiful and extend well beyond the courtroom. In fact, in cases involving juveniles, much of the work can and should be done outside the courtroom. Working collaboratively with other youth-serving agencies in their communities, prosecutors often play a leadership role in these efforts.
  • Senate Committee Approves Changes in Juvenile Justice System (AJC.com)
    The Senate Judiciary Committee approved proposed changes to the juvenile justice system Wednesday after making some adjustments to address concerns of judges. House Bill 242, which has passed the House, is designed to send fewer juveniles to state facilities for committing felonies and to divert kids who are not dangerous — especially so-called status offenders such as truants, runaways and the unruly — into less expensive community-based programs.

Plan to Celebrate National Drug Court Month in May

Reclaiming Futures works in 37 communities across the country to break the cycle of drugs, alcohol and crime. In about one-third of those sites, Reclaiming Futures partners with drug courts, which, according to years of research, work better than jail, prison, probation or treatment alone to significantly reduce drug use and crime.
To celebrate this, and the many lives that have been saved, please join us, and plan ahead for National Drug Court Month in May.
Here are some ideas for celebrating in your community (adapted from the National Association for Drug Court Professionals):

  • Hold a commencement ceremony to recognize the accomplishments of participants.
  • Schedule a meeting with your members of congress while they are home for Constituent Work Week, May 1-3 and 28-31. Have your Drug Court judge and graduate attend the meetings to educate policymakers.
  • Organize a community clean up. Clean a park, street, highway or school. Invite all treatment, mental health, court, law enforcement and probation staff to join in.
  • Start a local donation drive.

Affordable Care Act Expands Mental Health and Substance Abuse Benefits for 62 Million Americans

According to an issue brief released Feb. 20 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Affordable Care Act will extend mental health and substance use disorder benefits to 32 million and federal parity protections to an additional 30 million Americans.
The HHS report explains that to do so, the Affordable Care Act will build upon the existing federal parity law, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. Applying to group health plans and insurers, this law requires that when provided, coverage for mental health and substance use conditions be comparable to that for medical and surgical care. However, gaps in coverage currently leave millions either without such benefits or without parity protections.
In surveying coverage before the Affordable Care Act, the report finds:

  • One-third of those currently covered in the individual market have no coverage for substance use disorder services, and nearly 20% have no coverage for mental health services. Even when individual market plans provide these benefits, the federal parity law does not apply to these plans.
  • More common than in the individual market, about 95% of those with small group market coverage have substance abuse and mental health benefits. Again, the federal parity law does not apply.
  • 47.5 million Americans lack health insurance coverage altogether, and 25% of uninsured adults have a mental health condition or substance use disorder or both.

With Synthetic Pot, You Don't Know Where it's Been; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Legislator Wants to Change the Culture of Juvenile Justice System (NebraskaRadioNetwork.com)
    A leading state legislator says the state juvenile justice system must move from a culture of incarceration to a culture of treatment. Sen. Brad Ashford of Omaha, chairman of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, says his committee will spend a couple of days hearing legislation that aims at nothing short of the transformation of how Nebraska deals with juvenile offenders.
  • In Kentucky, Juvenile Offenders’ Names Could be Shared After Adjudication (JJIE.org)
    On Monday, members of the Kentucky House passed a bill that would allow victims in juvenile court trials to discuss a case once a verdict is rendered, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. House Bill 115 swept through the House with unanimous approval earlier this week, garnering a 93-0 vote in Kentucky’s lower legislative body.
  • [VIDEO] Nation Honors Center on Front Lines of Juvenile Justice (Northwestern.edu)
    The Children and Family Justice Center (CFJC) at the Northwestern University School of Law has received a $750,000 award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in recognition of the Center's exemplary advocacy for children caught up in the harsh realities of Illinois’ juvenile and criminal justice systems.
  • Inquirer Editorial: Juvenile Justice that Leans Toward Mercy (Philly.com)
    The Luzerne County cash-for-kids scandal revealed the potential for tragedy when locking up juvenile defendants becomes routine. Thousands of young people were harmed by the scheme hatched by two disgraced judges, who took millions of dollars in kickbacks to place young offenders in for-profit detention centers.

Florida’s School-to-Prison Pipeline Is Largest in the Nation; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

Study Reveals Substance Abuse Among Teens with Mental Health Issues

A new study from the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Research Institute shows striking levels of substance use among teens seeking mental health care, with one in 10 mentally ill teens reporting frequent use of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana. This pattern of substance use becomes more common as teens age, and likely heightens risk of poor physical and mental health outcomes, the study reports.
In a University of Sydney news release, lead researcher Dr. Daniel Hermens said,

“Traditionally there have been mental health services, and substance abuse services, but both have been quite separate. Our study shows that we need to integrate mental health interventions with substance use interventions in order to help at-risk young people.
“There is a lot of evidence for the co-morbidity of mental health problems and substance misuse. More people have both mental health and substance use problems than either alone—in other words, it's the rule rather than the exception."

Published in BMJ Open, the study used self-reported data from more than 2,000 people aged 12-30 years seeking mental health care. Overall, substance use rates increased with age across groups, broken into age bands of 12-17, 18-19, and 20-30 year-olds.

Parenting is Prevention

A youth’s perception of risks associated with substance use is an important determinant of whether he or she engages in substance use.
A recent SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health surfaced several important perceptions among adolescents aged 12 to 17. Binge drinking can be categorized as having five or more alcoholic drinks once or twice a week. The good news is that the percentage of adolescents who perceived great risk from binge alcohol use has increased from 38.2 percent in 2002 to 40.7 percent in 2011; during the same period, the actual rate of binge alcohol use among adolescents decreased from 10.7 to 7.4 percent.
The bad news: between 2007 and 2011, the percentage of adolescents who perceived great risk from smoking marijuana once or twice a week decreased from 54.6 to 44.8 percent, and the rate of past month marijuana use among adolescents increased from 6.7 to 7.9 percent.
Parents and other caring adults who provide adolescents with credible, accurate, and age-appropriate information about harm associated with substance use are an important component of prevention programming. The importance of strong, effective parenting throughout the adolescence, teenage, and young adult years has long been known to be central to helping prevent adolescents from engaging in substance use. However, it is less known but equally true that parental influence can continue to help affect their children’s behavioral environment when they become young adults. Many parents feel that when a child turns 18 that their work is done—that the young person has to make his or her own choices. We often see this with parents whose children go off to college. Yet, many of these students are making poor decisions.

Destructive Behavior: Symptoms, Underlying Issues and Tips for Responding

The bridge from childhood to adulthood can be a very difficult one to cross. That is one of the reasons that many teens end up engaging in destructive behavior. Many troubled teens engage in self-harm behaviors, such as cutting their skin. Eating disorders, substance abuse, violent outbursts and sex addiction are some other examples of self-destructive behaviors.
The good news is that there are a number of ways that a destructive teen can be helped. The first step in getting help for a destructive teen is to recognize the signs. Below are some of the common signs of a destructive teen:

  • Depression: Destructive teens usually do not feel very good about themselves. Low self-esteem is strongly correlated with depression. Insomnia, feelings of guilt, hopelessness and decreased energy are some of the most common signs of depression. Depressed teens may also attempt suicide.
  • Slipping Grades: Destructive teens often have trouble focusing in school. As a result of this, their grades may begin to slip. A student who once made As and Bs may begin to bring home Cs and Ds if he or she is engaging in destructive behavior.
  • Weight Loss: This is common among teens who suffer from an eating disorder. Weight loss could also be an indication of illicit drug use or depression.
  • Getting In Trouble With the Law: Destructive teens often drink, use illegal substances or skip school. That is why they may get into trouble with the law.

Feds to Audit Solitary Confinement Policy; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Feds to Audit Solitary Confinement Policy (JJIE.org)
    The Federal Bureau of Prisons will hire an independent auditor to review the use of solitary confinement in federal prisons, according to a statement released by the bureau. The move could impact thousands of juveniles in adult facilities who are frequently isolated from adult inmates, sometimes on the pretext of protecting their personal safety.
  • Thousands of Student Arrests Alarm Florida Justice Leaders (Orlando Sentinel)
    Thousands of Florida students are arrested in school each year and taken to jail for behavior that once warranted a trip to the principal's office — a trend that troubles juvenile-justice and civil-rights leaders who say children are being traumatized for noncriminal acts.
  • Report Calls for Increased Funding for Juvenile Justice Efforts (NOLA.com)
    To sustain and ramp up changes to Louisiana's juvenile justice system there needs to be adequate funding at both the state and local levels, experts recommended in a report released Thursday. At a day-long conference in Baton Rouge, two members of the Louisiana Juvenile Justice Implementation Commission underscored this concern, saying a lack of money could hinder future progress across the state.

Teen Narrowly Escapes Death after Smoking Synthetic Marijuana; News Roundup

Juvenile Justice Reform

  • Juvenile Justice Should be a Focus for Georgia (AlbanyHerald.com)
    In her final State of the Judiciary address before the General Assembly today, Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein is expected to focus on an issue that needs serious thought — juvenile justice.
  • [AUDIO] When Crime Pays: Prison Can Teach Some To Be Better Criminals (NPR.org)
    In popular lore — movies, books and blogs — criminals who go to prison don't come out reformed. They come out worse. Scientists who have attempted to empirically analyze this theory have reached mixed conclusions, with analyses suggesting that activities like drug addiction or gangs are what determines whether the correctional system actually gets criminals to correct their ways.
  • Mapping Juvenile Justice (TheCrimeReport.org)
    A new mapping project demonstrates overlaps between New York City communities with the highest percentage of youth, the lowest household incomes, rates of foster care placement and adults without high school diplomas.
  • GA Police Chief to Serve on Juvenile Justice Board (CBSAtlanta.com)
    The Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice has announced Elaine Snow, chief of the City of Rome Police Department, has been named vice chair of the agency's board. Snow is filling a board position that was left vacant by Avery Niles after Gov. Nathan Deal named him as Department of Juvenile Justice Commissioner.
  • Gov. Dayton appoints the first Minnesota Somali Woman to Serve on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee (TCDailyPlanet.net)
    Saciido Shaie has long had a dream that her thoughts and actions would one day become a reason for Minnesota youth to excel in education and life. That’s why she’s spent many years of leadership and advocacy in building a better place for Twin Cities’ young minorities. Minnesota took a note of her passion in activism, and so did Governor Mark Dayton. He appointed her last June as the first Somali woman to serve on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee for Minneapolis.
  • Suffer the Children (The Economist)
    On March 29th 2012 Georgia’s Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted on a criminal-justice reform bill that read like a left-leaning criminologist’s fantasy. It revised sentencing laws to keep non-violent drug and property offenders out of prison, directing them instead toward alternatives—drug courts, day-reporting centres, mental-health courts—designed to treat and rehabilitate rather than punish. Now Georgia is looking to do something similar for juveniles.

Reclaiming Futures Hiring in Portland, Oregon

Do you support juvenile justice reform and want to help communities break the cycle of drugs, alchohol and crime? 
Join our staff in Portland, Oregon, where Reclaiming Futures is improving the experience for teens in the juvenile justice system by providing adolescent substance abuse and mental health treatment in 37 communities around the country.
We are hiring for two dynamic positions, Strategic Partnership Development Director and Fellowship Program Manager. Please read the full position descriptions. Some highlights of these jobs include: 
Strategic Partnership Development Director

  • Secure major sustainability funding from private and government sources
  • Cultivate regional and national relationships with individuals and agencies
  • Establish financial and other partnerships with local, state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, private foundations, and private or business sectors

Fellowship Program Manager

  • Provide leadership for the strategic direction of the fellowship program and seek input from staff, fellows and faculty across the country
  • Organize fellowship meetings’ activities and materials
  • Develop a webinar strategy to provide learning opportunities for sites and grow the national profile of Reclaiming Futures 

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