By Benjamin Chambers, November 18 2008
This Thursday, two youth advocates will talk about the importance of treatment and services for teens.
No big deal -- except they'll be talking to the Oregon Senate Senate Health and Human Services Committee. The youth will testify as part of a scheduled hearing about adolescent substance abuse treatment statewide.
It all started last January, when Reclaiming Futures co-sponsored a state summit on the subject. Our co-sponsors
- The Governor’s Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs
- The state Addictions and Mental Health Division (AMH)
- Oregon Prevention Education and Recovery Association (OPERA) -- an association of treatment providers
Dozens of people were invited from all over Oregon. Doreen Cavanaugh, Ph.D., of Georgetown University, presented the findings of a 16-state Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) grant initiative (which she directs) to improve state delivery of treatment for adolescents with substance use and co-occurring disorders.
Then the attendees developed policy recommendations: ways for Oregon to improve its own alcohol and drug treatment services for teens.
On Thursday, a number of speakers will share these recommendations with legislators. They'll talk about the need for a coordinated statewide plan, even in a season of budget cutbacks.
But the real stars will be the two youth who talk about why services matter from their perspective. After all, it's young leaders like these who remind us of why we all do this work.
I'll let you know how it goes.
Updated: March 21 2018