Prevention, early intervention resources equip adolescents to live substance-free lives

By the time students graduate from high school, nearly half have used substances, and two million adolescents have used drugs in the past month. While these numbers certainly are a concern, prevention and early intervention services can effectively help teens live their best lives.

In October, National Substance Abuse Prevention Month and Red Ribbon week (October 23-31) are reminders that education, positive peer and adult influences, and healthy coping skills can make a lifelong difference at an early age.

“We recognize the importance of building a support system around young individuals who may develop behavioral health concerns while their brain is still maturing,” said Rosecrance Regional President Carlene Cardosi, M.S.W., LCSW. “When youth receive the assurance they need, they are much more likely to get help when they need it. The sooner a youth receives assistance, the more likely it is that recovery will last.”

Rosecrance prevention staff in Illinois and Iowa serve thousands of youth each year with age-appropriate, evidence-based programming that emphasizes life skills and the benefits of a drug-free life. This includes a specialized curriculum about vaping. In addition, prevention staff provide community education classes and work with area coalitions to provide community-based strategies to keep youth healthy. Rosecrance professionals are also available in schools to assist with behavioral health needs.

If a teen in your life might need help with mental health or substance use, please contact the Rosecrance Access team at 888.928.5278.