Portage County officials are in the process of developing community drug screening, treatment and intervention for at risk youth who are affected by the disease of addiction. The county in Stevens Point, Wisconsin has been awarded a more than $120,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to develop programs to help youth this article said. Portage County remains as one of five counties to receive this critical funding.
The funding will assist in training additional staff with the tools necessary for substance abuse prevention. Staff will learn how to administer screening tests as well as intervention training. A new program entitled, “Teen Intervene” will help young people who are suffering from dependency to drugs or alcohol.
Director for Health and Human Services in Wisconsin, Ray Przybelski, says that, “this is about changing the system, and then something that we can sustain moving forward and possible even model to their counties moving forward.”
Juvenile Justice Services Supervisor Jodi Petersen said that she receives more than 165 delinquent children annually and more than 40 to 50 percent of these youth struggle with addiction to drugs or alcohol. Przybelski says that these youth are also struggling with co-occurring disorders which include mental health issues as well. He believes that this grant will allow the county to assist more youth in the prevention of substance use through early screening. “As we bring kids in we screen them, if we can do a better job of identifying that up front, then I think we’ll have a better chance of hopefully intervening or interceding with that issue so it doesn’t have effects on other parts of their lives.”
The work that Wisconsin county is doing to combat the disease of addiction will continue to address the population in need.
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