Where drug abuse can land you

Fairfax County Public Schools and Fairfax County itself offers a host of programs targeted at diagnosing and preventing drug abuse in “at risk” youth, and providing intervention and treatment options for students who wish to quit abusing.

Counselors are a popular resource for information about drug counseling. “If a student comes to me with issues about drug or alcohol abuse, I usually refer them to the Fairfax County Alcohol and Drug Services representativ, Julia Burgos,” said counselor Linda Wheeler. “She works with the students to assess the level of abuse, and determines if parental permission is needed for an official alcohol and drug assessment,” she said.

But aside from the AHS counselor, there are several other resources for youth seeking help and treatment for drug abuse. Fairfax County sponsors several programs for youth and adults, that can assist them in the detoxification process, and helps them return to a drug-free lifestyle again.

The Alcohol and Drug Youth Services (ADYS), a program sponsored by the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board, provides several treatment options for teens that are looking for assistance with quitting drugs. The program includes an in-depth assessment of the problem, and continuing treatment options for residents of the Fairfax-Falls Church region. Most youth who complete this program have stopped alcohol and drug abuse, and have improved school performance and attendance.

County-sponsored assessment services are available in ADS’s Falls Church, South County and Reston centers. An initial screening appointment takes about one hour, and is designed to detect alcohol, drug and mental health problems. Full assessments are also available, and is used to determine the severity of abuse and the level of treatment required.

Outpatient Services for youth includes individual evaluations, and even group treatments with multiple families.

Treatment options for conditioned drug users includes Day Treatment services, which are available in Falls Church and Franconia through the Horizons and Vista day treatment programs. Through these programs, youth attend school at the ADS location in the morning, and undergo treatment through the afternoon.

Residential treatment services are also another option for conditioned drug abusers. These services are provided through the Sunrise I, Sunrise II, and the Crossroads youth therapeutic community treatment program. Sunrise I is a three to six month program for substance abusing youth. Sunrise II is a nine to twelve-month program for students who are diagnosed to have substance abuse and mental health problems. Crossroads is a similar program geared towards group and community treatment.

For students seeking help, or to get more involved with substance abuse- related issues, Fairfax County will be holding the 28th Annual Substance Abuse Week Conference will be held on Friday, October 23, 2009 at 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA. This conference will have several seminars about drug abuse risk, prevention tactics, symptoms, and intervention options. Students will also be provided with extensive information about substance abuse services provided by Fairfax County, and long-term effects of substance abuse. Please visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/csb/prevention/saaw-registration.htm, for more information about the workshops and other seminar activities.

All the programs mentioned in this article can be found online at http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/csb/ads/adservices.htm