A youth substance abuse program recently received a $33,000 grant from Foundation for Roanoke Valley
Carilion Clinic collaborated with Family Service of Roanoke Valley to establish Project Back on Track as an outpatient substance abuse counseling program aimed at youth between 12 and 17 years old. Part of the program’s goal is to reduce juvenile crime, along with preventing relapses among the teens.
The grant will allow for the effectiveness of the program to be studied, according to a news release from the foundation.
Project Back on Track began enrolling youth in the Fall of 2010 and was fully underway by January 2011, said Cheri Hartman, the grant project director for the program.
To date the program has had 25 participants, with their families also participating in the therapy, she said.
The program is a run through a partnership between Carilion’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, the city of Roanoke and Family Service of Roanoke Valley. Besides the recent foundation grant, the program is also funded by a grant from the Department of Criminal Justice Services, Hartman said.
Hartman said the program was started because of concerns about the growing use of illegal drugs among teens, and especially high school students, in the Roanoke Valley.
Thirty-one percent of Roanoke 10th and 12th graders reported that they used marijuana at least once in the past 30 days, she said citing data from a 2011 survey. The survey also found that cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstasy use also increased from 2007 to 2011, Hartman said.