Areas of Focus

Life Skills Initiative

Family and Life Skills

Adolescent substance misuse is one of the largest and costliest preventable public health issues in the United States.

Total costs to federal, state and local governments of substance misuse is estimated to cost the nation more than $600 billion per year. Add to this the further impact that the use of drugs and alcohol is having on academic success and retention in a nation where currently 30 percent of high school students are not graduating.

Most substance use or co-occurring disorders are considered chronic. That is, once an adolescent is facing these problems, they will not go away on their own. Suspending or dropping out of traditional school systems becomes a common occurrence for the substance use disorder population. Students drop out or have limited academic success for a variety of reasons. We are looking to play an active role in two of the leading reasons – the need for basic life skills and the call for an evolved educational system that recognizes the importance of intervention, prevention and recovery support services.

Our efforts are predominately focused on the gap between secondary and post-secondary education, where students in recovery are most vulnerable to the “failure to launch” phenomenon – as the strategies and supports that worked in high school when protected at home are not adequate to the new demands that independent living and advanced learning can place on young adults.

We are initiating studies designed to identify how best to define and deliver needed life skills to transitioning young adults in recovery. It is expected that these initiatives will require significant outreach and coalition building. We stand ready to be a major contributor in helping those students just identifying their addiction to successfully sustain recovery and find their life’s path.