Jackson Teens Can Treat Substance Abuse, Learn to Set Goals in Jackson | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Jackson Teens Can Treat Substance Abuse, Learn to Set Goals in Jackson

Mississippi Children's Home Services has launched an adolescent substance-abuse program for young people 12 to 17 years of age in the Jackson metro area. Photo courtesy Mississippi Children's Home Services

Mississippi Children's Home Services has launched an adolescent substance-abuse program for young people 12 to 17 years of age in the Jackson metro area. Photo courtesy Mississippi Children's Home Services

— Mississippi Children's Home Services has launched a substance-abuse program for young people age 12 to 17 in the Jackson metro area. The 14-week program uses evidence-based therapy called the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach, which uses helps teenagers make and meet goals and identify motivators stronger than using substances.

The program, which includes family and individual counseling, takes up to 10 youth per session and a minimum of three to run.

Kym Williams, director of public relations at MCHS, told the Jackson Free Press that MCHS is working with the juvenile courts and drug courts to get referrals.

The program will take referrals from anyone, however, from pediatricians to parents to youth ministers. She said the program will focus on services for young people in the Jackson metro area.

"Drugs and alcohol are stealing our kids away from us every day," Dr. John Damon, CEO of Mississippi Children's Home Services, said in a press release. "Substance abuse disorder is not a disease that only affects certain demographics, it runs rampant across all racial, gender, geographic, socioeconomic and age groups. This disease can rob people of their talents, their dreams and even their lives—we aim to give youth the help they need before this nightmare becomes their reality."

Services through the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program are free due to a cooperative grant from the Mississippi Department of Mental Health and federal funds through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In May 2017, this will change, and services will be offered through private insurance and Medicaid funds, on a sliding scale so services will be accessible to everyone, a press release from MCHS says.

The program will run out of the MCHS Behavioral Health Clinic on Lakeland Drive in Jackson.

For more information about the program or to make a referral, call 1-800-388-6247.

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