Teen substance-abuse program expanding

Reclaiming Futures
Reclaiming Futures

Reclaiming Futures, a national initiative that works with youths in the juvenile-justice system to help them address problems with drugs and alcohol, is expanding in North Carolina.

The expansion will add four new communities to six in which the program has been piloted for three years with funding from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust in Winston-Salem and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in New Jersey.

The expansion will be funded over two years with an additional $710,000 from the Reynolds Trust, plus $380,000 from The Duke Endowment in Charlotte and $199,777 in state funding from the Governor’s Crime Commission.

The pilot programs have provided screening for substance abuse and mental-health problems for over 6,800 youths in Cumberland, Forsyth, Guilford, Orange and Chatham, Rowan, and Iredell, Surry and Yadkin counties.

Local officials in each of those communities work together to develop a program that screens and assesses youths referred by the juvenile-justice system, designs a plan of care for them, tracks their progress, and works to help them return to the community.

Sites for the expanded effort have not been identified.

Reclaiming Futures, based in Portland, Ore., is an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and operates in a total of 29 sites in 17 states.

Susan Richardson, former senior program officer in the health-care division of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, is national executive director of Reclaiming Futures.

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