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Pinpointing substance abuse.

Educators may attribute adolescent mood swings and behavior changes to hormones or stress, but sometimes the problem is substance abuse.

School counselors and educators in 55 New Jersey high schools will receive training in a state-of-the-art substance abuse assessment tool to help them better identify abuse among students. The new program expands the state's school-based youth services program with an additional $1.2 million for training, school-based counseling and parenting workshops. It's designed to give educators "a better handle on addiction and prevention in schools," explains Ed Rogan, spokesman for the New Jersey Department of Human Services.

Last fall, state addiction services staff received training to administer the Comprehensive Addiction Severity Index Adolescent to identify potential substance abuse. In January, staff began teaching educators and social service agencies in participating schools to use the tool.

"We'll measure success by the number of participants in each training session and by evaluating outcomes among students," says Rogan.

The program is expected to reduce drug use, but Rogan concedes that it could seem like drug use is rising as educators learn to better report substance abuse problems.
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Author:Fratt, Lisa
Publication:District Administration
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2006
Words:184
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