Substance Abuse Academies - SAY IT

The purpose of SAY IT!  is to organize, develop and support a community based team of youth-involved professionals to identify, intervene and assist children, adolescents and families at risk of or affected by substance abuse. Members of the team may include persons working in mental health agencies, healthcare settings, faith communities, criminal justice systems, social service organizations, youth centers, teachers, coaches and school counselors and others in the community who encounter adolescents at risk or substance involved.

Substance use and abuse problems among youth are prevalent and serious. Few adolescents who need services receive them. Prevention, early identification and intervention are the best ways to address the problem.  Many of the  individuals that work with youth in the community are in a position to identify, intervene or assist those at risk or substance involved but do not often know how best to do so.  SAY IT! provides an opportunity for these individuals to learn and work together to improve efforts for addressing the problem of adolescent substance use and abuse within their local community.

SAY-IT! recognizes the science-informed perspective that any amount of substance use by adolescents is potentially harmful and should be discouraged. Early identification and intervention has the greatest impact on preventing the problem and the use of evidence based prevention treatment models will produce the best outcomes for preventing and treating adolescent substance abuse.

12 – 15 members initially
Attend 15 hour training session
Develop personal/organization change plan
Participate in monthly 1.5 hour team meetings
Team members will receive support, share experiences, access ongoing training and technical assistance, and become knowledgeable about local resources.

There are several primary objectives - become knowledgeable about the problem of youth substance use and abuse learn the best ways to address it, serve as local “in house” resources and advocates; to work collaboratively with existing community resources; and to assist with the development and promotion of the local system of care.

The SAY-IT! Academy ‘s expected outcomes include: raising community awareness; risk reduction through prevention, early identification, intervention and engagement of substance involved youth; increase service penetration rates; improve the quality of service delivery and greater community commitment to addressing the problem using science based guidelines.

Community roll out and distribution of applications
Review applications and make selection: 12-15 applicants invited to participate
Individual meetings with team members
Training of team members
Monthly meetings and ongoing training

TRAINING CURRICULUM (based on a curriculum of 5 half-days)
Day I (3 hours)
Review project goals
Overview of the problem
Science based perspectives
Day II (3 hours)
Adolescent brain development
Risk and resilience factors
Day III (3 hours)
Identification and intervention strategies
Motivational Interviewing
Day IV (3 hours)
Treatment best practices and recovery supports
Review of local resources
Day V (3 hours)
Prevention models
Team discussion and future planning session
Wrap up

The Continuation Plan is critical for success. Components include:
Recruit new team members and repeat training
Regular follow up meetings
Periodic update trainings for Academy members
Ongoing evaluation of Academy outcomes
Disseminate findings

Contact us for more information on instituting the SAY-IT! Academy program in your area.