Student Assistance Services News
Student Assistance Specialists (SASs) have expertise in the mental health and substance use field. They have Master’s degrees in Social Work or Counseling, and most are licensed by the Virginia Department of Health Professions as Clinical Social Workers, Professional Counselors or Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioners. As members of the Unified Mental Health Team, Student Assistance Specialists support LCPS initiatives that promote student connectedness, enhance student resilience and educate about mental health and substance use issues. We provide educational presentations for students and parents, restorative practices, individualized and group support, referral services, coordination with providers, staff development and consultation with parents and staff.
To find your school's SAS assignment, visit our website.
2021 Monitoring the Future survey results show significant declines in teen substance use
The 2021 MTF Survey results revealed significant decreases in teen use of a variety of substances, including alcohol, marijuana and vaped nicotine. This was the largest decrease ever recorded in just a one-year period. Some of the most significant reductions in past-year use were seen among 10th graders:
- 28.5% reported using alcohol in the past year in 2021, a statistically significant decrease from 40.7% in 2020.
- 17.3% reported using marijuana in the past year in 2021, compared to 28.0% in 2020.
- 19.5% reported vaping nicotine in the past year in 2021, compared to 30.7% in 2020.
Of the results, Dr. Nora Volkow, M.D., NIDA Director said, “These data are unprecedented and highlight one unexpected potential consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused seismic shifts in the day-to-day lives of adolescents. Moving forward, it will be crucial to identify the pivotal elements of this past year that contributed to decreased drug use – whether related to drug availability, family involvement, differences in peer pressure, or other factors – and harness them to inform future prevention efforts.”
For more details and survey results, visit NIDA's website.
Annual LCPS Mental Health and Wellness Virtual Conference
Each year, LCPS provides a free conference to parents, educators and community members focused on improving the health and wellness of our young people. Professionals from LCPS and the Northern Virginia community have volunteered their time to provide a variety of engaging sessions focusing on mental health and wellness.
Our own Student Assistance Specialists will be providing sessions on Teen Substance Use Trends at 9:00am and 11:00am. Attendees will learn about prevalence of common drugs of abuse, risks of using and how to identify them. The presenters will provide strategies for healthy dialogue with teens about substance use and describe educational opportunities and supports available in LCPS.
The 12:00 hour will feature a showing of Indieflix's LIKE: A documentary about the impact of social media on our lives.
All sessions will be virtual. Visit the conference scheduling page for details on this year's sessions and to register.
Saturday, January 29, 2022
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Lightridge High School
Education and Support Resources
Increase Your Knowledge
https://www.lcps.org/Page/223622 - Parent/Student Substance Use information
https://www.lcps.org/Page/201540 - Alcohol Information
https://www.lcps.org/Page/184676 - Drug Information
https://www.lcps.org/Page/201538 - Tobacco and E-Cig Information
https://easyread.drugabuse.gov/ - Easy-to-read drug facts
https://www.truthinitiative.org - Tobacco and Nicotine education, advocacy and cessation resources
https://www.drugabuse.gov/drug-topics/comorbidity/covid-19-resources - COVID-19 & Substance Use
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1054139X20303992—Stanford study on vaping increasing COVID-19 risk
https://www.dea.gov/factsheets - DEA website - drug-specific information, pill identifiers, social media trends
https://www.addictionpolicy.org/addiction-a-z— Addiction Policy Forum website—provides educational videos and articles
https://starttalkingnow.org/ - Education and tips for parents on talking to their children about substance use
Support for you as a Loved One
https://www.familiesagainstnarcotics.org/ - Resource for families
https://drugfree.org/article/online-support-community-for-parents-caregivers/ - Online Support Community for parents/caregivers
https://www.alanondistrict10.org/ - Support for family members of someone struggling with addiction—Zoom meetings
https://www.alanondistrict10.org/zoom-meetings—Support for children of parents struggling with addiction—Zoom meetings
https://al-anon.org/for-members/members-resources/mobile-app/ - Find online Alateen meetings
https://www.addictionpolicy.org/find-help—Addiction Policy Forum website for finding and navigating the treatment experience
Find a Treatment Provider
https://findtreatment.gov/ - SAMHSA treatment locator
1-800-662-HELP (4357) TTY: 1-800-487-4889
www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline - SAMSHA National Helpline
https://www.smartrecovery.org/smart-recovery-toolbox/smart-recovery-online/ - Online Recovery Community: Self-Management and Recovery Training
https://recoverydharma.org/- Recovery community based on Buddhist Principles, virtual meetings available
https://na.org/?ID=virtual_meetings—Virtual Narcotics Anonymous meetings
https://nvintergroup.org/ - Virtual Alcoholics Anonymous meetings
https://www.lcps.org/Page/228303 - LCPS listing of community treatment providers
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