Arlington County (Virginia) students who have experienced school-related consequences due to illegal substance and/or alcohol use now have a place to go for education and intervention. The Second Chance Program works with Arlington Public Schools, Arlington Juvenile Services, and Domestic Relations Court to identify and refer participants who could benefit from prevention assistance. As a diversion program, eligible students may participate, upon approval, in the program in lieu of school suspension or juvenile court involvement, receiving a 3-day early intervention curriculum, which includes topics such as the physical, emotional, and social impact of drugs and alcohol, as well as the development of an action plan to avoid further use. Because social support is an integral facet of recovery, the students’ parents or guardians are also required to attend special meetings. Lastly, a booster session is offered six weeks after the participants and parents or guardians complete the program, where action plans are reviewed, any behavioral or emotional changes are identified and evaluated, and strategies to overcome any lasting barriers are discussed. This program was funded by a generous grant from the Century Council and by the Arlington County Department of Human Services.
For more information on the Second Chance Program, contact Jerome Bumanglag, MA, NCC, Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 1 888 671 9392.