Youth who receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and especially young adults of transition age, should be involved in planning for life after high school as early as possible and no later than age 16. Transition services should stem from the individual youth’s needs and strengths, ensuring that planning takes into account his or her interests, preferences, and desires for the future.
Get Smart About Drugs
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration hosts the Get Smart About Drugs website for parents, educators, and caregivers. The website features news, headlines, trending topics, and videos about youth and drugs. Users can also search the database for specific drug information. Publications and resources are available in both English and Spanish. Find links to Campus Drug Prevention, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and Red Ribbon Week.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Treatment Facility Locator
This tool helps you locate the drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs nearest to you. This tool lists private and public facilities that are licensed, certified, or otherwise approved for inclusion by their state substance abuse agency. It also lists treatment facilities that are administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Indian Health Service, and the Department of Defense.
National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP)
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration supports NREPP, a searchable online registry of more than 200 interventions supporting mental health promotion, substance abuse prevention, and mental health and substance abuse treatment. NREPP connects members of the public to intervention developers so they can learn how to implement these approaches in their communities.
Above the Influence
The Above the Influence campaign includes a website, commercials, and print advertisements created for the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, a program of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The goal is to help teens stand up to negative influences or pressures—such as the pressure to use drugs, pills, and alcohol—so that they will be better prepared to face them. The Above the Influence website has a resources page that provides information on drugs and how to help a friend or family member, resources for immediate help, and organizations that provide counseling and treatment.
Research links early leadership with increased self-efficacy and suggests that leadership can help youth to develop decision making and interpersonal skills that support successes in the workforce and adulthood. In addition, young leaders tend to be more involved in their communities, and have lower dropout rates than their peers. Youth leaders also show considerable benefits for their communities, providing valuable insight into the needs and interests of young people
Statistics reflecting the number of youth suffering from mental health, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders highlight the necessity for schools, families, support staff, and communities to work together to develop targeted, coordinated, and comprehensive transition plans for young people with a history of mental health needs and/or substance abuse.
Nearly 30,000 youth aged out of foster care in Fiscal Year 2009, which represents nine percent of the young people involved in the foster care system that year. This transition can be challenging for youth, especially youth who have grown up in the child welfare system.
Research has demonstrated that as many as one in five children/youth have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Read about how coordination between public service agencies can improve treatment for these youth.
Civic engagement has the potential to empower young adults, increase their self-determination, and give them the skills and self-confidence they need to enter the workforce. Read about one youth’s experience in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).