Anne Arundel County STAR Program to help Adolescents with Substance Use Disorder
Screening Teens to Access Recovery, also known as the STAR Program, will allow high school students in Anne Arundel county suspected of substance abuse, to connect with licensed therapists from the Department of Health via tele-sessions. The program is the newest effort to combat drug addiction among adolescents in Anne Arundel County.
The STAR Program will allow students to be screened via tele-session by a licensed therapist. Based on the results, the therapist and the student can continue to work together and determine the appropriate next steps for treatment.
School officials have been keeping track of students who might be abusing drugs. In the past year it was estimated that 327 students were under the influence of some substance, presumably marijuana, while in school.
In the county’s 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment, it was documented that students as young as 11 years old are beginning to use marijuana recreationally. National data collected by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration also suggests more young people are turning to prescription drugs, like opioids.
Experts in Anne Arundel County believe that drug and alcohol misuse is one of the main contributing factors to suicidal ideations and attempts. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 24 in Anne Arundel County.
The introduction of the STAR Program in Anne Arundel County high schools is coming at a pivotal moment. The county continues to fight the opioid crisis and hopes that this will help decrease the number of opioid overdose deaths, which is highest for people 18 to 24.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse, help is always available, and treatment is the best option to begin your path to wellness.