Substance Use and Mental Health Program at CRLS

Substance Use and Mental Health Program at CRLS
Posted on 04/13/2018
We understand that addiction is a medical condition. Young people face greater vulnerability to damage caused by addictive substances like alcohol, drugs, or inhalants. CRLS is working with CHA Cambridge Teen Health Center to offer early intervention and treatment programs for youth.

In the fall of 2017, CHA launched a substance use counseling and treatment initiative. Led by David Stewart, PhD, a child and adolescent psychologist and CHA’s Chief of Psychology, the program lets CHA providers and school personnel refer students directly to the school-based center, meeting students where they are and reducing barriers to care. Dr. Stewart spent the past 25 years studying the clinical course of adolescent substance use disorders and comorbid mental health conditions.

Easy Access for Students
“While screening and prevention are common for substance use, CHA’s unique approach allows more easier access, assessment and treatment in the school setting”, says Dr. Stewart. “With few programs available for young people, CHA provides an integrated approach and a direct channel for students to be seen during the school day in a safe and confidential environment.”

CHA uses a standardized intervention protocol, including counseling and an eight-week treatment program. CHA's presence in the schools signals a critical focus on early intervention in the midst of the national opioid crisis. CHA also partners with CRLS to inform other school drug and alcohol educational efforts.

When and How?
Students must be actively enrolled at any high school – not just CRLS. The program runs at Cambridge Rindge and Latin on Thursdays, 9AM – 1PM.

If you know someone who can benefit from substance use counseling or if they just want to get more information, please contact the CHA Cambridge Teen Health Center at 617.665.1548.