Drug Prevention and Other Support Services
Drug Abuse Prevention
Because of the increased evidence of drug abuse by America's young people, there is a need in Shelby County for drug education and awareness. This drug awareness and education includes the scope of the problem as well as the at-risk populations involved. Targets for this awareness and education are educators, legal and law enforcement officials, and the general community. Shelby County is not an isolated entity. Because the county is increasing in population to a greater degree than any other Alabama county and its citizens are making an adjustment from a basically rural to a cosmopolitan community, the pressures and stresses on the population of this county are even greater, thus making its citizens even more vulnerable to the drug abuse problem. Shelby County is at the crossroads of I-65, north and south, and I-459 which links I-59 and I-20, east and west. Drug transporting in any direction could go through Shelby County. School surveys conducted during past years show a high degree of alcohol/drug use and experimentation in grades 7-12.
We believe that the overall success of our prevention, violence, and intervention program has been centered on professional development workshops on peer helping, violence, at-risk behavior, prevention, intervention, and developing a drug free environment for students. Shelby County has a mandatory drug Screening Policy for all athletes, band, and cheerleaders, which helps students to say no to drugs and alcohol. The 2002 Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Fund is allocated for use by local schools.
Shelby County Schools intends to distribute Title IV Funds for safe and drug free schools. If you have any questions about these funds please call Student Services at 682-7046.
Family & Youth Intervention
The purpose of the Family and Youth Intervention Program is to provide comprehensive, structured programming for Seriously Emotionally Disturbed youth and their families in Shelby County. The program utilizes goal oriented treatment services directed toward eliminating or reducing psychiatric symptomatology and dysfunction resulting from a Serious Emotional Disorder. A wide range of therapeutic interventions are provided with the overall objective designed to improve the ability of the participant and his/her family to function as normally as possible in their regular home, school, and community setting.
FYI is located in Alabaster at the Linda Nolan Learning Center. Hours of operation are from 1:00p.m. to 5:00p.m Mon.-Fri. Children ages 8-13 residing in Shelby County are eligible to receive services. Referrals may be received from teachers, counselors, probation officers, social workers, families, etc.. Services offered are: Children's Day Treatment Program, therapeutic activities, individual and group psychotherapy, family psychotherapy, family support and education, psychiatric assessment and treatment, crisis intervention services, on-going intervention services with teachers, and case management services.
Contact Sonya Shaneyfelt at (205) 621-6186
The Peer Helpers program is well established in the middle and high schools and provides in-depth training for students and teacher sponsors. Because of our efforts, we find that fewer students participate in drug abuse and other at-risk activities than are reported from national and state statistics.
Mediation is a structured process in which disputants have a chance to sit face-to-face and talk, uninterrupted, so that each view of the dispute is heard. Through skillful listening, questioning, and creative problem-solving, trained Peer mediators facilitate the process by helping the disputants to: identify a conflict and its underlying issues, consider several options and consequences, and agree upon a solution that benefits both parties.
At the heart of mediation are the principles of mutual respect, cooperation, and understanding. As these principles are applied, both the mediators an the disputants experience personal growth and higher self-esteem resulting from working out problems in a positive and empowering way.
Peer Mediation programs are having a positive impact on three crucial issues which are especially important: reducing violence, reducing substance abuse, and reducing the dropout rate.