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61.5% of teens have abused alcohol and 46.6% have tried illicit drugs, yet only 7.6% of youth who meet the criteria for substance use disorder have received treatment.

To help combat this problem, Backpack Healthcare launched an 8-week pilot program for high school students with support from HCPSS Youth Opioid Prevention & Education Grant, and partnership with the HCPSS Department of Program Innovation & Student Well-Being.

Preliminary results from these pilot programs suggest that the program had a positive impact on the participating students, demonstrating an increase in knowledge about substance use and its risks, increased knowledge on the development of positive habits, expansion of knowledge and utilization of coping skills, as well as increased knowledge of various forms of abuse and neglect and their impacts on substance use. 

This white paper breaks down the program’s structure, the demonstrated results, and the program’s implications for future substance use treatment among Maryland teens.

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