Youth Drug Prevention Program Celebrates 30th Year

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A youth-led drug prevention program is celebrating its 30th year of providing services to students in Southeastern Ohio.

Health Recovery Services' Teen Institute, which began in Ohio in the late 1960s, provides alcohol and other drug prevention services to students in grades six through 12.

"We have a couple of programs, we have weekly or bi-weekly meetings in schools that are youth-led where we talk about prevention issues such as alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention, violence prevention, bullying prevention. But we also have an annual camp, a youth leadership academy," said Reggie Robinson, community service manager for Health Recovery Services.

The meetings take place in Athens, Hocking, Vinton and Meigs Counties.

Robinson says the demand for the program is still high, although the program has had to adjust their focus.

"The focus has changed a little bit as far as the kinds of things we're dealing with. Back when we started 30 years ago, we were dealing with alcohol and marijuana issues mostly. Today, with the explosion of prescription drugs, opiates of other kinds, our focus has changed a bit. We always have to update with the times," he said.

The program is funded through the Athens, Hocking, Vinton 317 board and the Gallia, Jackson, Meigs board of alcohol, drug addiction and mental health services.

Robinson was a guest on WOUB's Newswatch program Tuesday night.