Pilot Program Promotes Strategies to Prevent Substance Misuse for Teens

Adolescence can be a stressful and difficult time for teenagers, but it is also a critical high-risk period for the initiation of substance use. Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown that teens with substance use disorders experience higher rates of physical and mental illnesses and diminished overall health and well-being. 

Fortunately, the CDC Foundation is working with CDC and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation on a pilot program focused on integrating prevention strategies to address both substance use and sexual risk among youth in high-risk rural communities. In a new video released today, the CDC Foundation highlights successes from the Teens Linked to Care (TLC) program through its implementation in three pilot sites in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. 

The goal of the TLC program is to develop a framework for schools that can be replicated to address human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), pregnancy and high-risk substance use among youth through health education and ensuring safe and supportive school environments.

We are grateful to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation for their support of this important pilot effort, and we hope other communities are able to use the TLC program to implement prevention strategies that will help teens and youth prevent risky behaviors.

Turquoise Sidibe, MPH, is the emergency response director for the CDC Foundation.