In California, more than one in five youth misused opioid pain relievers at least once by the 11th grade.1 Some youth are at higher risk of substance use disorders (SUDs), such as youth experiencing homelessness, trauma, or stigma/discrimination/bias (e.g., youth of color, LGBTQI2SA, youth exiting foster care, documented/undocumented immigrants, justice-involved youth. 2
YOR California aims to prevent opioid overdose-related deaths through the provision of a comprehensive range of youth-specific prevention, intervention, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), and other treatment and recovery activities for youth at high risk of overdose. These services include and target youth with poly-substance use, foster care, or juvenile justice involvement histories, as well as those in communities with high overdose rates.
The YOR California team recognizes that barriers and silos often prevent the comprehensive interventions youth require and the range of settings which can, and should, serve as access points for youth. Therefore, YOR California also focuses on the need for positive youth development, age-appropriate and targeted engagement, and the need to adapt adult interventions to meet the needs of youth to establish an accessible age-appropriate continuum of services.
Outreach and engagement activities to successfully reach youth and their families consider the locations youth congregate, their interests, needs and resources, and ways of communicating.
At the forefront of improving access to medications, California has focused and advanced many interventions addressing the opioid epidemic through its first MAT Expansion Project (1.0), funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) State Targeted Response (STR) grant, as well as through the MAT Expansion Project 2.0, funded by SAMHSA’s 2018 State Opioid Response (SOR) grant. For additional information, see the California MAT Expansion Project Overview.
Addiction Free CA – a California Medication-Assistance Treatment (MAT) Expansion website providing information about the full ranges of projects being implemented as part of the California Department of Health Care Services MAT 2.0 Project.
California Opioid Safety Network – a community of local coalitions working across California to share strategies and best practices toward the shared goal of reducing opioid addiction and deaths
A Joint Effort by the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions and Advocates for Human Potential, Inc. and funded by the California Department of Health Care Services Community Services Division
1 Austin, G., Hanson, T., Polik, J., & Zheng, C. (2016). School climate, substance sse, and student wellbeing in California, 2013–2015: Results of the fifteenth biennial statewide survey. Retrieved from https://calschls.org/docs/biennial_state_1315.pdf2 Winters, K. C., Botzet, A. M., Stinchfield, R., Gonzales-Castaneda, R., Finch, A. J., Piehler, T. F., … & Hemze, A. (2018). Adolescent substance abuse treatment: A review of evidence-based research. In Leukefeld, C. G., & Gullotta, T. P. (Eds.), Adolescent Substance Abuse (pp. 141–171). New York: Springer.