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Mangano Announces “Teen Intervene” Training Program For Health Professionals

Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano today announced that, in light of the opioid abuse epidemic, Nassau County will be offering behavioral health professionals and school officials a full-day training workshop in an evidenced based counseling program known as Teen Intervene, on Friday, February 10th, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., at the Nassau County Department of Social Services, located at 60 Charles Lindbergh Boulevard in Uniondale.

“This is one of a multi-pronged approach to address the problems associated with drug abuse. We will continue to make a difference, in this instance, by training professionals to work with our youngsters to thwart the progression of drug use to abuse, and to avert the devastating consequences of addiction,” said County Executive Mangano. “Through education, awareness and prevention, we will win this war.”

Through Teen Intervene, behavioral health professionals in Nassau County will be trained to work with young people who are abusing substances in the mid-moderate range but are not yet dependent. Felicia Schneberg, the educator for the Nassau County Office of Mental Health, Chemical Dependency and Developmental Disabilities Services, is a certified OASAS trainer, and she will lead the full-day training workshop.

The Teen Intervene approach will enable practitioners to provide an evidence-based, brief intervention that takes place over three one-hour-long sessions. Parents are included in this process as studies have shown that the program is most effective when coupled with parent or guardian involvement, and a strong at-home support system.

The curriculum was written by Dr. Ken Winters, a researcher at the University of Minnesota, and Ms. Schneberg noted that the program focuses on harm reduction, in the short term, with abstinence as a long term goal. The Teen Intervene program does not expect that all patients will stop cold turkey, and it recognizes all of their achievements, both large and small, on the road to help and recovery. Along these lines, the program emphasizes finding positive alternative that will take the focus away from substance abuse. It also uses motivational enhancement techniques which allows for a less confrontational therapeutic environment, and greater participation by the youngster in the treatment process.