YUMA, Ariz. - Centennial Middle School along four local middle schools were chosen for the Governor's Office's "Healthy Families – Healthy Youth," substance abuse prevention program for seventh-grade youth and their families.
The middle school is the first to receive the program in Yuma.
The program will run in all 15 counties throughout the months of August and September and will offer early education and proven best practices across the state.
"The best way to treat addiction is to get ahead of the problem and prevent it," said Governor Ducey. "Bringing families together and educating them about the realities of substance abuse is one of the best ways to do that."
The program is a back-to-school night of education for seventh-grade youth and their families funded through the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration Substance Abuse Prevention Block Grant.
"One thing is clear: we must prevent the first use," stated Debbie Moak, director of the Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith, and Family. "Substance abuse is a serious and growing problem and deserves to be treated as such. This program is one of the many steps we’re taking to let people know that they don’t have to fight addiction alone."
The program will be hosted after a regular school day as to not interfere with classroom instructional time and will provide families with age-appropriate substance abuse education and the opportunity to develop a family substance abuse prevention plan.
The event will also feature some of Centennial’s community resources on the night of the event to strengthen family, school, and community relationships throughout the school year.
Throughout the night, students and guardians will each get training about substance abuse and will talk about their plan to be a drug-free family over a provided meal.
“I’ve been here 30 years and I was amazed at the parent and students working together to form a plan for saying no,” stated one program facilitator from last year. “I felt that the material was non-threatening and blameless which gave our parents and students the freedom to carry on serious discussions."
Presentations will be in both Spanish and English.