Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $625,000)
The overarching goal of Lazarus Youth Community Support Services (LYCSS) is to reduce substance use disorder (SUD) and opioid use disorders (OUD) among youth and improve overall wellness, harm reduction knowledge, and resiliency. Youth that have been exposed to substance and/or opioid use from parents or otherwise are at higher risk of developing an SUD in the future. Project Lazarus is prospecting to implement and sustain LYCSS in Wilkes County, NC which will be expanded to all Wilkes County Schools. Although there are some mentoring services in Wilkes County, LYCSS will specifically mentor youth that have an existing SUD or OUD or are at risk of using substances. Primary activities that will be implemented through the program include training for the Community Resiliency Model and hiring essential personnel who have familiarity with Wilkes County or have experience working with youth. Additionally, friend-to-friend, mentor-to-youth, and group activities will take place which includes community-minded projects and instructional education. Assessments will be conducted for pre- and post- enrollment. A multi-sectoral partnership will be involved to ensure that the participants receive referrals, treatments, and essential services that they may need. Partners of LYCSS will have a collective goal of decreasing youth SUD rates and improving overall health and outlook. As a result of accomplishing these implementation activities, drug use rates /or those that are justice involved will be reduced through providing supportive services to empower youth. Products and deliverables will primarily be in the form of data abstraction and summarization of the outcome measures that will be collected through REDCap and the mentoring software used.