Diversion Drug Facts
Youth & Family Counseling Services
One of the many facets of community hub Orland Township is Youth and Family Counseling Services. It is a classic community counseling department and encompasses Outreach, Prevention and Intervention. There is also a youth group through which young people ages 12-17 who have committed to being drug and alcohol free can obtain their 24 community service hours for the high school commitment, as well as those required by the parochial schools.
Juvenile Alternative Diversion Program
An important resource for the community, due to the intergovernmental agreement and collaborative relationship between Orland Township Supervisor Paul O’Grady and Orland Police Chief Tim McCarthy is the Juvenile Alternative Diversion Program, and the Orland Township youth groups designed as consequences to provide an alternative to sentencing first time adolescent offenders in the Orland Park Municipal Court. As a consequence of an infraction, the adolescent offenders may be referred to one of the Orland Township groups in an attempt to teach adolescents ways to make better choices.
Drug Facts 101
Drug Facts 101, one of the groups, educates parents and teens on the effects and consequences of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. The participants are screened by a counselor to determine their level of use of drugs and alcohol. If it is deemed the participant is experimenting with substances, this may be an appropriate referral for Drug Facts 101. When the screening establishes more regular use, the adolescent will be referred for an assessment by a Certified Addictions Counselor. Some of the agencies we refer to are Rosecrance, Presence Behavioral Health, and South Suburban Council on Alcoholism.
Drug Facts 101 is a 5-hour group, which meets for 4 weeks at Orland Township. The curriculum for the group consists of a Drug Facts Packet which provides information about drugs and alcohol and the impact on the body. In addition, there is a discussion about the addiction process. The participants view a video about addiction and the human brain. As a follow up, they also view a video about a man’s firsthand experience with addiction and recovery. They also participate in activities which enable them to learn coping skills and relaxation techniques. During the last week, the parents meet with the facilitators to discuss any recommendations deemed necessary.
Network of Agencies
Along with Drug Facts 101, we network with agencies, such as Rosecrance, to educate the public about drug and alcohol use/abuse with presentations at Orland Township. These agencies provide a wealth of information to the community in regards to trends, interventions, and services available.
In the past year Orland Township Youth & Family Counseling Services has served as a group referral source for nearly 250 young first time offenders. Both having true dedication and diligence to the community and its’ young people, Supervisor Paul O’Grady in conjunction with Chief Tim McCarthy have together created this opportunity for our young people to reexamine their intentions so as to avoid becoming a statistic within the Circuit Court System.