Substance Abuse Program Outreach and Prevention Services

Substance Abuse Outreach and Prevention activities are funded by a mandatory 20% set-aside of the county’s share of the Federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant funds, as well as a small allotment of funds from the Friday Night Live Partnership. The County’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) prevention plan was originally written in 2007 and it is updated annually. 
BHS-SAP (Substance Abuse Prevention) staff also participate in the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) a coalition that includes Public Health Tobacco Prevention, Behavioral Health, Mental Health, First 5 Calaveras, CCOE, Community Representatives, The Resource Connection, District Attorney's Office, and interested members of the public.

For more information contact: Michael Magana, Calaveras County Public Health Services at (209) 754-6460
The Substance Abuse Program has collaborated with the Sheriff’s Department to host “Drop the Drugs” events to collect unused prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and illicit drugs. These events were made possible by grant funds from the DEA to the Sheriff’s Department. The first event was held in September, 2011. Since that time, the DEA has discontinued funding these events, however a permanent drug drop box has been established in the Sheriff’s business office reception area.

Drop the Drugs Flyer

Outreach Services

Outreach events are meant to provide education on substance use and addiction issues to the general population of the county. Past events include:

  • Multimedia presentations in partnership with the Sheriff’s department
  • Speakers at community or service organization meetings
  • Participation in prevention-related book signing events
  • Calaveras Youth Mentoring Program mentor trainings

These events are an opportunity for dialogue between community members and county staff, and we strive to make these presentations culturally relevant to the communities and organizations served.

If you belong to an organization that would like to host an event, please contact us at (209) 754-6555.

In addition, when school is out the Prevention counselor spends time at locations in the community where youth gather to provide outreach and engagement, supportive listening, informal education and screening, and to make referrals for identified service needs.

Informal screenings to help a person determine if they have a problem with substance use can occur at school sites, in the community, at Probation if requested, and at the Substance Abuse Program clinic by appointment. The counselor will gather information on current and past substance use, substance knowledge, problem perception, and risk and protective factors.

Prevention Services

Prevention services targeting youth include:

  • Friday Night Live
  • Club Live
  • Friday Night Live Mentoring
  • School “Projects”

Friday Night Live (FNL) and Club Live (CL)
FNL and CL are youth development programs designed for and run by high school and junior high students on campus in conjunction with adult partners from Public Health and school staff. Students self-select to participate in the program and may drop out any time.  Friday Night Live and Club Live reach a segment of the youth population who may exert influence on their peers, their school environment, and the community.


Friday Night Live Mentoring (FNLM)
FNLM is a peer-to-peer mentoring program facilitated by a staff member from the Calaveras County Youth Mentoring Program and a high school staff advisor. This is a youth development program in which high school students use a curriculum that is updated each year by the youth mentors in conjunction with the facilitator and advisor to discuss a variety of topics with their junior high school (8th grade) protégés. Students self-select to participate in the program and may drop out any time. Friday Night Live Mentoring reaches a segment of the youth population who may exert influence on their peers, the school environment and the community. These programs appear to be successful in strengthening protective factors in participants and their school communities.


School “Projects”
The school-based “Projects” student assistance programs are designed to help youth avoid use of alcohol and other drugs, and also to help students find resources to address other concerns that they may express to the counselor. This program was developed based on the strategy of developing connectedness, as outlined in the Add Health study “Connections That Make a Difference in the Lives of Youth.” A Substance Abuse Program counselor is scheduled to be on campus at a consistent day and time each week to become a familiar part of the school environment. This strategy has been effective at increasing students’ use of the support available by reducing barriers to student trust and disclosure. The counselor also engages in classroom discussions and receives referrals from school staff. When indicated, the counselor refers students for counseling, medical, or other services in coordination with school staff.  

Having a counselor present on campus on a regular schedule allows students to speak with someone they have observed, assessed, and developed a connection with in their own time and on their own terms. The counselor has developed a connection with many students during the past several school years and he maintains ongoing contact with students as they transition from junior high to high school. Over the years, a number of students have reported that they have achieved abstinence from or significant decreases in their use of alcohol or other drugs as a result of their interaction with the counselor.

Schools participating in the “Projects” series are: Calaveras High School, Toyon Middle School, Bret Harte High School, Mark Twain Elementary (K-8), Vallecito Alternative High School and Goldstrike High School. Vallecito High School and Goldstrike High School are the alternative education school sites for Bret Harte Unified High School District and Calaveras Unified.  

Life Skills 101
The Life Skills 101 is an on-campus program that serves youth who have been referred due to substance-related discipline issues at school. This program consists of participation in four to six groups facilitated by a substance abuse counselor and a school counselor or school psychologist. It has been provided at both Bret Harte High School and at Calaveras High School.