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STARS Expands Substance Use and Abuse Services, by Rodger Dinwiddie, STARS Executive Director


I am very pleased to announce as of July 1, students, families and schools across the Middle Tennessee area will see expanded services with the adoption of several programs to address substance use and abuse by adolescents.

Formerly under the direction of the Alcohol and Drug Council of Middle Tennessee, STARS has adopted the Youth Overcoming Drug Abuse (YODA), Recovery Support Services and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Prevention Services.

STARS has been providing support to young people and families impacted by substance abuse for the last 27 years. We are thrilled to deepen our commitment to the prevention and intervention of substance abuse within our schools and the community. The adoption of these programs complements the mission of STARS to help reduce barriers to learning including substance use and violence.

The Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program assists young people who do not have access to appropriate care for their substance abuse problems. The Addiction Recovery Program provides individual and group counseling with case management focusing on substance abuse and will continue in a modified format focusing on adolescents up to the age of 22 and young families who are appropriate for a Strengthening Families (SFP) or Incredible Years Program, both existing programs of STARS.

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Prevention Program is an extremely important child and adolescent program due to the high correlation of substance abuse in families impacted by this particular impairment. The scope of services provided through the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Prevention Program range from family work to in-school drug and alcohol prevention as well as after-school programs and camps with post-secondary education support.

Each of these programs has provided young people and their families with important help in both the prevention of substance abuse as well as more intense care for those already harmfully involved. These programs have proved invaluable to many and STARS is excited to be able to provide these essential services to our community.

For an informal discussion with new program leaders, visit our YouTube page at