Substance Abuse Services


For most middle school and high school students, the teen years pose many physical, mental and social challenges. Some teens display impulse issues, poor judgment and risk-taking behavior that leads them into trouble with law enforcement, school and the community. Teens that come under the supervision of probation are expected to complete their court ordered obligations. Sometimes, indulgence in alcohol or drugs complicates things and they need additional support.

Substance Abuse Services (SAS) is a program designed to provide assistance to teens under probation supervision. Teens may be experimenting or using alcohol or drugs, but have no previous history or treatment experience.

Substance Abuse Services:

Juvenile Recovery Specialists provide teens enrolled in SAS:

  • Community-based case management
  • Supportive contacts and interventions
  • Drug testing to ensure compliance
  • Progress reports to Superior Court and Probation
Professional Staff

Juvenile Recovery Specialists (JRS) hold certification as alcohol and drug counselors. Many hold AA or BS / BS degrees in addition to certification.

Who is Eligible?

Teens supervised by San Diego County Probation between the ages of 12 – 18 who are referred by a probation officer are eligible.

All Substance Abuse Services are provided free of charge to the teen and family and are paid under contract with the County of San Diego, Probation Department.

Client Profile

The typical Substance Abuse Services client is 16 years of age, with boys comprising approximately 80% of overall enrollees. Approximately 75% of the teens will fulfill the requirements in about 6 months. Requirements include “clean” drug tests, making probation and case manager appointments and no probation violations.  At program exit, more than 85% of teens report the program as being helpful in changing their feelings about substance abuse.