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Broome Tioga BOCES Offering New Program for Students Struggling With Substance Abuse

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Broome Tioga BOCES cut the ribbon on their new "Compass Academy" on Friday alongside local elected leaders and community outreach organizations.

The goal of the program is to offer an alternative style of education to students whose academic potential may be in jeopardy due to substance abuse.

Mary Kay Roland, Johnson City Superintendent said, “I think the need just in the community was pretty evident that it wasn't just adults struggling with addiction issues we have high school students struggling with addiction issues”.

Carmela Pirich, Executive Director of Addiction Center of Broome County said, "We see young adults come into treatment… 19, 20, early 20’s they're injecting substances ---they've not been able to complete school or even work".

School Personnel are trained to screen candidates who might benefit from the program and then ACBC conducts a clinical assessment.

Students within the program will have an extended school day to help these students meet graduation requirements while also engaging in treatment and recovery services.

Pirich says, “After their school day ends they have clinical services, therapy, individual therapy, art therapy, we provide dinner and have peer support services and are driven home by peer staff”.

This program is the first of its kind in New York State and one of the first Nationwide.