Law Enforcement & Corrections
The Colorado Division of Youth Services (DYS) operates 10 secure juvenile facilities for youth that are detained or committed. Often youth are admitted from the community or with “medical clearance” into a secure setting when they are currently intoxicated and experiencing withdrawal. This was identified as a high-risk scenario for security staff, medical response, and youth. Without knowledge of what substance or combination of substances a youth has taken, DYS staff are unable to provide a therapeutic response to various scenarios. Security staff may be at risk of housing a youth who actually needs medical care and/or ongoing observation without having knowledge of current intoxication and/or withdrawal needs. This may place youth at risk of overdose, asphyxiation, or suicide.
Therefore, in 2017 the Colorado Division of Youth Services decided to institute a comprehensive drug and alcohol screening protocol for all youth to determine a therapeutic response. Upon admission in every facility, youth are given an oral swab to detect 12 separate substances (e.g., alcohol, opiates, stimulants) to identify current intoxication and potential withdrawal risks. Security staff performs the majority of the tests with medical staff available for assistance. Results are given to health care staff to address results with a short-term health care response plan. Results of the screening are released to additional persons only with the expressed written consent of the youth or per a court order. The screening is not considered forensic testing.
This session is accredited for the following accreditation types: CME, CNE, CPE, APA, AAFP, AAHCPAD*, NAADAC*, ASWB,* GA Bar, GA POST.
*State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit.