Updates from Impact Spartanburg

This week’s blog is written by Taylor Dockter, DFC Coordinator with The Forrester Center for Behavioral Health

The Forrester Center for Behavioral Health’s coalition, Impact Spartanburg, has received five additional years of funding and has added a new focus area to their project.

This fall, The Forrester Center for Behavioral Health was awarded an additional five years of our current Drug Free Communities (DFC) funding through SAMSHA. This grant allows our coalition, Impact Spartanburg, to implement comprehensive strategies to address adolescent substance use, specifically alcohol and tobacco. When the new Federal Fiscal year begins on October 1, the coalition will add marijuana as a third substance of focus. Marijuana contains nearly 100 different cannabinoids, one of which is THC. THC is responsible for the hallucinogenic effects or “high” produced by consuming marijuana. For the past several decades the levels of THC in marijuana averaged around 4-5%, which is much lower than today’s average of 15-20%. Marijuana “concentrates” which is essentially concentrated THC can consist of more than 80% THC. Research on the harmful effects of THC on the developing brain showed negative consequences at just 4% THC. It will take researchers a generation to understand the full consequences of our teens consuming high potency THC. Impact Spartanburg believes every teen should have an opportunity to enter adulthood without experiencing the harmful direct and indirect effects of substance use. To accomplish this goal, the coalition uses an array of evidence-based strategies to help teens make informed decisions. To effectively execute our plan, we work closely in partnership with our youth coalition, the Youth Advisory Board (YAB).

The YAB is a teen leadership group at The Forrester Center for Behavioral Health. This group is open to high school students in Spartanburg County who are drug-free and passionate about prevention. The club has rolling admissions and meets one evening per month during the school year. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the YAB please contact Victoria Payne at vpayne@theforrestercenter.org. To learn more about Impact Spartanburg or ways to support coalition activities, please contact Taylor Dockter tdockter@theforrestercenter.org.