Prime for Life: Under 21 Classes to Start Soon

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PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) Growing Up Together, Parents Matter Coalition of Pierre/Fort Pierre and other agencies are starting an Alcohol and Drug Educational Diversion program soon.  The first “Prime for Life: Under 21” session starts January 21, 22 and 23.  The program-according to Ruby Douglas of Parents Matter-is available for youth 18 and under; and for those ages 19 and up.  It helps young drug and alcohol offenders understand the risk for experiencing alcohol or drug problems throughout life.   Douglas says recent surveys show that the majority of local youngsters avoid alcohol and drugs-but these classes are being offered to assist the minority who use the substances.

The classes focus on prevention education and Douglas says information is presented based on documented, research findings-rather than opinion or scare tactics.  She says the classes meet requirements sometimes required by courts; and others can attend-based on referrals from parents, educators or others.

Douglas says they have tried to schedule the classes at times that meet the needs of most-especially those in the under 18 bracket.  Classes are held after school and on vacation days to make it easier for teens to attend.   Douglas taught the Prime for Life classes from 2001-2010 in schools and led diversion classes from 2001-2007 and says she saw first hand how beneficial they were for at risk youth.

Those who are 18 and younger must schedule an appointment for a screening on either January 7 or 14 before class registration.  The cost of the ten hour class for those 18 and under who have had a first drug or alcohol offense is $75.  Class fees range from $85 to $100 for 12 and 16 hour classes for those 18 and under or 19 and up who have had a second offense.  Space is limited to ten participants and pre-registration is required.  Contact Douglas to register at 224-3189 or visit the website

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