Substance Abuse

The Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention Specialists (SAPIS) program provides a range of prevention and intervention services in grades K-12. The goals of the program are to:

  • Reduce the prevalence of substance abuse among youth
  • Delay the initiation of substance abuse behavior among youth
  • Decrease the negative health, social, and educational consequences associated with substance abuse
  • Prevent the escalation of substance abuse behaviors to levels requiring treatment

Services include

  • classroom lessons (using evidence-based programs)
  • individual and group counseling
  • peer leadership programs
  • positive alternative activities
  • crisis intervention
  • conflict resolution
  • assessments and referrals for mental health and substance abuse services
  • school-wide prevention projects

Students who are at risk for alcohol and substance abuse, gang involvement, suspension from school, disruptive behaviors, and violations of the Discipline Code are referred to SAPIS for intervention services. SAPIS provide parent workshops that address alcohol and substance abuse issues as well as bullying and violence prevention. SAPIS provide crisis-response services to schools needing support during crisis incidents.

ReStart Academy

is for 13–21 year old students in different settings, including substance-abuse day and residential treatment.  ReStart Academy provides a path to:

  • middle school promotion
  • high school diploma or
  • high school equivalency

ReStart has locations throughout the City and two live-in locations in upstate New York. Visit the ReStart Academy website for contact information.


  • Combat Heroin: visit this site to learn about the warning signs of abusing opioids and/or heroin, the progression of addiction, and stories of hope.
  • NY State Hopeline (1-877-8-HOPENY) offers help 24 hours a day for alcoholism, drug abuse, and problem gambling. The NYS Hopeline webpage has listings on prevention, treatment, and mental health services.
  • Spotlight on Synthetics provides resources for substance abuse of synthetic marijuana, which can cause dangerous health effects and even death.
  • Talk2Prevent is a website for parents that includes a toolkit with conversation starters, a list of warning signs, as well as information about underage drinking and drug use.
  • NYC Health, The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene website offers resources for alcohol and drug abuse as well as NYC data.
  • 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355) is a free, confidential help line for City residents. The helpline is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. The hotline's staff of trained mental health professionals help callers find mental health and substance abuse services.
Back to Top