LARAMIE -- The Albany County Commission recently approved the Albany County Juvenile Board’s plan to treat youth with substance abuse charges in a juvenile drug court, as more controlled substance cases arise.

Albany County Prosecuting Attorney Peggy Trent said about 60 percent of criminal cases in 2017 involved drugs or alcohol. The implementation of the juvenile board’s plan could provide Laramie’s youth with help for dealing with controlled substances and preventing other legal problems down the road, Trent said.

“The drug epidemic is hitting our youth and we need to get ahead of the curve,” Trent said. “The (cases) are not just marijuana. We are dealing with methamphetamines and other types of drug offences.”

The juvenile drug court was inspired by the Albany County Drug Court, she said. Similar to drug court, youth could be referred to the juvenile drug court to receive treatment from medical personnel, who could help treat substance abuse problems, Trent said.