Teens Using Drugs:What to Know and What to Do
● By Rick McGarry
Surveys suggest that after years of decline, adolescent substance abuse may be increasing again. Teens, however, don’t usually come right out and tell their families that they skipped school to smoke weed, or that they performed poorly on their SAT's because they were hung over, or that they dropped sports and music to have time for getting high, or that they spent the money they saved for college on heroin. Nevertheless there are signs and patterns of behaviors that can alert parents to the possibility that a teen may have an alcohol/other drug problem. Luckily, early identification and intervention can often prevent serious or even irreversible consequences.
Unfortunately, families seeking advice and help for a teen using drugs often feel frightened, confused, frustrated, isolated and desperate. They often don’t know where to begin to find accurate answers and effective help.
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System is one sponsor of a free, two-part workshop designed to help participants learn to understand, identify and address adolescent alcohol/other drug problems. This program provides a starting point for families seeking help, and has been making a difference to families struggling to deal with teen alcohol/drug problems since 1999.
People who are interested for any reason are welcome and are encouraged to attend, including parents, family members, teens, people who work with teens, students, and others.
Part One: "What To Know," will be presented on Tuesday November 5, 2013; from 7:30 to 9 PM. It will provide information on understanding and recognizing teen substance abuse problems. (Part One will repeat January 7, February 4, March 4, April 1, May 6, and June 3 2014)
Part Two: "What To Do," will be presented on Tuesday November 12, 2013; from 7:30 to 9 PM. It will provide information on what should and should not be done when a teen substance abuse problem is suspected or identified, and will include a short talk by a recovering teen speaker. (Part Two will repeat January 14, February 11, March 11, April 8, May 13, and June 10, 2014.)
Programs will be presented by Brian Spitsbergen MA, LLPC, CAADC; Director, Community Intervention and Treatment (CITx,) Growth Works, Inc.; and Tamara Shirey, MA, LLPC; Dawn Farm Project Manager.