According to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, 7.3 million Americans between the age of 12 and 20 have reported consuming alcohol. It is imperative that we develop and implement a comprehensive plan for addressing alcohol use in our students.
- Helpful publications: 1) Teen Addictions and Recovery Workbook: Facilitator Reproducible Self-Assessments, Exercises & Educational Handouts by Liptak (A copy is available for loan from the IYI Library).2) First Steps to Better Choices: Adolescent Substance Abuse Activity Workbook by DeNicolo (Amazon)
3) 101 Support group Activities for Teenagers Recovering from Chemical Dependence–A Leader’s Manual for Secondary Educators and Other Professionals by Fleming (Amazon)
4) Students often like hearing a former drug user share their story. Herb Stepherson, author of the Junkbox Diaries is an excellent speaker; he’s visited many schools in NW Indiana. You may contact Herb by email at Herb@InterventionServicesInc.com.
5) In my position, I focus on high school drug prevention education/counseling, suicide prevention, and grief. Feel free to join my Facebook page at LPHS Slicer Support Services.
Insights from School Counselors
- I work a lot with adult addicts/alcoholics outside of school. If teenagers are engaging in alcohol and drug use, they are “harming themselves” and confidentiality is out the window. In this day and age of overdoses, drunk driving accidents, suicides etc. I don’t risk not saying anything in these cases. If we don’t get them help at this age, unfortunately, they are on their way to addiction which results in jail, institutions, and/or death. Addiction does not mess around. People don’t realize when they “cross that line” from having fun to being addicted.
Having said that, I have not found a program/strategy/or resource that works if the person doesn’t want to quit or doesn’t see what they are doing as a problem. If you do have a student that is drinking or doing drugs, ask them to only drink 1 (take one hit/pill) the next time they decide to drink/use. If they cannot, they may have a problem that is more serious. That may open their eyes a bit. They may realize they don’t have as much “control” over their drinking/using as they thought they did. Or ask them to try not drinking/using at all at the next opportunity they have. I had local alcoholics/addicts (from AA) come and speak to our kids during Red Ribbon Week. I had a lot of good feedback from kids on that. Maybe have a respected AA member from your community come and speak to a kid one-on-one. In my opinion, at this age, its all about getting them to realize the danger in drinking/using irresponsibly. In my experience, if they have already crossed that imaginary line into addiction, there is little help other than treatment facilities, AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), and NA (Narcotics Anonymous)
- I was taught-which is confirmed in the document from the American Health Network of Indiana- that minors do not need parental consent for addiction counseling. The thought behind this is that minors will more likely seek help if it’s not reported to parents. At the same time, you may want to encourage the minor to confide in their parents. If you are in a school, you should discuss this with your school supervisor.
- I always report underage alcohol, tobacco and/or drug use. I consider these acts to be ‘harmful to self and/or others’ so I reach out to parents/guardians when I find out a student is using. When doing this, I also always offer community resources like Fairbanks in Indianapolis or other addiction/adolescent mental health specialists I know near the particular students’ home. I also love New Perspectives of Indiana in Indianapolis.
- Indiana Hope Academy: Hope Academy Recovery High School is located in the Castleton area of Indianapolis (I-69 and 82nd), and serves students who are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, or for whom drugs have negatively impacted their lives. There are always openings and there is no tuition; expelled students are accepted. They have licensed/highly qualified teachers in all core subjects plus Art and Music, and students participate in a daily recovery curriculum.
For more info, contact Katherine Barsten (firstname.lastname@example.org), or Rossi Preissler, administrative assistant, to schedule a student interview: 317.572.9440
- Legal guidance regarding consent
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This post was last modified by Heather on February 1, 2018.
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This post was created by ABCD ContentManager on August 5, 2016.