Q & A with Inspirations for Youth – Teen Drug Usage

Marijuana

Marijuana is the number one drug used by teens

Can you tell me the most pressing concern or news related to Adolescent drug use and abuse at this time?

The misconception that pot and alcohol are not “a big deal…” These are gateway drugs that snowball into more severe situations, consequences and criminal behaviors that lead to distrust, family separation and eventually the complete disruption of the family-unit.

Can you tell me (without specific case related information) about some of your experiences with adolescents and drug abuse?

Unfortunately with the rise of divorce and single family homes, there is a lag in the way children internalize feelings expression and communication and as a result of this disconnect children are looking for other means to numb their feelings and go to the most readily available source which is unfortunately drugs and alcohol.

What is the most commonly abused drug that you treat teens for?

Marijuana and alcohol and spice…Most currently “spice”.

Spice
Spice (above) is being used by more and more teens

What percent of teens admitted for treatment are there for drug abuse other than marijuana? Can you give me any statistics on admissions and what drugs are more commonly abused in what age ranges?

I don’t have stats off hand. What we are seeing more of are children using more of the “creative drugs,” such as various forms of “spice,” mixtures of several narcotics combined as a cocktail, anything from “bars” to “mollies,” as well as the mainstays such as crack-cocaine, and let’s not forget the various creative “huffing” substances children are using.

Huffing
“Huffing” (above) is become more and more common among teens

If an adolescent is abusing drugs and needs help but they are a minor, will they risk being removed from their parents custody if they seek treatment?

Teens have to be court mandated by a judge or state or have parental consent.

Can you tell me some of the challenges faced by adolescents’ families and communities that have teens using and abusing drugs that seek help from your centers?

Poverty and inter-generational familial issues and single parent homes that lack supervision.

Can you tell me what kind of ethical dilemmas that a social worker might face in attempting to provide services to adolescents who abuse drugs?

The issues of  having to take on a parental role at times.

From the time a teen contacts the center, what is the timeline of progression for them to get help and be “rehabilitated” for In-patient and outpatient?

Once the family contacts our agency, within a few days, or depending on the urgency, our professional admission staff will contact the guardian and clearly define to them our intake process. However, please be advised if there is an emergency that is even more severe, we recommend that all families call 911 for assistance.

Can you provide any suggestions on how entry level generalist social workers can become more sensitive to the needs of adolescents that are using drugs, and identify appropriate helping roles?

One of the ways we help the community, is offering an extensive internship opportunity for therapists in training that provides critical learning experience mixed with a hands-on opportunity.

Cove Center for Recovery Internship
Allison Zaret (above) is just one of the many promising students that have served internships with the Cove Center for Recovery