Before the bell rings and new books are cracked open, Destinations for Teens advises parents to share their own lessons with their teenage children — how to avoid the temptation of drugs and alcohol they may encounter from peers this school year.
Sasha DeCania, who has a master’s of social work and is a licensed marriage and family therapist, says parents should accept that these lures exist. Many parents, she suggests, are in denial and say, “It’s not going to happen to my kid. ”There are 18 million kids in high school who are active users of marijuana and alcohol,” says DeCania, program director at the Henderson-based center. “We work with families to develop family values and share them.”
Andrew Levander, Destinations for Teens’ clinical director, says teenagers are getting more sophisticated at hiding alcohol and drug use from their parents by purchasing products with hollowed-out interiors and screw-off bottoms online. “Kids are being bullied and confronted with drug and alcohol use in peer groups,” he says. “Bullying used to stop at the playground after school, but now it’s following kids home with … online bullying.”
As parents prep their teens to head back to school, they are advised to:
· Clarify where your family stands on drug and alcohol use.
· Ask kids where they are going when they leave the house.
· Be willing to pick their kids up from the party.
· Consider a “no judgment” policy, so children know they can talk to you if they’re in a bind.
Destinations, 9089 S. Pecos Road, Suite 3500, in Henderson, which also operates as Destinations for Teens, is a haven for teenagers to overcome substance abuse and addictions and embark on healthier, happier lives. Personalized teen treatment plans support the entire family throughout the journey to recovery. Teens gain the tools to achieve sustainable well-being while having access to comprehensive education services including virtual classrooms.
Residential, day treatment and outpatient treatment programs are available. Treatment plans combine multiple therapies, including yoga and body movement, art and music therapy, and family, group and individual therapy.