For Adolescents



Adolescents are a special population, and one in which we specialize. The age range for adolescents is varied, though typically 11-23.  Nevertheless, the age of problematic behaviors appears to get younger, and the delayed adolescence appears to get later.

Our kids are special because they’re ours.  We raised them right; we have high hopes.  Because it’s hard to believe we don’t see it, or we minimize it. We don’t want to make them angry, so we don’t investigate.  We don’t want them labeled, so we don’t act.  And we often fear being blamed.  This is hard; we understand your situation and we can help.  Let’s get it on the radar, because knowing the reality of where we are can define where we’re going.  Let’s prevent ending up where we don’t want to be.

Call or email to set up an assessment and consultation.  We can help.


If you are a parent seeking support regarding your child

Naturally this is difficult time, and we are aware of your many concerns, such as labels, diagnoses, and potential consequences for your child’s future.  You concerns are not taken for granted, overlooked or dismissed.  Assessing our adolescents can be the most fitting for the phrase, “Let’s just get it on the radar.”  It’s also important to know that even simple and early interventions such as assessments significantly decrease the chances of the problem worsening.

For some that’s all it is–getting it on the radar–as well as some peace of mind.  For others, the best course of action might be some level of treatment.  If so we can help you understand how it works, as well as assist finding a program that is the best fit.


Regarding mental health concerns

Many adolescents with potential substance abuse or addictive disorders also have accompanying mental health concerns.  We are very familiar with the related concerns such as “which came first.”  And we believe they can’t be simply separated for treatment purposes, so they must be dealt with together.  We recognize that many parents would actually be less fearful if their child was suffering from depression, and therefore they were using substances or behaviors to cope.   We believe strongly that it is a poor decision to minimize or ignore such use or behaviors, believing it will “take care of itself” once the mental health concern is alleviated.

We also offer the parents help and support.  When you have completed this page, please read For the Family. This is a very important area, and one parents overlook for several reasons.  Firstly, sometimes the problem is fairly clear: “my kid is using drugs.”  However, parents naturally are very sensitive to being blamed or analyzed themselves.  We are very familiar wading through this difficult area, and we assure you our goal is far from assigning blame.  We are less concerned with the past and far more concerned about the current reality, and what it can mean for the future.

We make every effort to avoid setting off major alarms when not necessary, pushing shame buttons, or giving orders.  We strive to inform you with what we see from our knowledge and experience, thoroughly explain your options as we understand them, and do our best to support you in your response.


If you are an adolescent yourself  seeking support

We can offer you  guidance on how to proceed depending on your age and parental involvement.  While we do not tell your parents every detail you disclose to us, if there are issues that we feel your parents need to know we will inform you of that, and we will help you decide how to give that information.  We can offer assessment, discussion of options for your future, education, ongoing therapy for both substance abuse and mental health problems.

It’s important to note: OUR SERVICES ARE NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR TREATMENT.  If you are required to complete a treatment program we can offer you the other services listed above.

If you continue to use while seeing us, we may not require you to stop all use immediately–depending on factors such types of drugs and other circumstances.   This does not mean using our services allow you to continues use.  We are an abstinence based program, in other words we believe the best and only healthy options for you is to stop all use, including tobacco.  Nevertheless, we also recognize that we do not have the ability to police you; ultimately those decisions will be between you and your parents, unless your use has an imminent threat of harm to you or others.  We place true value and true recovery on your ability to be honest, as much as not using.  Nevertheless, if you are dishonest and you “get away with it” or “fool them”  you will likely feel good about yourself, even using it as part of your self esteem’s foundation.   If there is concern for withdrawal we will refer you to a proper treatment center that can handle that.

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