Teen Substance Abuse – Get Involved!

Teen Substance Abuse SignsTen years ago, 16-year-old teens were coming to Youth Services on charges of using marijuana. Now, marijuana use starts at age 13.

Not only are youth using more hard-core drugs, and at a younger age, but the problem is getting worse. In Utah an estimated 12,000 youth need substance abuse treatment, but only 1,500 treatment slots are available. The time to get involved is now.

Substance Abuse Webinar

The old adage “knowledge is power” rings true with substance abuse as well. So we have invited one of our experts, Teen Substance Abuse Therapist Alan Cochrane, to host a 30-minute webinar “Teens and Drugs: Identify the Warning Signs” on Wednesday, October 27, 2010 at 5:30 PM. Please forward this to friends, parents, teachers and youth organizations who would benefit from his knowledge and experience. There will be a Q&A session at the end of the presentation but to ensure we are presenting the information that you want to know, please post any questions you would like addressed in the comments section below.

Red Ribbon Pledge

Schools across the nation will be celebrating Red Ribbon this month, the largest and longest running campaign focusing on substance abuse prevention, intervention and treatment. At Youth Services, we are also doing our part to help with the battle against teen substance abuse. We recently announced an expansion of our Substance Abuse Treatment program, which includes hiring an additional full-time substance therapist to treat 100 youth a year and opening a Day Treatment Program at our Riverton office. You can watch a video clip about our announcement on ABC 4.

You can also support our Red Ribbon prevention campaign, “Raise Your Voice – Drug Free by Choice.” If you are as alarmed at the substance abuse issue as we are, we invite you to make a pledge on Facebook to not only live a safe, healthy and drug free lifestyle but to also be an example and encourage today’s teens to do the same.

Be sure to also take advantage of some of the insights and resources that are listed below.

Know the Risk Factors:
Studies show that youth are more likely to use and abuse drugs when there is:

  • perceived availability of drugs
  • few opportunities for positive community participation
  • family conflict
  • parents use or tolerance of use
  • no clear parental expectations
  • academic failure
  • not feeling part of society
  • no motivation to feel successful or responsible
  • seeking opportunities for dangerous or risky behavior

Teen Substance Abuse Prevention
On the flip side, these are proven ways to prevent substance abuse among teens:

  • rewards for positive participation in activities
  • feeling a valued part of the family
  • family praise, encouragement and attendance of youth activities
  • opportunities to participate in school
  • recognition and rewards for contributions at school
  • religious participation
  • belief of right and wrong


These tips and other useful resources can be found on these web sites:


About Tammy Champo

Youth Services became my second home six years ago as I ventured into the social services world. As the Public Relations and Communications Coordinator, I manage the online and offline communications materials, organize special events and coordinate volunteers and donations. In my "free" time, I enjoy singing/songwriting, snowboarding and swimming.
This entry was posted in Family Counseling, Parenting Tips, Safe Place, Substance Abuse, Teen Counseling, therapist and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Teen Substance Abuse – Get Involved!

  1. Ron says:

    Parents should always be the first once to help their teens get out of bad doings. I know it is a very hard obligation but it is the only way we can keep them safe especially now on the cases of drug use.

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