A National Directory of Drug Treatment Centers and Alcohol Treatment Centers, Therapists and Specialists. A free, simple directory providing assistance and guidance for those seeking help regarding alcohol addiction, drug addiction, dependency and many other conditions that affect the mind, body and soul.
Call 800-580-9104 to speak with an alcohol or drug abuse counselor.

Program is in the works to keep teens away from alcohol

Tarrant County mental health professionals and advocates are drafting a pilot program aimed at treating teens who are slipping into alcoholism.

The proposed High School Alcohol Diversion Program, modeled after college programs, would allow teens with alcohol violations to stay at their schools instead of being sent to alternative schools.

That would help prevent them from losing academic focus and allow professionals to help them combat alcohol abuse.

“We’re hoping that by fall 2009, we are up and running at one of the local high schools,” said Greg Sumpter, a Tarrant County probation officer who is working on the pilot program.

The proposal is the result of ongoing efforts by Mental Health Connection of Tarrant County to improve treatments for children and young adults struggling with problems including addictions, autism, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, trauma, and at-risk behaviors such as truancy and delinquency.

Mental Health Connection is a collaboration of area mental health professionals, consumers and advocates who have been working for about 10 years to close the gap between research and treatment.

That goal is the main theme at the group’s second annual symposium on mental health treatment, Bridging the Gap — Moving Toward Evidence-Based Practice.

The two-day event, which began Monday at Texas Christian University, continues today with expert discussion on how to prevent problem behaviors by using research-based mental health treatments.

Pasty Thomas, president of Mental Health Connection, said the group is trying to find the best treatments for the mental health issues challenging Tarrant County.

“If there is early intervention, it makes a world of difference,” Thomas said.

Part of the group’s work includes understanding the many reasons that young people abuse alcohol. For example, social anxiety — often manifested as extreme shyness — sometimes contributes.

“You are less able to resist pressure if you are socially anxious,” said Bruce Chorpita, a professor of psychology at the University of California and a symposium speaker.

Alcoholism often surfaces among shy teens who want to stop feeling bad about themselves and among thrill-seeking teens who drink for the buzz. But genetics also play a role, Chorpita said.

Understanding what treatment works for which condition helps parents and mental health providers better address young people’s mental health problems, he said.

Social anxiety disorder can be treated by challenging teens to face their fears so they can better handle social pressures while maintaining their individuality, Chorpita said.

“It’s OK to be shy,” he said. “We don’t try to give kids a new personality.”

Teens and alcohol Among the emerging concerns listed by Mental Health Connection of Tarrant County:

The average age that Tarrant County youths begin drinking is 11.6 years.

Teens who drink perform 10 percent worse on memory, geometry and IQ tests than teens who don’t drink.

In a 2006 survey, about 37 percent of Tarrant County youths reported using alcohol in the month before.

7,800 youths try alcohol for the first time every day.

Girls who drink are 63 percent more likely to become teen mothers than girls who don’t drink.
____________
source: Star Telegram

More Treatment & Detox Articles

Voices of hope for alcoholics

When I attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous, I speak of my “experience, strength and hope.” As an alcoholic in recovery, I carry that message to others as part of the 12-step program I work in AA. This week, I listened to other voices, both younger and older, carry the message, too, from as near as….

Continue reading

New Medications May Offer Hope to Drinkers Battling Alcohol Dependence

Individuals who experience the physical, mental and social symptoms associated with alcohol dependence are offered hope through the results of two recent studies by researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). In separate investigations, researchers found favorable results for a medication to help heavy drinkers who are trying to modify their consumption, as….

Continue reading

Marijuana proponents urge colleges to mellow out

INDIANAPOLIS — Hey dude, can we talk? Marijuana advocates who say pot is safer than alcohol want colleges to wade into a hazy debate over whether schools’ tough pot penalties are actually worsening their drinking woes. They argue that stiff punishments for being caught in a campus dorm with pot steer students to booze and….

Continue reading

Alcoholics often are experts at hiding it

At one point during her quarter-century as an alcoholic, Carol Colleran would down at least 10 beers each weeknight, more on weekends. Then she would show up the next morning at her job in hospital management, feeling fuzzy and lousy. But she would cheerfully wander the halls greeting people — “It felt a lot better….

Continue reading

Is alcoholism a problem of the poor?

The government’s fierce war against alcohol has taken a different dimension. When they started, the government said alcohol drinking was a vice that perpetuates social moral turpitude. That was then, but now they have raised the pitch, zoning in on the face of poverty, a feature that continues to define a significant section of our….

Continue reading