Teen Drug Rehab

Monday, March 1, 2010

Teen Drug Rehab - Board backs drug rehab

A proposal by Teen Challenge to open a drug rehabilitation center in the former DeWitt County Nursing Home seems to have won overwhelming initial support from the DeWitt County Board.

Eleven of the board's 12 members expressed support Monday night for the program that could house about two dozen adolescent boys at Hallsville. The County Board is expected to vote on the Teen Challenge proposal in about a month.

The County Board and Barnett Township officials hosted a second public forum on the issue at the Hallsville Christian Church. County officials and representatives of Teen Challenge answered questions about the program.

Several people in the audience asked about security at the proposed facility. Nearby homeowner Ken Lovett said he moved his family to the rural area to avoid problems such as drugs and alcohol abuse.

Board member Steve Lobb responded to comments that undesirable people will visit the community as a result of Teen Challenge.

"We've heard monikers about 'those people.' Well, those people are us," Lobb told the crowd of about 60 people.

The Rev. John Harper, director of Teen Challenge in Illinois, credits the program with saving his life more than 30 years ago. He told families that he cannot guarantee that problems won't occur at the facility.

"In life, things happen," he said.

Teen Challenge officials emphasized that participants who do not want to continue in the faith-based program are transported home.

Elizabeth Lord, coordinator for the DeWitt County Mothers Against Drunk Driving, urged people to view alcoholism and other addictions as a disease.

She said her son's death brought that reality home for her.

"My son lost that battle. He fought it very hard but he lost," said Lord.

The County Board will move forward with a survey of the property and accept offers for the nursing home site and about 37 tillable farm acres.

Teen Challenge officials said they will make a minimal offer for the property.

Board Chairman Duane Harris said after the meeting that the board is not obligated to accept the highest financial offer.

The Teen Challenge board will consider the issue Oct. 31 if the County Board accepts their offer for the property.

Teen Drug Rehab - Parents use detectives in war on P

Families pay investigators top dollar to spy on teenagers and force them into rehab WEALTHY PARENTS are paying private investigators up to $100,000 to spy on their P-smoking teens.

Some then get the investigator to threaten to call in the police unless the teenager enters rehab.

Pete O'Shea, operations manager at Auckland Investigations Limited, says his firm does 30 to 40 drug surveillance investigations a year on the children of some of the country's wealthiest and most prominent families.

The jobs involved tailing the teenagers around parks and nightclubs, photographing their vehicles, compiling dossiers on their friends and dealers, and obtaining text message records.

The move is part of a growing trend towards surveillance of young people in an effort to curb drug use.

An Auckland intermediate school called in sniffer dogs this year, and last month, Morrinsville College's principal urged parents to drug-test their children's urine at a local laboratory for $30.

O'Shea said investigators also warned the teenagers' drug-using friends to stop associating with them, or they would hand information to police.

They frequently gave information to police on drug dealers.

"You have to break the connection between that kid and the source of the drugs," he said. "Obviously a good way to do that is to get the supplier locked up."

O'Shea said that once investigators gathered enough evidence, they would confront the teen and issue an ultimatum: "You either go into rehab or somewhere you can't get any drugs, or the whole lot goes to the police."

Tom Claunch, clinical director of Auckland's Capri Trust where some of O'Shea's clients sent their children, said treatment was just as successful when clients were forced to attend as when they attended voluntarily.

"It's a complete myth that an addict has to want help for us to help," he said.

His clinic had an 80% success rate for adults, but the rate for teenagers was much lower.

Claunch said young people in rehab and their families had received threats from associates who had found out they had been tailed.

O'Shea said every teenager the firm had investigated since it started taking such jobs 18 months ago had been taking P pure methamphetamine.

Parents generally grew suspicious after electronic goods or jewellery went missing, or their children became withdrawn, lethargic and unclean.

The subjects were mostly "spoilt kids" from the affluent North Shore and Howick areas of Auckland.

"Their parents are the people that can tend to afford us. I know there's a big drug problem out west (in Auckland) and out south, but we don't do much there because people generally can't afford to hire PIs."

O'Shea said the strategy was high-risk, and staff wore stab- vests when confronting the teens.

"They go berserk - I've had guys threaten to stab me in the throat, to kill my kids."

In one North Shore home, investigators found a baseball bat with nails in it, and a metal baton.

Basic investigations cost $5000 to $10,000 and lasted a week, but the firm had done several for between $80,000 and $100,000.

The jobs were time-consuming and often had to be repeated if the teen dropped out of rehab and began using again, O'Shea said.

But parents who could afford it felt it was preferable to watching their children succumb to drugs.

Drug Foundation chief executive Ross Bell said talking to teens and contacting community drug counsellors was more effective.

"I can understand parents get hysterical, but spying on your kids is not a good approach," he said.

"That judgmental attitude is probably going to provoke their teen to put up barriers and see them as a police state."

O'Shea believed his firm was the only one in the country undertaking such work.

Christchurch investigator Mike Kyne said he was approached about once a week by parents for similar jobs, but did not take them as they were "too much hassle". "We suggest they talk to their kids and have a frank discussion."

Police spokesman Jon Neilson said police welcomed any information that might help lead them to drug dealers or manufacturers, but preferred the public dealt with police directly.

Teen Drug Rehab - Teen fights to escape drug world

Holly's teen years have been a roller coaster of abandonment and drug abuse. Her downhill spiral began when she was 15. That's when her mother moved out and left her with her stepfather.

"I didn't get along with him at all," she said. "I moved in with one of my friends. I was using (drugs) a lot."

Drug addiction is common among her relatives, and Holly soon fell victim to the family curse.

She dabbled in other drugs, but it was her methamphetamine addiction that eventually forced her into rehab. She spent a year and a half in treatment in her hometown. Once she got out, she stayed clear of meth, but turned to ecstasy and marijuana.

"I lost my job because I kept calling in and I wasn't working," she said. "I kept using."

Holly knew she needed a change. She needed to leave her hometown and the circle of friends who provided drugs and excuses for dropping out of high school and not working.

"I came down here and I just stopped. I knew if I got away from all my friends, I was determined to stop," she said. "A lot of people can't do that. But it's something I knew for my body and myself that I really needed to do."

At 18, Holly found herself in Colorado Springs living with her brother. That arrangement lasted two weeks.

"He changed his mind," she said. "He didn't want me there any more. He said, 'You have a week to leave.'"

So Holly found herself on the verge of being homeless in a strange city as she fought to stay off drugs. Fortunately, one of her brother's neighbors pointed her to Urban Peak. The nonprofit organization offers transitional housing and other services to 14- to 18-yearolds who have nowhere else to go. It's one of 14 nonprofit organizations that receive donations through The Gazette/El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking Fund.

At Urban Peak, Holly got more than a warm welcome and safe place to stay. She got encouragement and help with her job search. She now comes home from work and studies for her GED with the help of an Urban Peak instructor.

She's come to realize the common stereotype of homeless people is unfair.

"I grew up knowing that shelter homes were for homeless people that were lazy and that kind of thing," she said. "But I realized when I got here it was just kids in my situation that needed help and somewhere to go."

Urban Peak has taught her greater responsibility, she said. Residents are required to complete assigned chores and either attend high school or work to earn privileges. She considers the roughly 20 kids who live with her to be her friends.

Between her connections at Urban Peak and her boyfriend, Holly says she's managed to stay drug-free and improve her self-esteem.

Without those positive influences, Holly says she would've fallen back into her familiar pattern of joblessness and drug abuse. Holly says she's just one example of the good that donations to Urban Peak can accomplish.

"I don't think people realize what their money does. It gives us teens that are really struggling with life a place to live, teens with backgrounds like drug abuse, sexual abuse," she said.

Teen Drug Rehab - The truth about "rehab"

"Rehab" is a commonly used term that can refer to a range of drug treatment options. Teens who read about celebrities checking into residential drug treatment centers--places that look a lot like five-star resorts--may have a glamorized view of drug addiction and treatment for drug addiction. Teens may not "get" the severity of drug addiction. If they do understand how serious drug addiction is, then they may not know where to get help. Untreated drug addiction presents the risk of serious problems within families and communities, including violence, crime, health emergencies, child abuse, and unemployment.

This final installment of this school year's Heads Up series highlights the realities of treatment for drug addiction. Teens will learn that drug addiction is a serious and chronic, yet treatable, brain disease. Like other chronic illnesses, drug addiction requires continued care, and successful treatment can involve several different therapies.

Teen Drug Rehab - Pasadena recovery center

Gil Kerlikowske, head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, toured the Pasadena Recovery Center (PRC) and took part in an on-line chat about teen drug abuse with Dr. Drew Pinsky, the internist and addiction specialist who has filmed three seasons of the VH1 television show "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew" at the Pasadena facility.

Kerlikowske, who has called for an end to the term "War on Drugs," has pushed for drug treatment to be a larger part of the country's drug policy.

"We can't arrest our way out of the situation," Kerlikowske said. "What we're doing now just isn't sustainable."

In the United States, drug and alcohol treatment represent half the cost of incarcerating someone, Kerlikowske said.

His visit came during National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month and is part of his office's nationwide tour to collect input for the 2010 National Drug Control Strategy.

"We've been all over the country," Kerlikowske said. "Part of it is to listen to what people want to tell us about what this country should do about the drug problem."

The co-founders of the PRC were on hand to show Kerlikowske around the facility. Opened 10 years ago, the rehabilitation center has a 98-bed capacity and focuses primarily on treatment for addicts who also have mental health problems.

Though the third season of "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew" is scheduled to air early next year on VH1, Alison Triessl, PRC's co- founder, said the facility accepts patients from both ends of the socio-economic spectrum.

"We treat everyone from Yale to jail," Triessl said.

Pinsky praised the staff of PRC for their dedication to what he called the "costly, time-consuming" process of helping patients get clean.

"It's a conundrum that's nearly impossible to solve, but they manage to do it," Pinsky said.

Pasadena police Chief Bernard Melekian joined Kerlikowske for the tour and called the PRC "an invaluable resource to the law- enforcement community."

Former addicts working at PRC who have completed rehabilitation and maintained their sobriety were also on hand, including 77-year- old Rosa Estrada.

Triessl called Estrada, who helps run the facility's day-to-day operations, "our most treasured and valued employee."

"She's someone who epitomizes what happens when somebody gets their life clean," said Triessl.

Teen Drug Rehab - More teens seek rehab

GROWING numbers of youngsters are being treated for cocaine addiction, NHS figures have revealed.

Since 2005 the number of under-18s helped to get off the drug rose more than 65% - from 453 to 745 addicts.

Treatment numbers for 18 to 24-year-olds doubled from 1,586 to 3,005 in the same period, the National Treatment Agency (NTA) found. A total of 12,354 people were treated for cocaine addiction in England last year. Four in 10 addicts were clean after six months but a quarter had dropped out.

Teen Drug Rehab - Drug abuse will not go away

Each generation of young people must, it seems, face its own challenges when it comes to illegal use and abuse of drugs and alcohol.

The Century Star and the Hi Herald, the student newspapers for Bismarck's two public high schools, recently carried extensive packages on drug addiction, teen drinking and drug abuse. The stories were frank in addressing alcohol and drug use by students. Ten years ago those stories likely would not have appeared in a North Dakota high school newspaper, at least not in such an open and direct presentation.

Making choices about whether to use drugs or alcohol as a teenager is a more common occurrence for today's youth. They know more about rehab and treatment than most of their parents. Addiction isn't just some bogeyman used to scare young people, but what some of their classmates have sweated through.

The staff of the Star and Herald did right by their readers and peers.

If there was something startling in these high school newspaper stories, it was the figures from the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey reported by the Hi Herald. The schools have copies of the results, and the Department of Public Instruction will make it available on its Web site.

* The first surprise is that 17.4 percent of Bismarck students have taken over-the-counter drugs to get high. That compares to 12.4 percent for Fargo students, 11.8 percent for rural North Dakota students and 13.3 percent statewide.

* And, in the four categories cited over-the-counter, use without a doctor's prescription, use of ecstacy and whether students had been offered sold or given an illegal drug students from Bismarck had a higher percentage answering yes than Fargo or the statewide response.

It's a harsh reminder that things can go wrong in River City. And it's a nudge as to the necessary direction of efforts to combat poor choices by students.

Like it or not, for many students today, choices they are forced to make often have more severe consequences than those that faced their parents. Students in middle school today are sometimes confronted by choices that their parents didn't have to deal with until high school. The world of students today tends to be a little more real, a little more gritty, than that of their parents.

Students at Century High School and Bismarck High School probably do have an advantage of being better informed about drug and alcohol abuse than their parents when they were in high school, and some of that credit goes to the student journalist reporting today.

Drug and alcohol problems will not go away for students, but hopefully they better understand it as a problem. And parents and the community at large better understand their jobs.