Teen sobriety program stresses positive, healthy choices
By Betsy Ramsbotham
For the Clemmons Courier
Navigating through the teenage years is not always smooth sailing. Parents of teens often have a list of concerns including bullying and online safety, but the concern that tops many parents’ list of worries is substance abuse.
Statistics show that 28% of eighth-graders have had alcohol, and on average, five people in North Carolina die daily from drug overdoses, said Gabriella Drouillard-Moser, a licensed clinical addiction specialist (registered) at Lewisville Family Counseling.
Parents often feel ill-equipped to help their children who are experimenting with or addicted to drugs or alcohol.
“Adolescent Discovery Program: Creating a Lifestyle of Sobriety” is a new program at LFC designed to take a teen from dangerous, risky substance use to a safe, sober, fun and meaningful lifestyle. The program also aims to prevent adolescent substance abuse and addiction.
It can be a big decision to sign up one’s teen for a substance-use treatment program. To assist parents’ decision making, LFC offers a one-time urine drug screen and consultation which is helpful for parents who want to know if their teens are using. Parents can bring in their teens for drug screening and get instant results. A counselor reviews results with a teen and his or her parent.
If test results are negative, the counselor can process what led to the concern that brought them to the office. If test results indicate drug usage, the counselor can provide a safe space to process this with the parent and teen and assist with a referral if necessary.
Drouillard-Moser said that helping young people make positive, healthy choices at the foundational stages of their lives is one reason for implementing the new program.
Jennifer Locklear, a licensed clinical mental health counselor and founder of LFC, said that young people need a variety of constructive activities and hobbies to explore when they are trying to find an alternative to risky behavior.
It is Locklear’s hope that she will soon have a group of people from the community who want to share their time and talents with teens in the new program.
“For example, in our community is someone who is a great guitarist who would connect with teens interested in learning guitar, but not everybody wants to play guitar. Other teens in the program might be mentored by volunteers who wish to share their passions for quilting, painting or singing. There are so many possibilities,” said Locklear.
“We invite and encourage anyone with a talent and a passion to help young people learn valuable, meaningful, life-enhancing skills to reach out to us,” said Locklear. She invites sober, talented teens to join these important community connections.
LFC counselors are available to conduct workshops for parents and meet with school groups. Locklear encourages those interested to get in touch for more information or to schedule.
Lewisville Family Counseling’s phone number is 336-945-0137. Emails are Jennifer@LewisvilleFamilyCounseling.com or Gabriella@LewisvilleFamilyCounseling.com.