Woodbury Reports

Treating the Whole Family for Adolescent Substance Abuse

Family Therapist and Parent Educator at Trails Carolina, a Wilderness Therapy Program in North Carolina, talk about how adolescent substance abuse impacts the whole family and the help the rest of the family need for everyone to heal.


Bonners Ferry, ID -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/05/2012 -- Starting out on today’s program, Lon asked his guests: Mary Flora, a therapist at Trails Carolina and Jason McKeown, a Family Therapist and Parent Educator, also with Trails Carolina, “Why do teens abuse or use drugs?” Mary started out the conversation with at least three primary issues or reasons why they do: peer acceptance to fit in and the “rite of passage” teens face from adolescents to their teen peer group; a cry for help through substance abuse, perhaps even leaving a trail (liquor bottles or drug paraphernalia) in order to get caught, or for attention seeking. Jason added “another reason teens will use drugs is to ‘self medicate’, to numb themselves from the intense emotions and feelings they are having.” And thus the topic of Treating the Whole Family for Adolescent Substance Abuse began on Lon Woodbury's Internet Talk Radio Show "Parent Choices for Struggling Teens" January 16, 2012 on LATalkRadio at http://www.latalkradio.com.

When asked why and the significance of treating the whole family, both Mary and Jason agreed that in doing so, the child’s treatment will be more successful. The family needs to know what to do, to support the child/sibling in treatment, in addition the family suffers just as much as the child in treatment and they need to feel and deal with their own feelings. “Through parent support groups, Moms and Dads are able to talk to other Moms and Dads, they begin to feel they are not alone and that there is hope.” Parent workshops allow the parents to work on healthy communication skills and to learn how to set limits and create structure so that when their child returns home, they are all on the same page. Parents and teens work on “parallel programs”, each working on their own stuff, with the goal of reuniting as a family. Once they see the work that has been done and the change that has occurred, it makes each family member feel hopeful and openness to doing the work. “There will be a better outcome all the way around if the whole family is invested in a successful outcome.”

“The wilderness has a unique way of helping families. By slowing down and becoming aware of what is going on internally. The students go through a “digital detox”, which is quite difficult for them. They have to sit with their own thoughts and feelings, to take stock in the enormity of their consequences and the losses in their lives due to their addictions. They learn to live on life’s terms in the wilderness, reconnect with nature and find that they are in a peer culture that is invested in being sober.”

To listen to the full interview on Treating the Family for Adolescent Substance Abuse go to http://www.latalkradio.com/Players/Lon-022712.shtml on LATalkRadio.

Lon Woodbury as an Independent Educational Consultant is the owner/founder of Woodbury Reports Inc. and www.strugglingteens.com. He has worked with families and struggling teens since 1984 and is the host of Parent choices for Struggling Teens on LATalkRadio Mondays at 12:00 Noon, Pacific Time, Channel One.

Mary Flora is a primary therapist at Trails Carolina and has a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, dual licensure in Professional Counseling and Clinical Addictions in the State of North Carolina, has trained in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy with an emphasis in Dually Diagnosed mental health issues co-occurring with substance misuse, abuse and dependency.

Jason McKeown is the Family Therapist and Parent Educator at Trails Carolina. Specializing in co-parenting divorced and blended family issues and family history of addiction codependency, Jason also is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist and has been with Trails Carolina since 2009.

This Segment is sponsored by Grand River Academy, http://www.grandriver.org , a transition boarding school for boys in NE Ohio.

Woodbury Reports was founded in November 1989, by Lon Woodbury, MA, IECA, CEP, as an Independent Educational Consulting firm to help parents of teens making poor decisions select a private, parent choice program that would help return the family to normalcy. Through interviews with parents, communication with professionals who know your child well, and then thoroughly researching viable options, we can help parents make the right choices that will help your child get back on the right path. For more information about Woodbury Reports Inc., call 208-267-5550, or email to lon@woodbury.com, or visit the web site http://www.strugglingteens.com.