The Way Out Recovery SCV is reminding parents of the importance of being aware of potential alcohol or drug use issues as their teens go back to school this month.
As Santa Clarita Valley schools start up, The Way Out Recovery SCV Program Director Bob Sharits said that teens who may have gotten out of control with their drug or alcohol use during summer break without their parents’ knowledge will suddenly show “telltale signs” of addiction.
“Those who mess around with drugs or alcohol oftentimes find themselves during the summer getting out of control,” Sharits said, “but it usually doesn’t come to our attention or come to the parents’ attention or come to the school’s attention until they are at a point where they have to reel it back in. So here we are at that point.”
Teenagers with substance abuse issues may stay up all night, not finish homework, be late for school, act out with violence or anger, self-harm, isolate, disconnect from family or suddenly change clothes or friends, according to Sharits, who noted parents should pay attention to these kinds of signs.
In addition, school officials and teachers may inform parents of a potential problem when they notice these signs on campus.
“There’s all kinds of stuff that goes on with teenagers,” Sharits said. “What happens for us as a treatment center is that school starts up this week; two weeks from now our phones are going to be blowing up off the hook from calls from parents, from calls from schools where the teenagers are showing signs of drug abuse and not being able to pull it together.”
The Way Out Recovery SCV staff aim to consider the variety of unique “stressors” teens face in their daily lives during the treatment process, which can include peer pressure, planning for college, changes in hormones and more.
“It is a really difficult transformational period in our lives,” Sharits said, adding that the part of the brain that controls impulses and rational thinking isn’t fully developed until adulthood as well. “It’s no coincidence that most drug use starts between the ages of 12 and 17.”
Staff approach the treatment process with teens at The Way Out Recovery SCV using a mixture of traditional and “out-of-the-box” therapies, Sharits noted.
“With teenagers, if you try to sit them in a room for three hours at a time and have nothing but talk therapy, they’re going to be bouncing off the walls,” he said. “They’re not going to be able to pay attention and frankly, they’re not going to get as much as they could if you were to do what we do.”
A few unique treatment options for teens at The Way Out Recovery SCV include counseling sessions while on family outings or hiking, yoga and drum therapy.
“One of the things that I ask them is, I say, ‘What do you like to do?’” Sharits said. “Many of them will say, for instance, ‘One of my favorite things to do is go skating.’ We will go over and have a counseling session with our kids over at the skatepark. We do out-of-the-box type of thinking like that because we want them to find things that they love to do in life that don’t involve alcohol or drugs.”
Sharits continued, “We have really effective teenage treatment over at The Way Out, and so I want to encourage you, as school starts and some of the kids are going to get in trouble … I want you to pay attention to that and give us a call.”
In Santa Clarita, drug issues are a major concern for many. The mission of the Santa Clarita rehab The Way Out Recovery SCV Drug and Alcohol Outpatient Treatment is to provide high quality, effective alcohol and drug outpatient treatment. The drug rehab’s goal is to assist adolescents, adults and their loved ones in becoming happily and usefully whole, free from drug addiction. Those seeking Santa Clarita drug treatment or a teen drug rehab can rest assured that The Way Out Recovery’s philosophy is to teach lifelong coping skills and strategies to assist in improving quality of life and living happily and meaningfully without the need of destructive behaviors.
28118 Bouquet Canyon Road
Santa Clarita, CA 91350