Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic Celebrates National Drug Facts Week!

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Phoenix House substance abuse counseling centerThis week adolescent clients of the Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic Counseling Center (PHCC) will celebrate National Drug Facts Week with activities that will give them a chance to learn more about drug abuse and addiction.

National Drug Facts Week is an initiative started in 2010 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) that aims to increase awareness about substance abuse and addiction and to debunk myths about them among teens.

Owen Allie, outpatient primary counselor at Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic Counseling Center, plans to have a “Mindfulness Drawing” activity during our weekly counseling session with teen clients. The activity consists of a contest where clients are asked to draw “what is means to be clean and sober”. The winner, as identified by the group, will receive an ITunes gift card.

“There are a couple of educational goals in this activity,” said Owen, “The first is that drawing can be very relaxing, and many of our clients already practice drawing during our counseling sessions. Drawing is comforting, mentally challenging and can be a great way to deal with cravings. We believe that practicing drawing or just even doodling can have tremendous value on our clients’ recovery from substance use disorders. Secondly, drawing something while positively focused and attaching a contest component to it can make substance abuse treatment more effective. I think that attendance in substance abuse programs should be celebrated and rewarded as well, so we will give ITunes gift cards to everyone”.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, about a third of high school seniors confirmed the use of an illicit drug sometime in the past year; more than ten percent reported non medical use of potentially addictive prescription painkillers; and more than twenty percent reported smoking marijuana in the past month. This data show how drug use among youth remains a major public health problem in our nation. Celebrating National Drug Fact Week will give our teen clients an opportunity to discuss how drugs can affect the brain and what the main risks of taking drugs are. Education is, in fact, the best tool we have to prevent substance abuse among the youth, as many teens are not aware of the dangers they face when using drugs.

Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic Counseling Center (PHCC) is located in Arlington, VA. The program currently offers outpatient counseling and aftercare for adult men and women and adolescent boys and girls in separate sessions, as well as partial hospitalization for adults. Through individual and group counseling, our counselors help clients who are suffering from both substance abuse and mental health disorders to learn to manage the symptoms of their mental health disorders while in treatment for substance addiction. Phoenix House utilizes counseling approaches that include motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral therapy. Research has shown that these methods are effective for clients with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders.

Find out more about programs and services at Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic, or call us today at: 703 841 0703.

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