The holiday season, filled with the warmth of family celebrations is a difficult time for many teens and adults who turn to alcohol or drugs. Substance abuse among teens is America’s number one public health problem. In a recent interview, NBC Los Angeles talked to Phoenix House Academy’s client Mauricio about what caused him to start using alcohol and drugs. You can watch the interview on NBC Los Angeles website: Teen in Recovery at Phoenix House Academy Shares His Journey
The Academy’s staff psychiatrist Jonathan Whitfield M.D., Medical Director, Vanessa Marsot, MFT, Director of Adolescent Services, and other staff discussed the need for treatment and issues that push adolescents towards drug abuse. Dr. Whitfield described it as a reaction to “peer pressure, or stress of life, I see a lot of kids who start using drugs to self-medicate. They medicate their own anxieties, their own depression.” In Mauricio’s own words: “People would ask me why I would do it and I would just say it makes me feel good, but it was because I didn’t want to deal with the problems that I have.” After five months at the Academy, he learned how to respond to his issues in a positive way without drugs. At Phoenix House, he found new interests and new goals for his future.
A related news story (Teen Substance Abuse at Epidemic Levels) is posted on NBC Los Angeles website. Phoenix House Academy residential and outpatient services have offered treatment and hope for recovery to teens since 1994.