With 30 years of experience in the addiction treatment profession, Debby Taylor, Vice President and Regional Director of Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic, has witnessed many shifting demographic trends regarding alcohol use, including the recent rise of adolescent binge drinking across the nation. This past week, Debby sat down with the Washington, DC CBS news affiliate, WUSA-9, to address the critical need to stop these detrimental drinking practices early in life before serious medical conditions ensue. Emphasizing the changes in adolescent behavior over her 30 years in the field, Debby stated, “I am seeing in treatment now kids in their 20’s. 25, 26…who have failed out of college, coming to me with beginning cirrhosis and pancreatitis. I didn’t see that 20 years ago in anybody under 45 years of age.”
She further described the need for community involvement to provide a safety net for these children, who may not understand their own limits, stating that, “we as a community need to say that’s too far. You have gone too far.”
Debby Taylor’s advocacy does not merely include words, but strong actions. At Phoenix Houses of the Mid-Atlantic, she has implemented multiple programs specifically for adolescents. These programs include two residential programs, the Boys and Girls Recovery Lodges, as well as the newly established Second Chance Program, which works withArlington Public Schools, Arlington Juvenile Court Services Unit, and the Arlington County Police to refer participants who could benefit from prevention assistance in lieu of school suspension or juvenile court involvement. As Debby states, it takes an entire community to recognize and respond to this problem. We hope all of you who care for teenagers struggling with addiction know that Phoenix House is here to assist.
For Debby Taylor’s interview with WUSA News, check out the following link: