Pubdate: Wed, 05 Jan 2011
Source: Courier-Islander (CN BC)
Copyright: 2011 Courier-Islander (Campbell River)
Bookmark: (Youth)
Bookmark: (Treatment)


January is time of new starts and resolutions for the New Year. If 
you are a young person struggling with substance use or a parent 
concerned about your teen's substance use, Youth and Family Substance 
Use Services (YFSUS) counsellors at The John Howard Society of the 
North Island are available to help.

The YFSUS program will launch two new groups early in the New Year. 
REACH is for youth who are either moving past a difficult 
relationship with drugs or alcohol or are struggling with someone else's using.

"The REACH group is definitely a high point in my week," stated Karen 
Robertson, one of the facilitators. "I love seeing young people feel 
good about making healthy choices."

Three REACH groups will start in January. The groups are six weeks 
long and meet once a week. They focus on building skills, strength, 
and personal understanding.

"Most youth find it immensely comforting to know that they are not 
alone in questioning the role of substances in their lives," said 
Gary Hartford, who will co-facilitate REACH. "Many kids struggling 
with problems related to using think that they are alone - it is very 
comforting to learn they are not the only ones."

A second program for parents or caregivers who are concerned about a 
youth's substance use will begin in the third week of January. The 
group will be six weeks long and is intended to build awareness and 
provide strategies for addressing youth substance use.

"Being confronted with a youth's substance use is very scary for most 
parents," said Velma Mockett, who will co-facilitate the group with 
Gary Hartford. "We hope to help caregivers and parents feel more 
confident in their ability to address this concern. Increased 
understanding and some practical strategies can go a long way."

Hartford said in his experience, youth and their parents or 
caregivers often have common goals. Communication challenges and 
other problems can make it hard to see that.

"We hope parents and caregivers will take advantage of this 
opportunity to talk about teen substance use in a meaningful way."

The REACH groups and the group for parents are offered free of 
charge. For more information or to register, please call 250-286-0611.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom