Parents, school administrators and educators are oftentimes confronted with the discovery of substance use on the part of an adolescent. Sometimes, they discover vaping paraphernalia, other times there are early warning signs of marijuana and other drug use. Having grown up themselves in a culture of “better living through chemistry” and confronted with new laws legalizing marijuana use, it can be very confusing to determine the parameters of problematic use. Moreover, even if there are reasons for concern, the next action steps remain unclear.
At New York Center for Living, we believe that if you are getting a “signal” that something may be wrong, then this is the time to act before the problem is allowed to grow. This is the foundational principle in the design of our Signal Program for adolescents aged 13-18 and their families.
The Signal Program is intended for adolescents for whom substance use is starting to have a negative impact. It is composed of weekly individual, group, family therapy and psychoeducation and drug screening designed to intercept more serious disorders. This 12-week period will also include an extended period of evaluation and assessment of the scope of the problem to determine what, if any next steps may be needed.
Our Signal program is geared towards prevention and early intervention. The Signal track provides a clear psychoeducational foundation on the repercussions of excessive substance use. The Signal track also offers relapse prevention, mindfulness, emotional regulation, and distress tolerance skills. The combined intention is to challenge an adolescent to contemplate the potential consequences of their own use while presenting alternative strategies to the use of problematic mood-altering chemicals and behaviors.
Prevention also starts at home. Signal parents will also gain their own knowledge around substance use disorders and will receive weekly group support addressing topics concerning family relationships, boundary and limit setting, conflict reduction and how to positively impact change. The goal is to improve family communication and diminish the tensions that often surround incipient drug use.