Our youth program offers competent, ethical, and compassionate treatment where we focus on assisting adolescents in developing goals for living a healthy and productive life.

About Us:
• We are an oputpatient adolescent substance use disorder program
• We serve ages 12 to 24
• We provide evidence based treatment, education on addiction, recovery, and associated health risks
• We are a contracted provider of Tulare County Health and Human Services Agency

Our Services:
• Assessments, Treatment Plans, Individual and Group Services
• Crisis Intervention
• Case Management and Intensive Care Coordination
• Telehealth, Home Based Services, and Conference Calling
• Bilingual services

Why is substance use treatment especially important for youth?

Adolescence is a time of rapid change and maturation. It is also a time of experimentation—with new hairstyles, clothes, attitudes, and behaviors. Some of these experiments are harmless. Others, such as using alcohol or other drugs, can have long-lasting harmful consequences.

Here are 7 reasons why it is important to identify and treat adolescent substance use:

Alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco are the substances most commonly used by youth (Johnston et al., 2014), and alcohol often is the first substance to be used (Johnston et al., 2010). The percentage of young people who have used alcohol increases with age. By eighth grade, 28% of students have tried alcohol, and 12% have been drunk at least once; by twelfth grade, 68% of students have tried alcohol, and more than half have been drunk at least once (Johnston et al., 2014).

In 2012, 45% of students in grades 9 through 12 reported ever having used marijuana, and 24% reported having used marijuana in the preceding 30 days. Between 2008 and 2012, the proportion of teens who used marijuana daily increased from 5% to 8% (PDFA, 2013).
According to a survey published in 2014, 41% of students in grades 9 through 12 reported having tried cigarettes. Nearly one-quarter said they had used tobacco in some form in the past 30 days (Kann et al., 2014).

A substantial percentage of adolescents, including 15% of 12th graders, report misuse (i.e., use without a prescription) of prescription medication, especially stimulants and pain medications (Johnston et al., 2014).
Substance use by adolescents has an enormous impact on their health and well-being. It impairs healthy growth and development, is associated with risky behaviors such as unprotected sex and dangerous driving, and contributes to the development of many other health problems.

Compared to people in other age groups, adolescents are at the highest risk for experiencing health problems related to substance use (Committee on Substance Abuse, 2015), and the potential benefits of identifying substance use and intervening to reduce or prevent it are substantial.

(From: Substance use screening and intervention implementation guide from The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
"No amount of substance use is safe for adolescents."

Adolescent substance use poses both short-term and long-term risks. In the short term, drinking, for example, can result in unintentional injuries and death, suicidal behavior, motor vehicle crashes, intimate partner violence, and academic and social problems (Brown et al., 2008; Cole et al., 2011; Weitzman and Nelson, 2004). These outcomes occur because excess alcohol consumption leads to decreased cognitive abilities, inaccurate perception of risk, and impaired bodily control. These effects, in combination with the fact that compared to adults, adolescents tend to be more physically active when under the influence of alcohol, put adolescents at greater risk of harm. For example, at blood alcohol concentrations greater than zero, adolescents are at increased risk of being fatally injured or involved in fatal crashes in single, two, and more vehicles compared with sober male driver ages 21-34 (Voas et al., 2012). Marijuana use is associated with diminished lifetime achievement (Meier et al., 2012). Tobacco use results in poor health in the short and long term, and it can be a gateway to the use of other drugs (Sims, 2009).

The risk of substance use is compounded because it is associated with other risky behaviors, such as unplanned, unprotected sex, which can result in pregnancy (Brown, 2008; Levy et al., 2009; Tapert et al., 2001). Adolescents who misuse prescription opioids are at high risk of transitioning to injection drugs and overdosing (McCabe et al., 2012).

Any level of substance use can be harmful for adolescents—no amount is safe.

To learn more about our Youth Services Program, please contact Our Program Coordinator Keri Giddens, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (559)732-4885.

Referrals can be sent to the following email address:

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