Archive | Substance Abuse

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8 Common Anxiety Symptoms and a Few Ways to Begin to Cool Off By Rachael Bonaiuto, LPC When you have anxiety, it’s easy to feel like others don’t understand what you’re going through. Anxiety itself can make you feel as though you’re suffering from symptoms, worries and concerns that are not only pronounced – they […]

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Secret Stash: Where Young Adults Hide Drugs

(23 places young adults hide drugs:  a “Where’s Waldo for clueless parents) Posted by: Linda Cain, MSED At Risk Alternatives, L.L.C. Finding Options Supporting Success 1. Hidden behind things on shelves 2. Hidden in a slit cut into my mattress 3. Hidden in custom sewn pockets in my clothes 4. Hidden in dashboard of my […]

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Helping Your Teen Have a Successful Summer

Q; How can I help my adolescent have a fun, productive, and safe summer? A: Summers can be a unique challenge for parents of adolescents. On the one hand we want to honor their desire for making more of their own decisions regarding summer activities, as the shift to independence is a key developmental task […]

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Importance of After School Activities

By Dr. Jan Hittelman After the school day has ended, it is estimated that 40 percent of young people’s time is often unstructured, unsupervised, and unproductive (Carnegie, 1992). Several studies have documented increases in a variety of at-risk behaviors for youth during the hours immediately after school, especially between 3:00 and 6:00 P.M. When youth participate […]

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“Just Saying No” Is Only the Beginning

By Dr. Jan Hittelman Being an effective parent can feel like a real uphill battle. This can be particularly true when our children are adolescents. A major challenge for parents of adolescents is that their developmental tasks include shifting from dependence to independence and experimentation. As a result, issues related to compliance with parental requests […]

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Leading Teens to Counseling

By Dr. Jan Hittelman Q: How do I get my unwilling teenager to talk to someone, such as a therapist? Sign me, Concerned Mom A: The pivotal challenge in creating getting your teen to meet with a counselor is getting them to willingly attend the initial session. Who wouldn’t be uncomfortable with the prospect of […]

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Mentoring: The Power of One

 By Jan Hittelman In the counseling field there are numerous schools of thought regarding the most effective therapy techniques. While the specific strategies utilized are of great importance, the success of any therapeutic approach is primarily a function of the underlying relationship between client and therapist. More specifically, the client knowing that the therapist genuinely […]

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What’s on the Mind of Middle School Youth?

By Jan Hittelman We often assume that the pressures and risk factors that impact youth begin in high school. The truth is that they begin in middle school, when youth are typically 11 to 14 years of age. Boulder County Healthy Youth Alliance partners, a collaboration of local youth-serving agencies and groups, conducted “youth summits” […]

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The Between Years

By Jan Hittelman Most parents see adolescence as their greatest challenge. Until then, we assume we can comfortably rely on the parenting strategies that have worked in the past with our younger children. This faulty logic often leaves us unprepared for the challenges of the teenage years and results in our parenting approach being more […]

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Starting with a Good Assessment

By Jan Hittelman Last month’s column on teen depression highlighted the importance of a good initial assessment. Several readers questioned exactly what an assessment is, let alone a good one. You may be surprised to know that even within the mental health field there are a range of definitions regarding a psychological assessment. It is […]

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Can Teens Be Trusted?

By Jan Hittelman As concerns rise regarding teen substance abuse, Internet activity, text messaging, etc., many parents out of fear are “clamping down” and policing their own children. Many “experts” are recommending parents periodically search rooms, monitor cell phone use, text messaging, computer use, and Internet sites visited. This may be warranted if your teen […]

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Keeping Adolescents Safe

 By Dr. Jan Hittelman As concerns rise regarding teen substance abuse and other risk behaviors, many parents out of fear are “clamping down” and policing their own children. Many “experts” are recommending parents periodically search rooms, monitor cell phone use, text messaging, computer use, and Internet sites visited. The real challenge for parents of teens […]

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The Magic of Mentoring

 By Dr. Jan Hittelman Adolescence is a turbulent time and as parents our high school and middle school children constantly challenge us. While we know it’s a time of experimentation, we want to keep our children safe from drugs, alcohol and other risk behaviors. Even though they may lack focus at times, we want our […]

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It All Starts in Middle School

By Dr. Jan Hittelman There’s a common assumption that most at-risk teen behaviors begin in high school. These behaviors include: substance abuse, sexual activity, safety/self-harm, and delinquent behaviors. For most adolescents, however, these problems actually start in middle school. That is why it is important for parents to be proactive with their children leading up […]

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The Potential Impact of Legalizing Marijuana on Families

By Dr. Jan Hittelman Over the years, I have met with many families who struggle around the issue of substance use, typically involving Marijuana and alcohol. The conflict usually goes something like this: Parents do not want their children experimenting with any drugs and their children want to debate about the (in their minds harmless) […]

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Substance Abuse Counseling for Adults

 Are Drugs or Alcohol Taking Over Your Life? Have you been thinking about making significant changes in your life but fear that you can’t? Have you tried to cut back on your drug or alcohol use or stay sober but end up right back engaging in unhealthy and risky behaviors? Do you find that you’re […]

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