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Adolescent Services

Upon calling Life Line our staff will help you define the type of help you need and schedule an appointment with the appropriate counselor or therapist.

Drug Free Kids

Many years of experience have taught us that success is routine for parents who intervene early, have had a positive relationship with their child within the past several years and who are steadfast in their resolve to have a drug/alcohol free child. Recent research has also reminded us that it is vital to stop adolescent drug and alcohol use in the early stages. We now know that the earlier in life a child begins to use drugs and alcohol on a regular basis, the more likely he or she is to become dependent on them as an adult (see NIH study chart below).

Prevalence of Lifetime Alcohol
Dependence by Age of Drinking Onset


The initial Assessment appointment lasts about 60 minutes. Both parents are requested to attend. Because substance abuse/dependence tends to be a very difficult problem to arrest, a strong beginning with full parental support works best.


Often following the assessment we find that an individual weekly family counseling approach works best. While individual counseling of the adolescent is available, we find that many times this approach to chemical dependence leaves the only ones who wish to discuss a problem outside the room.

Restoring Trust

One of the most disturbing effects of the discovery of your adolescent's drug and alcohol abuse is its impact on family trust. There may have been secretiveness, sneaking out, stealing, and lying on her/her part, yet the child feels betrayed when you ask questions, listen to conversations, or search his/her room. It will be necessary to find a balance between giving the child credit for progress and helping them not to fall back into old ways. The first meeting is often a beginning of this constructive process and a chance to get the facts out into the open. In subsequent meetings your counselor may help the family develop a home contract with specific agreed upon and spelled out expectations.

Drugs and Development

Recent research in the field of addiction and neurobiology supports the idea that adolescents should be abstinent from all mood altering substances during their formative years. Adolescents rather than being smaller and younger adults are developmentally different and are actually in the midst of a rapid growth process which presents only one opportunity for correct negotiation. Evidence is mounting that brain cell development, structure, and chemistry are permanently changed by long term alcohol and drug use, especially at an early age.


You should call if...
You have found
alcohol or other
drugs in your
child's room or possessions.
There has been a recent unexplained change in moods, friends, music
relating to alcohol
or other drugs.
There have been
one or more
incidents or
problems where
alcohol or other
drugs were
There have been recent changes in school work or dropping out of extracurricular activities in favor
of hanging out
with drug using
Family members
have noticed
missing money or property.
Your child has
started lying.
He/she has started sneaking out after curfew.
You have noticed
your child's eyes
look red or unusual.
He or she may
have begun to buy
and use eye drops.
You have begun
to notice mood
problems, short-
ness of temper,
or defensiveness
which are
unrelated to
other pressures or problems of adolescence.
He/she is recently lethargic or uninterested in
school, or peer