“It’s just marijuana.”
“All kids drink – especially when they go off to college.”
“There’s no way a teen can be an alcoholic. Besides, s/he only drinks on the weekends, anyway.”
These are a few of the comments three Peninsula moms hear in their work with families, youth, parent groups and the like. They are comments these three moms believed themselves until their own children either used, abused or became addicted to a substance over the course of their teen and young adult years.
Who are these women?
Lisa Frederiksen is an author of nine books, blogger, speaker, consultant and founder of BreakingTheCycles.com.
Shelley Richanbach is a Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor, a Certified Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP®) Facilitator and founder of Next Steps for Women.
Cathy Taughinbaugh is an author, blogger and Recovery Coach and founder of TreatmentTalk.org.
Collectively, these women’s experiences include: co-parenting through the many issues involving wilderness programs, treatment centers and sober living environments; decades of living and coping with family members alcohol abuse and alcoholism; navigating the outcomes of suspension from school for on-campus drinking and the devastating descent into addiction followed by the ongoing journey of long-term recovery.
What drew these women together?
“It was the complimentary reach of our individual practices that prompted us to seek each other out,” says Cathy.
“We are all very interested in the potential for changed conversations based on the 21st century brain and addiction-related research that proves addiction is a developmental brain disease that often begins in adolescence and always begins with substance abuse,” says Lisa.
“As someone with personal experience with addiction and recovery, I understand what it takes to develop the disease and to come out the other side,” says Shelley.
These three moms are excited about their confidential parent workshops.
They want to share the revolutionizing research of NIAAA, NIDA and similar organizations, as well as tips for what parents can do to help their children and themselves.
While it’s true – most young people who experiment do not become alcoholics or drug addicts -- the greater concern is the brain impacts and social outcomes of substance abuse.
In addition to the impacts of drugs, alcohol and risk factors on the brain, parents also learn a great deal about teen brain development – information that helps explain why teens and young people do some of the inexplicable things they do.
Their next workshop is scheduled for March 3, 2013.
Be on the lookout for their new blog on Patch.