When Fairwinds Treatment Center was founded in 1989 by Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef, one of the goals was to provide drug addiction treatment that focused on mental health issues as they relate to substance abuse. The main problem was that most addiction treatment centers in the country at the time provided limited resources for patients whose substance abuse was the result of an underlying mental health condition. It was often the case that their addictions would continue after treatment because doctors had not addressed their depression, bi-polar disorder or other illness that was leading the patient to engage in destructive behavior.
As time goes on, more evidence arises every day about the connection between mental health and drug abuse, and nowhere is this more apparent than in teenagers. A new study from Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA and the UCLA Children's Discovery & Innovation Institute provides evidence that students who use alcohol or marijuana at school were more likely to suffer form serious health problems, such as depression. They're also more likely to experience relationship violence and suicide attempts.
"At-school substance use is not just an isolated event requiring simple disciplinary action, but an important signal identifying teens in need of urgent psychosocial assessment and support," Dr. Rebecca Dudovitz, one of the study's authors, said in a press release. "When a student is found using substances at school, we should think of it as a sign that a child needs help."
The study, which was presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Vancouver, Canada, analyzed data from a bi-annual survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention involving 11,500 students. Of those who participated, nine percent reported that they had used drugs at school. The research found that these students were more likely to suffer from or be the victims of extremely destructive behavior, such as driving while intoxicated, being forced into sex, carrying a weapon at school or attempting suicide.
In essence, the study's authors characterized students' drug use at school as a cry for help. Most of the time, the response to such incidents is a disciplinary action that does nothing to treat any kind of underlying psychological condition. This almost guarantees that the student will return to old habits once given the chance.
At Fairwinds Treatment Center, we offer a number of services that can help young people conquer their drug dependence and mental illnesses so that they can go on to lead productive and healthy lives. These include both in- and out-patient services, as well as detox, family therapy and post-therapy services – all of which are aimed at producing long-term results rather than superficial remedies. For more information, contact us today by clicking here.