Program Services Available to Help Our Kids
The 2012 Galveston County Community Plan reports substance abuse by youth as one of the top 3 identified problems and unmet needs in the community.
The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse ( 2010) indicated 10.1 percent of youths aged 12 to 17 were current illicit drug users. Of those persons between ages 12-20, approximately 6.5 million (17.0 percent) were binge drinkers, and 2.0 million (5.1 percent) were heavy drinkers. More than half (55 percent) of our nation’s 12th graders have tried an illicit drug, and more than one-quarter (29 percent) have tried a drug other than marijuana, such as cocaine, inhalants, and heroin. (Monitoring Youth 1999) Teen and young adult alcohol and drug abuse impacts both the community and the family.
Parents faced with drug abuse and addiction in a family member often feel helpless, hopeless and frightened as they experience firsthand the ravages of substance misuse, abuse and dependence. Treating adolescents for substance abuse requires special consideration of the adolescent’s individual experience and how it affects the nature and severity of his or her alcohol or drug use. Understanding the adolescent’s situation will help explain why alcohol or drugs are used and how they became an integral part of his or her identity(SAMSHA).
The Gulf Coast Center’s Adolescents in Recovery (AIR) Program addresses these community and parental concerns and offers services in alignment with this SAMSHA principle for effective care. Comprehensive and individualized screening and assessment identifies the specific treatment needs of the individual. If a problem is identified, the next step is referral for an appropriate and least restrictive level of care – either residential care or enrollment in AIR’s Intensive Outpatient Program. Participation by both the adolescents and their parents or guardian is required. The program includes drug education, anger management, coping skills training, multifamily counseling, urine drug testing, as well as individual and group counseling. The goal of the AIR Program is to encourage the participant to achieve and maintain abstinence from the alcohol and/or drugs and to help adolescents and their families reestablish a supportive relationship.
The AIR Program is licensed and partially funded by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Medicaid and insurance are both accepted. A sliding scale fee ensures that those without third party coverage or the ability to pay will be able to access care. No one is denied treatment because of an inability to pay. For more information, contact the Gulf Coast Center AIR Program by calling 409.944.4337. www.gulfcoastcenter.org