Recently, I visited a community where approximately 30-40 adolescents and their caregivers had shown up just to tell me what they thought of an adolescent substance abuse treatment program funded by the agency I represent, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). They’d been invited, true, but I was still nervous, since folks tend to show up for town hall meetings and the like only when they have something to complain about.
However, to a person -- including the youth -- they had nothing but praise for the program, their therapists, and yes, even the federal government for bringing this intervention to their community. The resounding theme was that the youth and their caregivers now have dramatically improved communication, and they said they were actually getting some real help for the first time. Many spoke of previous multiple failed attempts at treatment for their youth and they had all but given up until this program came to town.