Legalized Marijuana’s Deadly Impact on Teens

 

In 2012 Colorado voted to legalize recreational marijuana. Just now, three years later, many negative effects of this choice are being discovered. One of the most concerning is the impact legalization has had on adolescents in Colorado. Although it is illegal for minors to use, CBS4 Denver reported, “over 11 percent of Colorado’s 12 to 17 year-olds use pot.” If we vote to legalize marijuana in Ohio in November, this could be our reality too.

This high rate of teen drug users could partly be due to the media–both social media and advertising media. According to a 7News Denver article, one expert identified YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as social media platforms on which drugs gets advertised as being cool. This is undeniably accurate! Take a minute to think about all the music videos that feature casual drug usage. These videos are practically a celebrity endorsement for marijuana. Also via social media, a teen could see their classmate post about using drugs. Drug use has now gone from being a celebrity habit to a local habit. The bottom line is social media normalizes drug use. The more frequently drugs appear on social media, the less dangerous and harmful these drugs seem.

Media sources local to Denver also play a role in glamorizing marijuana, as parents reported to CBS4 they’re worried their children are noticing “messages promoting pot all over town.” If promotional marijuana ads are commonplace to children, it is conceivable that actual marijuana will eventually become commonplace to them as well. We don’t want marijuana to be commonplace with anybody, nonetheless with minors.

When people become addicted to drugs, these drugs become their coping mechanism. Every time they have an issue, they turn to drugs rather than facing the actual problem. However, drug use just leads to more issues–family relation and friendship tensions, financial problems, health concerns. In turn, these issues lead to more drug use. It’s a never-ending cycle. It’s tragic. It’s even more tragic that social media and advertising in Colorado encourages this cycle to begin at a young age.

At Sojourner, it’s our goal to break the cycle for our clients of all ages. Sojourner provides immediate, short-term drug treatment, but we also provide long-term support through teaching clients coping skills to face their problems in a healthy manner.

Our goal is to end the cycle of drug use, not perpetuate it. So come November, we strongly urge you to vote against the legalization of marijuana. Vote no to Issue 3.

Another Place to Call Home

 

Sojourner is proud to announce the opening of our new women’s residential treatment facility in Hamilton! The 16-bed facility opened its doors to new clients this past Monday. Eventually, this will be the home to 16 women:

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We understand that many of the women coming into Sojourner’s treatment program have a stable, permanent home; however, this is unfortunately not the reality for all clients. Either way, we want our clients to look at their residential facility as a home of sorts. We believe a safe and comfortable living environment is conducive to the treatment process. We do our best to seamlessly take care of the little things, so clients can be focused on and committed to their treatment goals. That is why all Sojourner residential clients receive a Basket of Hope upon moving into their new home. This basket contains personal items such as new bedding, a towel, and a journal, among other things.

The addition of this facility brings Sojourner to a total of six residential facilities, for a grand total of 88 beds. For a grand total of 88 people receiving 24-hour substance abuse treatment. Eighty-eight people who will have a better life. That’s what really matters.

Opening the new facility has required energy, time, planning, creativity, and patience on behalf of many Sojourner staff members–but isn’t this the way with all great things? We are certain our new facility will continue Sojourner’s tradition of improving lives through effective treatment. Finally, we are proud of our new facility; we hope the community can be too.

Harleys Against Heroin

Thank you, Harleys Against Heroin, for your generous donation of $10,250!

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This summer marked Harleys Against Heroin’s second annual fundraising ride. Founded by Nikki and Keith Patton, Harleys Against Heroin is an organized motorcycle ride with the proceeds going toward battling the heroin epidemic.

Nikki Patton, cofounder of Harleys Against Heroin, with a certificate of appreciation from Sojourner.

Nikki Patton, cofounder of Harleys Against Heroin, with a certificate of appreciation from Sojourner.

Several Sojourner staff members attended the Harleys Against Heroin event–a few were even on Harleys! They had a blast and said a great time was had by all.

The 2015 Harleys Against Heroin event involved two separate rides–the first one on July 25 and the second one on August 23. These two rides gained a following of 700 bikes and raised a total of $41,000 for the fight against heroin! That’s life-changing. The grand total was split equally among four substance abuse treatment agencies, each one receiving a check for $10,250. Sojourner was fortunate enough to be one of these agencies. We could not be more appreciative to receive this donation and look forward to putting it toward healing our clients and shutting out heroin.

Thank you Harleys Against Heroin, thank you Nikki and Keith Patton, and thank you to everyone who came out to support the event! Your selfless generosity is truly making the world a better place.

For more information on Harleys Against Heroin, visit their Facebook page here.

Are You Ready for Back to School? We Are.

 

The lazy, hot summer days are quickly coming to an end. Gone are lazy weekends spent by the pool. Gone is the excitement of county fairs. The children and teenagers of Butler County are trading in their summer freedom for school, homework, and studying. Heading back to school is a big deal that brings with it big changes.

The start of the school year is a big deal for us too. Sojourner believes in the importance of proactively educating the youth on the dangers of substance abuse. Early intervention is key to ending the terrible phenomenon of substance abuse.

Sojourner’s adolescent programs have been prepped and primed to suit the needs of the upcoming school year. We currently offer two different outpatient adolescent programs: intensive outpatient (IOP) and nonintensive outpatient (NIOP). These programs provide individual and group counseling, focus on the importance of family, and utilize Seven Challenges treatment plan. But most importantly, Sojourner recognizes that each adolescent is different, so we strive to provide individualized treatment that acknowledges and addresses the unique personalities, attributes, skills, and struggles of each client.

Every aspect of Sojourner’s personalized treatment plan is intentional. For example, the counseling gives adolescents a safe place to discuss their personal concerns and struggles. Also, group counseling allows adolescent clients to form a network of supportive, relatable peers.

With the intent of encouraging positive relationships, Sojourner incorporates the client’s family into the treatment program through family counseling and family group sessions. Family counseling creates an open dialogue among family members in a setting that encourages honesty and respect. Similarly, family group sessions educate the entire family unit on drug culture, ensuring everyone has the facts and is on the same page.

Finally, Sojourner uses the evidence-based practice of Seven Challenges to teach adolescents the habits of good decision-making. While this informed decision-making is taught with a focus on abstaining from substance abuse, the skills learned can be applied to any decision the client may be faced with. For more information on Seven Challenges, you can visit their official website at www.sevenchallenges.com.

Sojourner’s adolescent programs aim to stop drug abuse at a young age and give adolescents the necessary tools and strength to be able to say no. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) conducted a study on adolescent drug use in Ohio between 2009 and 2013. SAMHSA found that, per year, an average of 89,000 adolescents reported using drugs within a month from the time they were surveyed. That’s 89,000 teens in just the state of Ohio! Sojourner believes this number should be lower–much lower. So we’re doing our part to help. Furthermore, we have plans to expand our adolescent programs to better meet the needs of the Butler County region and make an even bigger impact on the future of our community.

As the adolescents head back to school (whether or not they are ready), Sojourner is ready to offer a helping hand to those in need.

Out with the Old, in with the New

 

Welcome to Sojourner Recovery Services’ newly renovated website! Thanks for stopping by. Our new website is designed in a no-nonsense, easy-to-read format in order to conveniently provide you with the information you seek–whether it be the services we provide, scheduling an assessment, or the community meeting schedule. As an agency that provides substance abuse and mental health services, we understand the quality of a person’s life can be a time sensitive issue. If you are seeking help for yourself, for a loved one, or just learning more about Sojourner, we welcome you to our website and admire your courage to make a change for the better.

In future blog posts, you can expect to find a variety of topics discussed: updates on Sojourner, local drug trends, effective substance abuse treatment, relevant events in the community, and anything else related to our Mission, Vision, and Beliefs.

Although our website is new, our agency is not.

Sojourner Recovery Services was founded in 1984 as a nonprofit organization in Butler County, OH. The need for a substance abuse treatment facility was clear, and Sojourner took on the challenge. Now, over thirty years later we remain a top provider of comprehensive addiction treatment in the region. One reason Sojourner has been successful for so many years is due to our holistic, individualized treatment approach. Rather than focusing solely on treating a person’s substance abuse issues, we focus on every aspect of the substance abuse issue, such as reasons they began to use, co-occurring mental health issues, and broken family relationships. We focus on healing the entire person. This could not be possible without Sojourner’s compassionate, dedicated staff–the number one reason for our agency’s success. The staff members here truly care about the treatment, health, and success of each and every Sojourner client. We are in this field to save lives.

But like our website, Sojourner is constantly updating.

For example, Sojourner was first founded as a women’s only treatment center. Upon recognizing the need of the community, the agency expanded to provide services for men and adolescents as well. The treatment services provided to clients are a combination of the most up-to-date evidence-based practices. Furthermore, Sojourner regularly conducts training to ensure all staff members have the appropriate skills for working with a population suffering from addiction. Today, most importantly, Sojourner recognizes that drug addiction is not a choice, but a complex illness characterized by intense and, at times, uncontrollable drug cravings, along with compulsive drug seeking and use that persist even in the face of devastating consequences. We are working hard to constantly familiarize ourselves with the newest treatment, so our clients can have the opportunity to lead the sober lives they deserve.

So out with the old website, out with the old stigmas of substance abuse, out with the old binds of drug addiction–in with the new!

Always with our Vision in mind, Save Lives – Foster Hope – Strengthen Communities