“Every month we have events to include each participant’s families into their treatment and help them to understand the idea of substance abuse treatment and support,” said Carly Fountain, who runs the program.
“We ended up having a pretty good turnout on Saturday for the cookout and had a really fun day. We are looking forward to the family day next month,” she added.
The family day on Saturday, March 19, featured recovery and treatment informational pamphlets and fun activities, such as designing a T-shirts and air-hockey. Family day took place at Highlands Rivers, located at 320 North River Street, from 1 to 4 p.m. The next family day is Friday, April 29.
Highland Rivers hosts the Clubhouse program, which aims to guide youth through their substance abuse past by using what is known as the Seven Challenges concepts. The club began in 2009 and has served approximately 50 teens.
The Seven Challenges program is designed for substance abusing and substance dependent adolescents to motivate decisions and commitments to change, Fountain explained.
Teens talking openly
Participating teens meet at the Highland Rivers center each week. The program gives teens information about making better decisions and avoiding drugs; it also provides counseling, life skills and lessons and discusses the importance of staying in school and improving self-worth.
“It offers a safe place where kids can come and talk openly and honestly about their drug use,” Fountain said. “They learn communication skills, relationship skills and educate the families on teenage issues and through the whole process of alcohol and drug abuse treatment to help bridge the gap.”
This teen outreach program is one of only 10 in the state, and organizers hope it will help kids become healthy teenagers and responsible citizens in their neighborhoods and larger communities.
“We definitely have great success stories,” Fountain said. “We have kids that have stopped using drugs and helped other children stop using drugs, kids that have got off probation and so many find jobs. We have two that are getting ready to graduate from high school and others in long term treatment that they have needed.”
At any given time, the program has about 17 active participants, ranging from age 14-18. Teenagers are referred through the court system, state agencies or are self-referred.
The program also organizes Saturday trips with transportation for the teens to help them learn positive activities away from alcohol and drugs.
A group recently went hiking at Pine Mountain in Cartersville. Past outings have included: Fox Theatre, Dave & Busters, bowling, Chattanooga Aquarium, rock climbing, Tellus museum, restaurants and movies.
In the future, the Clubhouse program hopes to organize a soup kitchen at their site, and organizers are planning other service-oriented activities. A special graduation ceremony will take place in the summertime.
According to organizers, the Clubhouse is a state funded program; however, Fountain said it does rely on community support at Christmas and donations during family outings to give away door prizes.
For more information about participating in the Clubhouse program or community outreach, call Carly Fountain at 706-625-8369.