– written by Palmer Outpatient Counselors
A 15 year boy came to treatment because he had taken his father’s pain medication and was caught. The client shared that he really wanted his overpowering craving for the drug to stop. I saw him for 8 sessions and we worked on ways he could get that craving to go away such as using an exercise to “change the channel” whenever he began thinking about using. We talked about thinking the use through to the end. What happens after the high is gone? We also discussed his “higher power” and how helpful it would be if he asked his higher power every morning to take the cravings away. By the end of our sessions he no longer had the craving and felt like he could carry on with his life and not use.
A 15 year old girl came to us as a probation referral, possession of an illicit substance, with an initial treatment focus of Relapse Prevention Skills. By the next month, though, the client reported that she was pregnant so her treatment changed to a Client Centered approach as she had minimal family support. To ensure her stability and continued sobriety I saw her on a weekly basis. The next year she delivered a healthy baby girl while remaining clean and sober and was released from probation. She continues to stay in touch and shares her growth, progress and growth of her daughter. I believe her success was influenced by her life altering decisions and choices for her self and her daughter, knowing she had the support of Palmer for accountability and family support.
A 16 year old male was referred to our agency by a youth offender program due to petty larceny charges. The client self-reported smoking marijuana since age 13, and he stated “there is nothing wrong with weed”. He agreed to engage our Outpatient Program, attending one individual session per week. The client, initially, only agreed to engage in treatment to avoid negative legal consequences. I worked with him by providing chemical dependency and substance abuse trigger identification and healthy management education. After successfully completing court recommendations and being discharged from the youth offender program the client had a strong desire to continue treatment to maintain sobriety and also to address anger and communication issues. I continued to work with him on relapse prevention coping strategies and education on effective communication skills, due to the fact that his biggest trigger was negative emotions. He was able to maintain sobriety for 4 months during the entirety of the treatment process and reported an improvement in school grades, healthy peer connections, and his relationship with his father. He also reported his return to the school football and basketball teams, which had been negatively impacted in past by his substance use.
A 16 year old male was referred to Palmer by the Office of Juvenile Affairs due to charges of assault and battery on a police officer. The client reported his drug of choice was marijuana and xanax, and that both chemicals had been causing him major problems in the areas of school, family, and the legal system. He reported his first treatment goal was to discontinue chemical use and agreed to attend group and individual sessions in Palmer’s Outpatient Program for a period of three months. He also agreed to random drug screenings, in which results were negative for all drugs. His second goal was to participate in drug-free recreational activities, as he had previously been an all-state wrestler in his conference. He participated in Palmer’s Drug-Free Basketball Program attending several wrestling events as part of his high school team. Ultimately he was successfully discharged from probation and Palmer and even agreed to be a spokesperson for the Palmer Program in the future to speak to others about his life-changing experience.
A 16 year old male was brought to Palmer by his father who was concerned about his drug abuse. The client did not have transportation to get to counseling; therefore, he utilized Palmer transportation. He attended our Intensive Outpatient Program for three months and then attended the Outpatient Program for nine months. He was educated about the characteristics of the disease of addiction, the process of addiction, the dynamics of cross addiction, and relapse prevention skills. He was also educated about the four major areas of a healthy, balanced lifestyle and identified personal goals in each area. He was making progress working towards those goals at time he left our program.