The Student News Site of Ballard High School



Follow Us on Instagram

Support group helps students face life with addiction

Alateen Group focuses on students suffering from other people’s addictions

Grace Harmon, Staff Reporter
Originally published October 14, 2014

As the school year began, so did the new Alateen support group. Aiming to give a safe place to any teen who has someone in their life using drugs or alcohol, the group meets every Tuesday in the Teen Health Center at 2:30 p.m. and encourages anyone who feels overwhelmed by the presence of addiction in their life to attend

The group, run by Chelsea Clark, the Teen Health Center Mental Health Counselor, is a different form of support than what may be found in other school outlets.

ASB members agree this support group is valuable to our community.“This is different. This is happening because people care,” Elizabeth Osborn, Junior Secretary-Treasurer, said. “People will be there because they want or need to be, not because ASB or the administration is making them.”

Students may be worried about opening up their personal problems in a school setting, but Clark argues that the benefits of group therapy far outweigh the concern of vulnerability that one might feel.

“You can’t offer something like this without compromising a little of that confidentiality,” Clark said, “but I think the upside is seeing how other people are doing with it and normalizing it.”

Inspired by a well attended Alateen group at Whitman Middle School, the Teen Health Center aspires to continue this therapy so as students transition to high school they can still get the support they need and deserve. “The fact that it has been successful on a middle school level makes me think that in high school it could be just as successful,” Clark stated.

Alateen is program that is traditionally focused on giving teenagers who are suffering from someone else’s addiction a safe place in a group environment. The Teen Health Center aims for this group to be accessible to anyone who could benefit from it.

The goal is not to force the person who is suffering, or the person whose addiction is in question, to confront all their problems but rather to learn to deal and survive with them.

“We’re just aiming to give students another layer of support, giving them alternative ways to cope, and recognizing the role of drugs and alcohol in family dysfunction,” Clark said. “Hopefully they can come out with some insight of their own use and how their family’s use has affected them.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to Talisman

Your donation will support the student journalists of Ballard High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Talisman

Comments (0)

All Talisman Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Support group helps students face life with addiction