Help for Adolescents

Not this community!… Not our family!… Not my child!

Face the reality of adolescent drug and alcohol abuse in Lancaster County. The Lancaster Freedom Center is
currently working to provide services for the unique needs of teenagers
suffering from the consequences of substance use. All of our regular services, including evaluations, individual,
family, and group therapy are available. We have experience working with Student Assistance Programs at
local schools and are able to provide counseling and/or referrals to best meet the needs of each teenager.

The Facts About Adolescent Substance Use

No parent wants to deal with the reality that his/her child may be abusing drugs or alcohol. Some parents may
understand that experimentation with substances is “normal” and it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a
problem. Others may believe that Lancaster County may be removed from the problems that impact urban communities
when it comes to drug use.

According to the 2007 PA Youth Survey conducted by the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the use of drugs
and alcohol among 6th-12th grade students in Lancaster County is as much of a problem as it is nationally. In fact,
the patterns of illegal substance use are very similar to the national averages. Even more surprising is that the
rate of alcohol use is higher overall for students in Lancaster County. 21.7% of 12th graders reported at least 1
episode of binge drinking (5 or more drinks in rapid succession) within the last 2 week period.

Use of Opiates

One of the most alarming problems now surfacing in Lancaster County with adolescents is the use of narcotics
other than heroin. These substances are primarily opiate prescription medicines such as Vicodin, Percocet, and
Oxycontin. 10.6% of high school seniors in this county report using at least one prescription medication, not
prescribed for them, within the past 12 months. Students may begin by taking the medication from the medicine
cabinets at home either to use, to share, or to sell to their peers. Often, it is the use of these substances that
can lead to experimentation and ultimately abuse of heroin.

Why You Need To Know

Listed below are some signs and symptoms of substance use/abuse. A person using substances does not necessarily
exhibit all of these symptoms:

– Talks positively about chemical use

– Erratic, unpredictable behavior; moody, behavior problems

– Manner of dress has changed significantly

– Suspected of vandalism or stealing

– Irresponsibility

– Constant disciplinary concerns in school and at home

– Marked change in health status (weight loss or sleep problems)

– Deteriorating performance in school

– Change in friends; waning interest in previously enjoyed social activities or sports

– Neglected appearance/hygiene; poor self image

– Withdrawal from the family; secretive activities

It is important to understand that these symptoms could be indicators of problems other than drug and alcohol
use, however, they do signify a need for help.

What You Need To Do

Most importantly, communicate with your child about your concerns. You will probably be met with
resistance, but do not stop here.

Become educated. Get as much information as possible. The Lancaster Council on Alcoholism and Drug
Abuse is an excellent local resource:

Get help. Have your child evaluated by knowledgeable and experienced professionals.

Find Us

The Lancaster Freedom Center
436 North Lime Street, Lancaster, PA 17602
tel: 717.397.9118; fax: 717.397.3514


The Promises

When you make the decision to enter treatment, expect to experience change. LFC works with your unique situation to help restore life, find peace and contentment, and face life with courage...


Help for Adolescents

Face the reality of adolescent drug and alcohol abuse in Lancaster County. LFC is currently working to provide services for the unique needs of teenagers suffering...