Phoenix Outdoor Program Participates in National Radio Interview

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Wilderness program comments on recent SAMHSA study about new adolescent trend.

They [teens] feel like it's not as dangerous and so they're using it more

Sally Jenkins, Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist (LCAS) and program director of Phoenix Outdoor, a North Carolina-based outdoor behavioral health program, was recently interviewed for a segment on the national radio show "Family News in Focus" about a SAMHSA study revealing that over 3 million adolescents, ages 12-25, admit they have used over-the-counter cough and cold medications to get high at least once in their lives. The study claims the level is comparable to LSD, and more than the reported use of methamphetamines, both illegal substances.

"They [teens] feel like it's not as dangerous and so they're using it more," said Jenkins in the interview. "And also accessibility, you know they just have to walk into the drug store and pick it up and even can buy it themselves."

Jenkins is program director for Phoenix Outdoor, a licensed wilderness therapy program for teens ages 13-17 who are struggling with alcohol or substance abuse issues. The outdoor environment enables teens to focus on the underlying issues that have led to their substance abuse, depression, anger and other disruptive behaviors by removing daily distractions and simplifying choices. Phoenix offers crisis intervention and thorough behavioral assessments to evaluate the scope and severity of substance abuse and dependency - including the misuse of over-the-counter cough and cold medicines - and has achieved significant behavioral changes in adolescents. Working with the entire family, the program is able to create a plan for the teen's long-term success.

The survey, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), is the largest of its kind and involves interviewing nearly 67,000 people from around the nation, including almost 45,000 persons aged 12 to 25. Although non-prescription cough and cold medications are generally safe when taken for medicinal purposes and as directed on their labeling, they can induce severe "out-of-body" experiences when they are consumed in amounts far in excess of their recommended dosages, according to the SAMHSA web site.

"Family News in Focus" is part of a non-profit Christian community dedicated to supporting, encouraging and strengthening families worldwide. The radio show broadcasts to 220 million listeners daily, on over 7,000 stations in 160 countries. Jenkins was interviewed for the program the week of January 6th.

Phoenix Outdoor is a proud member of Aspen Education Group, the nation's largest and most comprehensive network of therapeutic schools and programs. Aspen Education Group offers professionals and families the opportunity to choose from a variety of therapeutic settings in order to best meet a student's unique academic and emotional needs. Aspen Education Group has been profiled by major news and television organizations around the world, including U.S. News and World Report, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and People magazine, as well as on CNN, ABC's 20/20 and Good Morning America, NBC's The Today Show and Dateline NBC, and National Public Radio. Aspen is a division of CRC Health Group, the nation's largest chemical dependency and related behavioral health organization. For more information about Aspen Education Group, visit http://www.aspeneducation.com or call (888) 972-7736. For more information about Phoenix Outdoor, visit http://www.phoenixoutdoor.com or call (877) 305-0904.

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