Leading Wilderness Therapy Program Observes Alcohol Awareness Month

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Trails Carolina, a leading wilderness therapy program, gives insight into preventing alcohol use in teens in recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month.

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"Wilderness therapy provides an incredibly potent setting for substance using adolescents,” comments Ashley Brown, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, Primary Therapist at Trails Carolina.

Trails Carolina, a leading wilderness therapy program for teens ages 10-17, offers advice for parents of teens struggling with alcohol use. As a wilderness therapy program staffed by Master’s level therapists with years of experience treating teens struggling with substance use issues, Trails Carolina lends their expertise to parents seeking help for teens at risk of experimenting with alcohol.

According to the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 35.1 percent of 15 year-olds reported having at least one drink in their lives. In that same survey, 5.4 million people ages 12-20 reportedly engage in binge drinking.

Trails Carolina Wilderness Therapy program offers the following advice in order to prevent alcohol use in teens:

-Talking to teens about the risks of drinking and leaving an open door for conversation.
-Getting acquainted with a child’s friends and being aware of teen’s whereabouts when they are with friends.
-Sharing expectations and reasonable consequences for breaking rules.
-Reducing easy accessibility to alcohol within the home.
-Setting good examples of health and appropriate boundaries.

Parents should also watch out for specific signs of alcohol use in teens. These signs may include: academic decline; sudden change in friends; unusually passive or argumentative behaviors; marked behavioral changes; sudden, inexplicable need for money; increased interpersonal struggles; loss of interest in previously-enjoyed activities; and alcohol use in spite of consequences.

“It’s important for parents to establish an open channel of communication with their child,” says Todd Green, MSW LCSW, Primary Therapist at Trails Carolina. “Being judgmental of their actions will only make them shut down communication. If these honest, open conversations aren’t enough, it may be time to contact a professional for help.”

Getting professional help for your child’s substance use issue can prevent such risks as brain damage and serious injury.

"Wilderness therapy provides an incredibly potent setting for substance using adolescents,” comments Ashley Brown, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, Primary Therapist at Trails Carolina. “It's here, often for the first time, that students face their painful stories, relationships, and challenges, while being sober. And it's in wilderness and sobriety, where they so often find the more powerful rites of passage and the more memorable moments of laughter and vulnerability."

Trails Carolina offers a combination of Seven Challenge Principles and Phase Work to help teens struggling with alcohol use issues.

For more information about Trails Carolina Wilderness Therapy Program, please call 800-975-7303 today.


Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program based just outside of Asheville, North Carolina that offers a multi-dimensional wilderness therapy model to troubled adolescents, ages 10-17. Trails capitalizes upon the profound effects of a student’s wilderness experience, and then combines that experience with strong clinical assessments and therapy. For additional information about Trails Carolina, please visit http://trailscarolina.com/ or call 800-975-7303.

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John Singleton
Trails Carolina
+1 (828) 974-1772
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Trails Carolina Therapeutic Wilderness Program
since: 02/2010
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