Due to area need, Arbour Counseling Services, Norwell is implementing a SOAP program for Adolescents ages 12-18.
According to Site Director Mike Gaudet, the Department of Public Health Bureau of Substance Abuse Services for 2010 indicate that the Southeast region of Massachusetts has the highest percentage of adolescents being admitted into treatment facilities for substance abuse disorders.

“Adolescent admissions for substance abuse services are up in this region and we’ve been hearing from the community that there is a demand for services that meet those needs,” explained Gaudet.

The program will be similar to the adult program, but will include heavy family involvement as part of the curriculum. Adolescents will learn to understand substance abuse as an illness, as well as learn necessary relapse prevention skills that can be integrated into their lifestyle and brought home with them, according to Jill Balboni, SOAP Manager.

“We’re trying to support the family in every way we can – from scheduling to transportation, Balboni explained.
The program will take a look at the patient’s developmental process in terms of growing, social aspects, peer pressure and hormones – issues unique to adolescents, Balboni said. They will learn a different set of coping skills and be encouraged to look forward to vocation, college and future life planning.

“It will be a developmental approach to treatment – learning skills not only for relapse prevention but for life,” Balboni explained.

The program is now accepting referrals and will run during after school hours, as this is a high at-risk time for adolescents.
“We’re all really excited to get involved with this population and expand our services,” she said.

For information or referrals, call 781-871-6550 Ext. 26.