Teen addiction recovery program to launch in Muskegon County

MUSKEGON, Mich. – A new addiction recovery program will help Muskegon County teens battling self-destructive behaviors such as smoking, drinking, fighting, and drug use develop skills to overcome these behaviors and live a healthy life.

The program will be the only one of its kind in West Michigan, according to HealthWest, Muskegon County’s Community Mental Health Services Program.

The SMART Recovery for Teens program, which will help youth 13 and older with addiction recovery.

“What you do as a teenager can set the stage for the rest of your life,” said HealthWest Clinical Supervisor Meaghan Dulin, who is helping to spearhead the program.

“We are excited to work with the youth of Muskegon County to develop healthy habits that will stick with them and set them up for success.”

Recent state data showed more than 21 percent of Muskegon County high school students surveyed have smoked cigarettes and nearly 40 percent have drunk alcohol. The data also revealed that 8 percent of surveyed high schoolers reported binge drinking in the past 30 days and the surveyed teens were on average only 14 years old when they reported being drunk for the first time.

Nearly 15 percent of surveyed high schoolers reported being offered illegal drugs while on school property in the past year and nearly 29 percent reported trying marijuana.

“It’s clear that Muskegon County teens are using drugs, alcohol, and tobacco,” Dulin said. “We’re here to provide them with a safe, welcoming space where they can come together to work on changing those behaviors that hurt themselves and others.”

SMART Recovery is a self-help program that will help participants get and stay motivated; cope with urges; self-manage thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; and live a balanced life.

Meetings will be held from 4:30-5:30 p.m. every Tuesday starting Oct. 22 at the HealthWest Transition Age Services facility, 131 E. Apple Ave., 3rd Floor. There is no cost to attend meetings.

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