JRNY Counseling propose substance abuse levels to district counselors


Guest speakers Holly Homan and Melanie Short from JRNY Counseling discussed the stages of substance addiction and the substances most abused today to educate staff on substance abuse after school on Jan. 25. They used this chart to guide their ideas. Photo by Ashley Steele.

Ashley Steele, Reporter

   Vaping, smoking Marijuana and drinking alcohol are the most common ways teens use substances. Holly Homan and Melanie Short from JRNY Counseling both specialize in addiction counseling and spent a couple hours after school on Jan. 25 educating counselors across the district on substance abuse among preteens and teens. They presented information on the most common drugs, the signs of substance abuse and how to intervene.

 “[Social media] can make you more prone to that immediate satisfaction,” Short said. “However, there’s no concept of what’s really happening.”

According to news website Business Insider, likes and retweets produce a similar pleasure high that occurs when drugs are taken. Despite this, an “addiction” to social media does not have a correlation to substance abuse.

“70 percent of the population falls into the green phase,” Homan said. “These are the people who drink every once in a while and avoid doing drugs.”

Today, marijuana, alcohol, vape and various painkillers are the abused substances among adolescents of concern. All of these are addictive substances. People move into the yellow phase when they are willing to do drugs and look forward to the next time they will use the substance. When dependency occurs, people move into the orange or red phase within a short period of time.

“Once they get to orange or red [on the chart], it’s difficult to get them to stop,” Short said. “Why do people have to wait till the last stage before they intervene with logical consequences?”