Alcohol and drug use are rampant in our culture, and overusing and abusing them are popularized and glamorized every day by our mainstream media and entertainment outlets. Young people are brainwashed into thinking that substance abuse represents coolness, popularity and likeability. Young people are experimenting at younger and younger ages, being pressured and influenced by their peers at school and in their communities. They are witnessing older family members using and succumbing to their addictions. They are affected by everything around them, and the widespread normalization of substance abuse is directly impacting their willingness to try drugs when they otherwise might have been more discerning. They also are often trying to escape their feelings of sadness, fear and worry. They’re trying to distract themselves from the boredom, restlessness, uneasiness and lack of purpose they’re feeling. Their stress levels are heightened from increasing pressures at school and at home, and they are using drugs to help them cope. They often are suffering from depression, anxiety, panic attacks and other mental health issues and turning to drugs to find relief from their emotional pain.
The warning signs for addiction in children often mirror the signs for mental health issues. Children might be increasingly despondent or display changes in their attitudes or energy levels. They might have worsened behavioral problems with their elders, their teachers, friends, siblings and other family members. They might start losing interest in the things that once made them happy. They might start separating themselves from old friends, or hanging out with brand new friends in an attempt to be perceived as cool and popular. They might start engaging in risky and dangerous behaviors, such as staying out late, partying with older kids, driving drunk, stealing cars or having unprotected sex. They might start missing school and neglecting their responsibilities. You might have a harder time getting them to do their chores, or even getting out of bed. They might have become so depressed alongside their addictions, or as a result of their addictions, that they appear visibly different to you.
Talking to our children early on and often is one of the best ways to prevent them from experimenting with drugs. We want them to feel safe and comfortable talking to us about anything, including difficult issues such as substance use. If they feel safe to be open and transparent with us, we have a better chance of having them talk to us if anything difficult comes up for them.
Corner Canyon Health Centers’s treatment programs provide you with the supportive and caring environment and trustworthy staff you need to achieve a successful recovery. Call 1-866-399-3469 today for more information.
Cheryl has a 24-year history of founding and managing treatment programs for adolescents, in addition to providing therapy for them and is now excited to work with adults at Corner Canyon Health Centers. Her own treatment experiences informed the development and implementation of the foundational components of Corner Canyon, and she looks forward to directing a program that meets all the expectations she had while in treatment and includes all the therapeutic practices that she has found to be effective throughout her career.
In 1998 Cheryl co-founded Second Nature Wilderness Program, which grew to be the largest private wilderness therapeutic program in the United States and included 5 separate locations. Cheryl also helped found Gateway Academy, a pre-eminent residential treatment program for adolescent boys, and looks forward to working with the Gateway Academy owners at Corner Canyon.
In 2003, Cheryl was elected by her colleagues throughout the United States to serve as a board member for the National Association for Therapeutic Schools and Programs. Cheryl works clinically with addiction, mood disorders, anxiety, trauma, family systems problems, and other co-occurring issues. She loves working with clients the most out of all the different roles she has played. Cheryl completed her education at Brigham Young University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Sociology in 1991 and her Master’s Degree in Social Work in 1993. Her clinical training included CBT, DBT, Motivational Interviewing, Assertive Communication, and providing individual, family, group therapy and marriage counseling.
Cheryl is the oldest of ten children and has two adult children, a daughter and a son. Her interests include water sports, photography, interior design, household projects, and spending time with her family and friends. She loves house boating on Lake Powell, but her favorite pastime is spending time with her 5 wonderful grandchildren.