Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Great Start... keep it up..

Our youth are our future and the more we work with them when they are younger the better chance they have to straighten themselves out before their additions become too severe. I'm convinced that kids from adolescence through to their mid twenties sometimes just head down the wrong path because they don't have someone to give them any guidance or advice and having an environment to discuss their additions with their peers is an important first step. My Dad was a bad alcoholic when I was growing up but fortunately he joined AA's shortly after my 14th birthday and although he died a few years later it had given me the opportunity to see how great family life was without alcoholism. Even growing up surrounded by this addition didn't stop me from starting along the same footsteps and by my late teens I was pretty much addicted but it wasn't until a few years later and a lot of stupid "episodes and displays" that the disease fully reared its head. At one point in my early twenties I was drinking to excess nearly every night and it was after a "3 day tear" (where I was having blackouts) that I had gotten so sick I couldn’t even drink so I had a chance to sober up. Fortunately during this sober period a friend with a little more sense than I gave me a bit of a "tuning up" and I denied I was having drinking problems. To prove his point he made a bet with me that I couldn't go without a drink for a full week which I scoffed at. Into the third day of the bet I recognized that he may be right as I was having some serious withdrawals and also memories of what my Dad went through when he was trying to stop. So I called a family friend who had worked with my Dad and he took me down to AA's in Summerside. Although I stayed with their program for a little while the physical environment and the age of the volunteer councillors weren't really suited to someone as young as myself and for those reasons I started to shy away from the place as it had an older stigma attached to it that made me feel a bit embarrassed. I had "lived" the hardships of alcohol in my childhood and I guess it was enough to force me to continue on living an alcohol free life for over 30 years now without so much as a "sip". The first 5 years were really tough and I think if I would have had a younger peer group to bounce around some of my problems during this period it would have been a lot easier and that is why I think a day program is an important step to helping out some of our youth with these addictions. At this point the addicts have to face the problems themselves and talk and treatment will go a lot farther than bricks and mortar so Kudos to Mr. Currie and his team for getting this program off the ground.... keep up the great work.
Province backs away from residential youth addiction treatment
Friday, December 19, 2008
CBC News
There will soon be a day treatment program for addicted youth in Charlottetown, but the P.E.I. government has no current plans for a residential treatment program.
During a CBC Forum on youth addiction last November, the government committed to building a youth addictions facility within two years. There has been talk about one for years; currently youth requiring residential treatment have to go to New Brunswick.
Health Minister Doug Currie told CBC News Thursday any residential treatment program is a ways off, but the day program is an important first step in the addictions strategy.
"Build a day program, build relationships, but also to most importantly build a preventive education and early intervention strategy around this program as we reach out into the school system," said Currie.
The program is voluntary. Youth will choose whether to check in at the start of the day, and they will have to go home at night. Clinicians and counsellors will be available at the centre.
Whether treatment should be voluntary or forced has also been an issue for the government, and it is maintaining its position of voluntary treatment only.
Opposition leader Olive Crane is applauding government for doing something about youth addictions, but said it needs to follow through with the next step.
"Everybody realizes we need to have a year-round residential in-house program for youth on Prince Edward Island," said Crane.
The province plans to begin hiring for the new day program in January.


Anonymous said...

I could complain about how slow this program is coming and that more is required , however it is progress and that I am grateful to see. Anyone who is an investor (even with little wisdom)knows it costs more money to do nothing about addiction. Thank you Tim for sharing a little of your experience , some of us are fortunate enough to make it in recovery and give back ... some are not. A lot of people view addicts as low life thieves etc. Most addicts have a generous , caring heart , but are just to sick to show it. This is a great time of the year(or any time of the year)to show your love towards an addict , even if it is only a smile. In closing many of you reading this are probably saying this is one sided , and written by an addict , oh well ... My name is Darryl and I am a recovering crack addict.

Anonymous said...

As a successful businessman on PEI, I think you should use your experience as an education tool for youth who feel that it is too late for them to be a success in life. I think you should help out by perhaps making speeches for those who are struggling to get by with their addiction. It would be a huge motivator for people who feel they can't beat their addiction as well as a major motivator saying that even though you may be down in the dumps, you can change for the positive.

"I'm Tim Banks, and I did".

As a non-alcoholic, I'd be the first to signup for such a thing.

Anonymous said...

Remember the kids you went to school with and who you thought were 'cool' because they got drunk and high ?

An rememeber how we all thought everyone would straighten out in time, but then later found out life doesn't always work out the way we had hoped ?

My beef is with the lack of good direction provided for impressionable youth.

I found my own way without much help, but I got lucky. My thoughts are with the kids who never had a chance from the get go.

Is there more to life than luck and hard work?

This time of year it hits me when you think mof the plight of many who don't know any other life.

Anonymous said...

Very big of you to share something that personal. I grew up in it but fortunately managed to not carry on the tradition. The number of troubled adolescents in my generation seems to have increased tenfold in today's society and showing no signs of receding. Hopefully this program is a start of bigger things to come as the upcoming economy situation will only worsen the addiction dilemma.