Peer pressure, academics, depression, these are just a few factors that can lead to teens turning to and becoming addicted to alcohol and other substances.
But a new facility is working to help teens on the road to recovery.
Program Director Kerri Klein said, “As the program director, I had to do research about what services were needed in North Dakota and what could Eckert provide for the state of North Dakota.”
After a little research, Kerri Klein, the director of the non-profit Fred and Clara Eckert Foundation for Children, found what they were looking for.
“We decided that an adolescence addictions program was extremely important and needed,” Klein said.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2018, about 2.2 million adolescents between the age of 12 and 17 drank alcohol in just one month.
And 1.2 million of them report binge drinking during that time period.
Klein says that’s why they’ve started the Eckert Youth Homes Residential Treatment Facility in Williston, the only one in the state.
“It is extremely important to be able to provide services that can help hurting people to heal,” she said.
The program is for kids ages 14 through the age of 17.
They stay in the home for 2 to 6 weeks and participate in substance abuse prevention exercises.
“You’d be in group therapy in the morning hours and some evening hours group therapy. We have other activities that they do as well that are fun activities. But we base it on an individual’s circumstances, every kid is different.” Licensed Addictions Counselor Shonda Stivers said.
It’s not all about the residential stay, there is post-treatment as well, like life-skills, educational and mental health groups to make sure they don’t retrace their old habits.
“We have good relationships with the kids that come in here. We keep in touch with them even after they discharge to check on them and communicate with them to let them know that we’re still here for them.” Stivers said.
Reasons why they got into the business in the first place.
“I love seeing people heal and be able to make the most of their lives. Everybody has attributes to provide to the world and to people and it’s just awesome to be able to be a part of their growth and their change.” Klein said.