Starting in September, WellSpring Resources will offer Choices to teens and parents in Madison County. Choices, a four hour intensive alcohol and substance abuse class, is designed to help adolescents understand the consequences of illegal drug use or underage drinking following a violation of their school’s code of conduct. The goal is to increase teens’ and parents’ knowledge about alcohol and drugs, and decrease the likelihood that he or she will illegally use these substances again. 

“Your brain continues to develop into your mid 20s and underage drinking can have a drastic impact on its structure and function,” Tina Kampwerth, Director of Family Services at WellSpring Resources, said. “Choices gives teens the right tools to make educated decisions about what they put in their bodies.”

Kampwerth also said that underage use of alcohol can increase the likelihood of having chronic substance abuse problems later in life. According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and SAHMSA's National Clearinghouse for Drug Information, persons who began drinking by age 15 are more likely to abuse alcohol than those who begin drinking after age 20. 

Underage drinking also causes immediate risks, such as risky behavior due to impaired judgment or health problems due to binge drinking.  According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 19% of drivers ages 16–20 who were involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol concentration over the legal adult limit in 2009.

Choices will be held on Saturdays at WellSpring Resources, 2615 Edwards Street, Alton—parent participation is required for the first hour of class. Kampwerth says that WellSpring Resources also plans to offer Choices at its Jerseyville office in the future. The cost of participation for both the parent and child is $150.00.  Call WellSpring Resources at (618) 462-2331 for more information or to register your child.

Founded in 1959, WellSpring Resources is a total mental wellness resource serving Madison, Greene, Jersey, and Calhoun counties.  With offices in Alton and Jerseyville WellSpring’s compassionate professionals work with children, adults and families to inspire hope and personal growth. Last year, over 6,000 people sought to change their lives for the better through WellSpring’s mental health and substance abuse services.  Visit www.wellspringresources.co for more information.

The services Mental Health Court Case Management, Senior Services, Outpatient, Adult Community Support and Child/Adolescent Community Support and provider WellSpring Resources is funded by the Madison County Mental Health Board.

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