For many adolescents, using alcohol, drugs, or other substances is just part of growing up. Many may try these substances only a few times and stop, while others choose to continue to use them on a more routine basis. Adolescents use alcohol and cannabis (marijuana) more than any other substances. They use these substances much for the same reasons adults do ⎯ to relax and feel good ⎯ but also more for social reasons and involvement with peers or for reasons of deeper emotional issues.
How Whytecliff Can Help Kids With Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Whytecliff offers the BC Ministry of Education accredited curriculum leading to a British Columbia Certificate of Graduation. Whytecliff also incorporates the new BC Curriculum’s intellectual, personal, and social-emotional proficiencies, with a special emphasis on youth development as well as positive mental health and wellness.
Whytecliff has a positive effect on children attending who may be prone to drug and alcohol abuse and for children who struggle with addiction challenges. In contrast to approaches that stovepipe service delivery and treat education and mental health and addictions assistance separately (and at twice the cost), Whytecliff blends and integrates the two approaches. Both orientations ⎯ education and mental health ⎯ become more potent with the addition of the other, and there is better buy-in from participants. The Whytecliff curriculum embodies elements that the new BC Curriculum is seeking to encourage: innovation, creativity, personalized learning, self-efficacy, pro-activity, social-emotional balance, and communication.
The therapeutic side of the program is tailored to the needs of each individual child and based on a combination of the following six working principles: relationships through a therapeutic working alliance; milieu therapy; the power of community; positivity; resilience; and our ‘being development’ groups©.
In some measure one of the most powerful elements at Whytecliff is how all elements of the program foster fresh perspectives and creativity. As the eminent Carl Rogers noted, “…creativity appears to be the same tendency which we discover so deeply as the curative force in psychotherapy…”
Over the past 24 years, the school has provided success to young adults who faced the challenges of anxiety, depression, ADHD, FASD, and autism ⎯ separately or together with alcohol and drug abuse. These children are now able to lead balanced lives and contribute to society. All credit their time at Whytecliff with helping to transform their lives.