It’s not news the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about changes to all our lives, and teens are no exception. All at once they were ripped away from their friends, sports, church groups, school clubs, jobs and other social supports. Although school has resumed, life is massively different. With these new challenges, some teens have turned to substances to cope with the difficulties they face. Because the teenage brain is still developing those who misuse drugs or alcohol are at a higher risk of developing a substance dependence or addiction. Therefore, it...

Teenagers need time alone.  It is essential to their cognitive and emotional development. However, time alone can be hard to come by when families are staying home and there is little private space. I want to share the story of a teenager I know. James is 17 and serious about his grades because of his family dynamic. He believes the only way to get out of the tiny apartment he shares with his mother and three younger siblings is to graduate and join the military. James has worked with a recruiter for...