Teen alcohol and drug use up - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Teen alcohol and drug use up

Posted: Updated:

RICHLAND, Wash.—Most of us know drugs and alcohol use is a problem with teens locally.  KNDU discovered that just within the past six months more teens are becoming dependent on drugs and alcohol.

Jim Mason, a representative with Recovery Pointe in Richland, says the recent spike is because of the recent awareness of Spice, Medical Marijuana and Four Loko.  Now he is trying to work with teens by educating parents.

Saturday a program called "Parents You Matter" started and will run every three months.  The lecture helps parents understand their role.  Mason says during the teen years there is a power shift, and if parents pick too many battles then the teen may push away.  However, he says if parents can help the teen avoid drugs and alcohol then they have less of a chance of becoming addicted as an adult.

"Seeing an increase in the teenagers using and already having problems both in the families, at school and with the law, this then precipitates into alcohol and drug dependency as an adult," says Jim Mason, Recovery Pointe.

Mason says he has seen an increase in parents calling about problematic teens and not knowing what to do.  Plus more teens are signed up for drug and alcohol classes.