County: Hillsborough

Can addiction be a learned behavior?

Police arrested a 14-year-old girl for bringing a vodka-filled water bottle to a Nashua sporting event. During intake, the Dad acknowledged his wife has an alcohol problem. He feared his daughter was following the same path. Her contract included a substance abuse assessment, which revealed that an education group would be helpful, as she was not yet addicted. We linked them with AA and Alanon for support and enrolled the daughter in our Counseling Program to address her high-risk behavior.

Learning the dangers of substance abuse

A single mom noticed behavior changes in her son (a high school sophomore), and that he was socializing with strange friends. One evening she smelled something that could have potentially been “pot” and called the police. Her son was arrested and referred to Court Diversion. Through his contract of consequences, we were able to educate the mother and son around the dangers of substance use and help them get back on track. The boy’s grades improved, he joined a peer mentoring program at local recreation center, and he also created an impressive brochure for teens to warn them about the dangers of experimenting with alcohol and other drugs.

When the son’s case was successfully closed, the mother wrote the following in a note to our program director: “Thank you so much. I don’t know what I would have done without your program. The night when I had to call the police was an unimaginable nightmare, and over the past four months, I feel like I have control over my family again.”

Sibling Safety

Two sisters, age 14 and 15, were arrested for assault against their mother. During the intake, we learned that the mother was severely addicted to alcohol and other drugs and the girls had intervened during a violent episode trying to keep younger siblings safe from the mother (who called police in retaliation of their interference). With our support, the father now has full custody of the children, and they are once again attending school regularly and connected with services to help them get back on track. The contract of consequences for the girls included connecting with a local mediation program, attending counseling and gathering information on how to stay safe from domestic violence. The mother was referred to residential treatment for her addiction.

Nashua – The Youth CouncilManchester Police Athletic League