Turn About, in Tallahassee, has been offering outpatient substance abuse services for adolescents and undergraduate college students for the past 21 years. Located in what is often called the showpiece of the Florida panhandle, Turn About provides evidence-based treatment on a sliding scale, for young people who struggle with addiction and co-occurring disorders; no client is turned away for lack of funds.
Treatment and Staff
The outpatient services at Turn About are typically generated through two sources: parents and schools. Turn About works with clients at its outpatient center, located in a bucolic residential district in Tallahassee, but also with counselors and teachers at various schools.
If a school refers a client, the school counselor contacts parents to seek permission to refer their child to substance abuse treatment. Once permission is granted, the clients come to Turn About for an assessment, where an in-depth biopsychosocial inventory takes place. Clients with co-occurring disorders are either already seeing a psychiatrist, or are referred to a psychiatrist for an additional assessment and medication management.
The Turn About treatment team creates a plan around each client’s objectives and goals. Those who need daily monitoring are instructed to attend the Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), which typically runs for 21 weeks. IOP clients meet every day after school at Turn About for approximately three hours, participating in individual, family and group counseling. Counselors use CBT, DBT and Motivational Interviewing (MI). Clients also take part in role-play and art therapy. Group topics include self esteem and peer pressure. Parents and families learn how to administer effective discipline and to improve communication. There are two treatment tracks in IOP, one for kids between the ages of 11 and 13 and another for adolescents that are between 13 and 17 years old.
Regular outpatient groups are similarly separated by age. Clients meet twice per week for two hours, one hour of which is dedicated to individual therapy. Group topics address substance abuse education, depression and anxiety, anger and family dynamics. The outpatient program usually lasts for 16 weeks, but can be longer depending on the client.
Turn About’s program for college age students consists of individual sessions. The frequency of these appointments is determined by the treatment team and the clients. In these sessions, clients talk about the pressure of college life, fraternities, peer pressure, binge drinking on campus, sexual promiscuity, assault while under the influence and self esteem.
When appropriate, clients are encouraged to attend 12-step meetings and to continue with these meetings after treatment is over. Clients under 18 must have parental consent and participation for outpatient.
Each client works with a primary counselor. The treatment team consists of Master’s-level therapists, all with a certification in addiction, family therapy or child growth and development. In addition, there are two PhD candidates and licensed substance abuse counselors. Client-to-staff ratio is five-to-one.
Turn About offers an extensive family program. Parent training and support groups are held every Monday night from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. While parents are in therapy, the kids are in chemical education class. Parental education includes how to communicate with the client, how to recognize signs of substance abuse and how to deal with adolescent behavior. One of the goals of this program is to teach parents not to be ashamed; that they are not bad parents and addiction is not their fault. In addition to the Monday night meetings, parents also attend biweekly family conferences and sign a contract stating that they will follow the rules and procedures of the program, one of which is that the parents themselves are sober for the duration of treatment.
All clients have access to the Continuing Care (aftercare) program where they attend group therapy once a week for three months. The treatment team focuses on the positive and negative affects of peer groups as well as on relapse prevention. Parents and families are encouraged to continue family therapy during this time and periodic phone contact is maintained even after the program is completed.
Chemical Education is a free educational series offered at Turn About. Physical, social and psychological consequences of using drugs and alcohol are discussed along with legal ramifications of substance abuse. Classes take place either in school or at Turn About.
Turn About provides a valuable service to Florida’s families and young adults. The extensive family and aftercare programs for sliding scale fees make Turn About an attractive option for treatment in Tallahassee.
2771 Miccosukee Rd
Tallahassee, Fl 32308
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