It’s not always easy raising kids. I thought the first couple of years were tough. Then my wonderful children developed into teenagers. Let the games begin! Well the games began. As a parent who thought he was in control as well as in touch with his children, I was fooled. Our day-to-day lives are comparatively normal as any other typical family where both parents work. We were busy trying to keep the ball rolling like everybody else; we did everything we could for our children. Your concerns and desires for your kids make you ache inside. You want nothing but the best for your children. You don’t necessarily want them to grow up and become Supreme Court judges or doctors, but you want their lives to have meaning. When raising your children, you don’t want to be overbearing, but you don’t want to leave them on a free leash either. Stepping out of the family bubble and looking in from a distance, we appeared to be sailing along just fine. But as it turns out, my son was doing more than just “chilling”.
Chilling is an adjective I have come to hate. We lost control of our son. It was through a combination of meeting the wrong group of teens at school, too much academic pressure, peer pressure as well as pressure from home.
The end result was a casual drug habit to help deal with the pressure. This habit became much more serious, to the point where the word addiction was used. This is the point where the hair stands up on the back of a parents neck. We were no longer in control. Our son had a problem and despite our greatest, admittedly uninformed efforts, we failed at reigning in our son. He was “chilling” with very much the wrong type of people, and eventually ran into trouble with the law and a lawyer was retained. We were hoping that a psychologist who specializes in drug addiction and troubled teens could manage and ultimately resolve our son’s behaviour and drug problem. It was not to be. I don’t want to dwell any further on our attempts and failures. What I do want to discuss is the options for parents who are and have been in our position. That position is that as parents we were concerned we were loosing our teen to drugs and assorted behavioral issues. In speaking with psychologists and psychiatrists who deal with these issues, the options for treatment are remarkably limited. Publicly funded rehab centers are poorly funded if at all, and their rehabilitation methods and effectiveness are questionable. Through a friend who unfortunately went through the same agony we were going through informed us about the options available. It is through their experience that we learned how to deal with a troubled teen, and ultimately learned about the existence of Venture Academy. I should note that I in no way benefit from promoting or commenting on Venture Academy. What I have to say is my opinion only, but would suggest to you that my sentiments would be strongly echoed by other parents whose child graduated from the program at Venture.
After a dealing with some legal issues with our son and uncontrolled drug use, we chose to take our son to Venture Academy. What can Venture Academy do for you? Below is a description of the services they provide you.
Venture Academy provides help for troubled teens in Canada including troubled teens who are experiencing family conflict, negative peers, school suspensions, low self-esteem, suicidal thoughts, drug and alcohol abuse, Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), Conduct Disorder, anxiety, depression, other clinically diagnosed disorders and other significant behavioral challenges.
The description above doesn’t describe the remarkable support that Venture Academy provides to the stressed–out parents. Taking your child to a rehab center is an extremely unpleasant experience. The “exchange” process, where a teen is taken to the center and ushered off with a “host parent” is traumatic, to put it bluntly. I’ve come to learn that Venture Academy has a reason for everything. Your child will be admitted, and in some cases admitted as a “crisis admission”. Lovely. But your child will be professionally assessed, a plan will be detailed with milestones and action items and a tentative time duration will be forwarded. The service that Venture Academy provides, the amount of care and compassion and most of all, the effectiveness of the program is what has driven me to write about Venture Academy. It is managed and staffed by an assortment of medical, psychiatric, therapists and educators. The treatment plan is unique. Based on what I have witnessed it is effective. The rehabilitation model involves a lot of physical activity which is where Crossfit plays a huge role. The Venture Academy system employs a unique system whereby the troubled teen lives with a “host parent” know as HP’s. These host parents are not comparable to a foster parent. HP’s are truly remarkable people in that they are able to host troubled teens who typically have large amounts of anger and resentment in the early stages of the program. They are able to “tame the beast”, so to speak. The troubled teens aren’t just “dried up” and cured of there drug habits. They are not brainwashed and forced into a military-style curriculum. Your child will be taught coping skills and new ways to communicate to alleviate stress and how to avoid confrontations and ultimately how to remove the need to use drugs.
Venture is not a publicly funded rehabilitation treatment center. What the Shouldice Clinic is to hernia operations, Venture Academy is to troubled teen rehabilitation. It costs money and they do what they do very well. You have to pay for this service. Investing in your child is a pretty simple decision; you do what you have to do. Investing in your child, to set their life back in the right direction is the right decision. Venture Academy was the solution for us. Our son was not only cleaned of his drug habit, but set free with coping skills, given tools to avoid and not start using again. He was given an arsenal of mental skills to deal with difficult communication and confrontational situations. As taxpayers, we were disappointed with the lack of services. There are very few publicly available treatment centers for troubled teens or teens with drug use problems.
Venture Academy program works, the staff are truly remarkable. Let me say that again, they are REMARKABLE. From how they expertly assess your child’s issues to the causes of their misbehaviour or drug use. The issues are dealt with which in turn removes the need to use drugs or bad behaviour. Venture Academy has straightened out a lot of lives, our son’s life included. I felt some recognition was in order.
To all the staff at Venture Academy, I salute you for doing a very difficult job.