The following was prepared by a Behavior and Mental Health Services staff member.

Matt started intensive outpatient treatment in September of last year. He was referred to KYFS by Diversion. He was placed on Diversion after he was found with multiple bags of marijuana on school property. We diagnosed him with marijuana dependence and alcohol abuse. To complicate matters more, he was/is coping with grief, loss and symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Since his first day of intensive outpatient treatment, all of the random urinary analysis he has completed have returned negative for marijuana. His attendance at sessions has been excellent. Not a single outpatient group or counseling session has been missed. Both myself and the other co-facilitating counselor value the contributions he makes to the groups.

See, Matt lost a close friend a year ago in a shooting that took place here in the community. They were walking home when Matt’s friend was unexpectedly shot. Matt carried the lifeless body of his friend home. To cope with this trauma, Matt began using marijuana and alcohol. Before beginning treatment, he was unable to talk about or begin to process the death of a friend.

Matt is now able to talk about the death of his friend and the trauma of that fateful evening. He has talked about the death of his friend with his father, a friend and counselors here at KYFS. He reports having occasional intrusions of the trauma, but with continued work he will be able to identify and cope with those moments in healthy ways. Despite such a traumatic event, life is bright for this young man.

From Hope, To Change,

-Kent Youth and Family Services