Teen substance misuse a concern ahead of distance learning

Teen substance misuse a concern ahead of distance learning

As students head back to school online, concern is growing that teens who struggle from substance misuse disorder could relapse if left without home supervision.

Mission High School specializes in students who are seeking recovery from substance use disorder.

Those who attend Mission High know all to well the pitfalls that come from being young and impressionable.

“It’s definitely hard, especially in this day in age with music. Everything is glorifying it,” said 18-year-old Mission High School student Finn Tystad.

Tystad is sober now for more than 10 months but he started using heroin when he was in junior high school.

“Heroin became my outlet for a lot of things that were going on in my life and it carried on until I was seventeen years old,” said Tystad.

Alternative Peer Group Las Vegas helps teens and young adults who struggle with substance use disorder.

Executive director Kaylyn Vautrinot and others are starting to worry about at risk students being left home alone during distance learning.

“We know that when there is downtime or boredom or isolation, depression, it can be very accessible to start using whatever substance of choice that may be for them,”said Vautrinot.

“Being alone all day with your parents at work and your trying to do school work, and your thoughts run, and you’re alone with your head, it’s definitely hard to stay straight as an arrow,” said Tystad.

To keep at risk students from falling into substance misuse, APG will allow students to complete their schoolwork  in their facility and not home alone where relapsing is a very real concern.

“We’re going to have the availability for students to show up to our facility and sit down and be here on their devices and do their class work here,” said Vautrinot.

“The kids that struggle with substance misuse need that push, need that teacher, need that counselor there to you know keep pushing them and keep pushing them. When it’s just you alone, you don’t really have any motivation,” said Tystad.

APG will extend its hours of operation this school year due to the new dangers that can come from distance learning.

They will be open from 8 am to 6 pm and tutors will be on hand 3 days a week.

For more information on APG, visit their website at www.apglv.org or call them at 725-206-5204.

Written by Enzo Marino, reporter FOX5 Vegas.

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