It’s no secret that some teenagers will experiment with substances sometime during their formative teen years. But those who abuse drugs may have a greater risk of developing an addiction when they are adults. Teen substance abuse can also have long-term behavioral and cognitive effects because the brain is still developing. Signs to recognize include poor grades, loss of interest in activities, poor hygiene, avoiding eye contact, frequent hunger (“munchies”), bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, diminished personal appearance, missing curfew, exhaustion, secretive behavior, etc.

Teens experiencing mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, PTSD and trauma can also experience behavioral issues such as social isolation, missed school, and substance abuse including social media, internet and gaming addictions.

Connections in Recovery, in partnership with UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, provides the following services for teens and young adults:

  • Case management (including collaboration with clinical professionals and treatment team providers)
  • Safe transportation services
  • Behavioral health/sober companions
  • Behavioral health/sober coaches
  • Academic support
  • Parent/family coaching
  • Activity coordination
  • Nutrition support
  • Drug testing
  • Encouraging healthy sleeping patterns
  • Health and wellness practices
  • Encouragement and support in developing a healthy network of positive peers

All of the above services are clinically supervised by Dr. Georgina Smith, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist specializing in addiction, trauma, relationship issues, self-injury, impulse regulation issues, etc. Dr. Smith also specializes in treating depression, mood and anxiety disorders, personality disorders, domestic violence-related trauma, grief and loss, codependency and phase of life difficulties.

During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, our companions and coaches are also available remotely, supporting positive change and accountability within an empowerment-based approach.

If you or a loved one needs guidance and support, visit us at or give us a call at 1-888-617-1050.

About Connections in Recovery:

With divisions on both coasts and another abroad, Connections in Recovery (CiR) has been helping individuals struggling with addiction and/or mental health since first opening its doors in 2011. All three business units (CiRLA, CiRNY, and CiREU) offer expert pre-and-post-addiction and mental health treatment services through consultations/assessments and support services, interventions, case management, safe transport, and trained in-person and virtual sober and mental health coaches and companions, who undergo rigorous, specialized clinical training and on-going supervision by a clinician. Proven to help countless individuals for nearly a decade, CiR is renowned for its custom-tailored and effective strategy plans that work hand-in-hand with the person struggling and their medical team’s objectives.