We have a youth who has a very serious alcohol problem. She always presents as a really pleasant young woman and is usually very cordial and respectful with staff. During a prior stay, she snuck in beer into her room and a tub full of empty cans was found in her room. It became very apparent that she had a pretty serious addiction issue. This stay she has curbed her drinking but certainly still struggles with it, drinking two days in a row, and receiving overnight suspensions from the program. Her youth workers have helped connect her with our drug and alcohol/mental health team and they have come up with strategies to help her deal with her constant thoughts of drinking. It has not been an easy process for the youth as she has felt like the strategies have not been effective in helping her stay sober, telling one youth worker that all she still thought about was drinking. It has been a work in progress in terms of encouraging her to continue working on these strategies, and not give up.
Unfortunately, yesterday she continued with her drinking on an excessive level. The weekend team confronted the youth, and arranged for her to go to detox in the morning. Unfortunately, detox would not take her until she was cleared medically by a clinic, so a plan had to be made for her to do this. As the medical clinics were closed, the weekend team arranged for the youth to come back to the shelter, stay overnight, attend a clinic appointment at 11:30am and then go to detox. Staff waited for her to return at an appointed time, but she came back late, and again, she was intoxicated, refusing to talk to staff about a plan of action. The youth chose to leave and staff were certainly worried about her.
This morning, the youth came back to the shelter with staff from the detox program to pick up her belongings. It was a welcome sight. She said that she is willing to do what it takes to work on her alcohol addiction.