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Local symposium to focuses on adolescent addiction

Event is hosted by Adolescent Counseling Services, which just opened local offices

Adolescent Counseling Services, a nonprofit agency offering youth mental health services, is giving a free one-day community symposium March 5 on adolescent addiction.

"Protecting Our Developing Youth: Adolescent Addiction, Prevention & Recovery" will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula clubhouse at 2013 Pulgas Ave. in East Palo Alto.

Adolescent Counseling Services recently announced it is opening an office in San Mateo County. Starting March 1, outpatient services will be available at 643 Bair Island Road, Suite 301, in Redwood City, as well as at the organization's Palo Alto office.

Support groups will start March 15 at the Redwood City office, which will house the administrative staff. Therapy is also offered at schools of the Sequoia Union High School District and Las Lomitas Elementary School District.

The morning session of the March 5 symposium will feature Stephanie Brown, founder and director of the Addictions Institute, an outpatient therapy program in Menlo Park. Dr. Brown will speak about her book "SPEED: Facing Our Addiction to Fast and Faster and Overcoming Our Fear of Slowing Down," emphasizing how parent and school authority, and the vital family and social structures that are part of that authority, have been lost. Her lecture is titled "When the Village Fails."

Also speaking in the morning are Dr. Anna Lembke, current chief of addiction medicine services at Stanford University; and D'Anne Burwell, author of "Saving Jake: When Addiction Hits Home."

The afternoon session will have workshops including "Advanced Motivational Interviewing" with Rosalind Corbett, a registered addiction specialist and consultant; "Understanding the Realities of Teen Substance Abuse" with Connie Mayer, director of outpatient services at ACS; "LGBTQQ+ and Addiction" with Gabrielle Antolovich from Voices United; and "Everything You Want to Know about Your Teen but are Afraid to Ask" with Philippe Rey, executive director of ACS.

The symposium is sponsored by the Esther Ting Foundation, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Peninsula, Project Safety Net, Youth Community Service, the Palo Alto Police Department and Voices United.

The seminar is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required on the Adolescent Counseling Services website. More information is available by emailing Lridgeway@acs-teens.org or by calling (650) 424-0852, ext. 111.

Adolescent Counseling Services' network of family therapists and support groups have been available since 1975. The organization provides on-campus and community counseling, substance abuse treatment, LGBTQQ+ support services, and community education programs.

ACS says it estimates that 65,000 youth on the Peninsula need accessible mental health services. The organization plans to increase the number of clients it serves by 30 percent to help meet the growing demand. With the new Redwood City location, ACS will have eight offices supporting its community counseling, adolescent substance abuse treatment, and outlet programs.

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