Midland Drug Abuse Program Experiences Huge Growth

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - A dose of spring fever and only a few weeks left in school has many West Texas teens looking for fun. This year, more kids than ever who are choosing to spend time with the Palmer Drug Abuse Program. It's a number that's even surprising the program directors.

"It's in a good location, a stable location, kids can easily find it and get to it," Palmer Drug Abuse Recovery Program Director Frank Janousek, said. "A lot more space than what we've had in the past, so the groups have grown tremendously."

Because of it's easy access and prominent location in downtown Midland, teenagers have flocked to the PDAP programs - more than doubling their numbers.

"In the neighborhood of about 60-65% growth rate since the fall of last year," Janousek said.

The Palmer Drug Abuse Program offers group and individual counseling, school programs, and they organize activities just for fun.

"We go and have some fun with them in social settings without the use of mind changing chemicals," Janousek said.

Right now, most of the teens they work with are 14 to 17 years old struggling with alcohol, marijuana, or hallucinogens.

"There's definitely a need in the community, there's a lot of kids that are experimenting with substances and if we can reach them at that point, we have a much better chance at turning that around," Janousek said.

And the recovery programs just keep expanding - mostly by word of mouth.

"Exponentially it kind of blossoms from there because they reach other teenagers and that's part of our philosophy, we use a positive peer pressure in reverse. One teenager reaching out to another," Janousek said.