Changes in Substance Abuse Field

Substance abuse is certainly a severe, ongoing problem across the country.

But the ways it poses a problem for the U.P. have been slowly changing for a long time.

A substance abuse counselor shared that idea with area residents today.

Tim Connors has been a clinician for more than 20 years.

He says his clients seeking treatment for the first time are much younger than they used to be — possibly up to 5 years younger on average.

Connors says it’s partially because illicit substances are in some cases easier to come by, like prescription drugs, but partially because of an increased ability within the medical community to treat younger people.

He adds that the substance abuse field is still dominated by men, but not nearly like it once was.

20 years ago, about 80% of his clients were male.

Now it’s much closer to 50–50 between men and women.

The presentation is part of the ‘Your Mind Matters’ series at the Peter White Public Library.

The series runs through next week and is meant to start community dialogue about various mental health issues.