Family owned business aims to aid teen substance abuse

Photo by Christy Soto
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) The Arbor, a family owned business originally from the Austin area has added a new facility in Waco to help teens who suffer from addiction in McLennan County.

Nearly 21 million Americans suffer from substance addictions including teens and young adults.

Substance abuse among teens is common; in fact, 86 percent of teens say they know someone who smokes, drinks alcohol or does drugs during the school day.

According to the Texas School Survey, in McLennan County 16 percent of students from 7 through 12th grade have engaged in binge drinking within the past month, 14.9 percent of teens say they have used marijuana within the last year and almost 7.8 percent have used prescription medication that was not prescribed to them.

The Arbor wants to help change these numbers but more importantly change the lives of these teens who are suffering from addiction.

Originally based in the Austin area this family owned business moved their efforts to McLennan County after seeing the need in the area.

They provide a 12 week program to help adolescents who are 13 to 17 years-old and are suffering from addiction.In the program they focus on identity development, emotional wellness, healthy relationships, and recovery.

They also include family counseling.

Waco native Chris Asikis battled addiction for years and now he serves as the manager for the Arbor program in Waco, striving to make a difference.

"It was a really dark time in my life,” Asikis said.

“There wasn't really a program here to help my family and I but now I am able to be on the other side of this and be able to help individuals and families who are going through this and hopefully be able to change their trajectory so people don’t fall on the same path.”

He says as someone who suffers from addiction he is able to connect with others starting their road to recovery on a different level.

Although the 12 week program is not free, the Arbor does provide free bi-monthly family support groups.

Every first and third Wednesday of the month from 6-7 p.m. anyone in the community is welcomed to join their free family support group.

The Arbor encourages you or if you know someone who suffers from addiction to get help.

They say although it may seem like an impossible feat to be sober it is possible.

Baylor University honored the Arbor with the medium sized family business award in 2015.