TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Drug abuse treatment specialists in Tuscaloosa are preparing for what they say is usually a spike in addicts wanting to get help around this time of year.
They also explain how there's another trend they've seen but a more disturbing one involving teens.
Bradford Health Services staff in Tuscaloosa are running into a growing number of children battling drug abuse in the Tuscaloosa County area.
In the New Year, they want to make more aware of their support groups to help combat that.
"Recently we've seen an increase in younger kids using meth even so as young as 13," said Kylie Kitchens Bradford Health Services Community Representative.
The biggest issue Bradford Health Services employees said is many parents don't know if their child may be dealing with substance abuse.
"You don't want to believe that your kid may be doing drugs, not talking about it doesn't mean it's not a problem," said Kitchens.
She said they've started working with local schools to educate not only children, but parents and they plan to continue their efforts this year.
"It's not that the family members don't love and care, it's learning to love and care the right way," said Lauren Byrd Bradford Health Services administrator.
Bradford Health Services wants to provide free family support meetings for loved ones looking for ways to help a drug addict.
Administrator Lauren Byrd said in the new year. they've already seen an increase in interest for treatment. This happens she said after that person struggling with drug abuse is seen over the holidays.
"Changes they may have physically or behaviorally that are concerning," said Byrd.
Although treatment guides at their office are available to come up with plans for users, Byrd said there's a need for more treatment facilities in West Alabama.
"We are still struggling to catch up to help everyone that we can," said Byrd.
Bradford Health Services free family support groups are offered every Thursday at 5:30 p.m.
The meetings are held at 515 Energy Center Blvd, Northport, AL 35473.