Letters: Working at helping teens

Boat moorage sought by society helping teens with addictions

“Doctor you must do something, please.”

I wish I could but there are no resources.

“He was the smartest and fastest in his grade. Now he won’t come out of his room except to get more drugs. It’s tearing apart our family.”

By God’s grace I have successfully run camps, outpatient and inpatient hospital programs and sail training but they don’t work for young people with substance abuse.  And if we can’t reach them early, mixed chemicals permanently damage their brains. There is a way but….”

“But what Doctor?”

We have the experience, our society has a good board, the program is right, our big schooner is fully equipped but we can’t find a berth anywhere in Sooke Harbour.

“I am ashamed to say I was one of those people who said, ‘druggies? Just lock them up’. When it was my son I began to see my attitude was part of the problem. How does your program work?”

I began in 1972 with a  buy-back Sooke troller, Nipentuck, started SALTS with the Robertson II then the  Huan in Hong Kong, then the Western Horizon with HURTS in 1994. We begin by taking 12 to 15-year-olds and one parent to sea for 10 days, then two more trips ending with survival skills training. We go after the underlying problems, build self-esteem, self-control etc. It is a complex detailed program. We are ready to roll but urgently need moorage. Don’t let us down, Sooke.

Philip G. Ney MD

Sooke