'Been There' magazine cover

To connect with teens in an appealing way, Rosecrance has created Been There: Teens in Recovery Tell It Like It Is. Created in the popular, relatable style of a “’zine,” Been There contains revealing excerpts from actual conversations with teens who’ve been treated for substance abuse at Rosecrance’s recovery homes.

Conceived and illustrated by Christine Nicholson, former experiential therapies supervisor at the Rosecrance Griffin Williamson Adolescent Treatment Campus, Been There features quotes that show what teens think and believe while they’re using substances. The “’zine” then responds with facts offered in a way designed to resonate with teens today.

For example, during the conversations, teens made statements like, “Weed isn’t even addictive,” or “I only drink or use on the weekends.” Been There then answers those declarations and misperceptions with factual information. The goal is to change the perceptions of potential substance users and hopefully prevent them from ever knowing the pain of addiction.

The booklet also discusses facts about marijuana and “harder drugs,” such as heroin. This comes at a crucial time when teens are getting mixed messages about these drugs. Legalization efforts have caused many teens to believe marijuana is basically harmless; meanwhile, heroin overdoses have become an epidemic across the country.

Been There is paired with two other recent Rosecrance publications that help parents talk to their kids about substance use: “Teens & Weed: Still a Big Deal”, and “Teens & DXM”.

Been There is being offered as an educational tool in schools and other venues across the region.