UT Health Science Center offers free counseling for youth with alcohol, marijuana, other drug addictions

SAN ANTONIO (July 7, 2015) ― Do you know a teenager who has a problem with marijuana, alcohol or other drugs? Is the teen’s family uninsured or receiving Medicaid benefits?

If so, the teen may be eligible for a free substance-abuse treatment program available through The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

CAMBIO (change in Spanish), is an outpatient program for teens ages 12 through 18 and their parents.

The program offers a comprehensive assessment and 10 weekly counseling sessions for youth. Meanwhile, the teen’s parents or guardian will attend 10 sessions focused on strategies parents can use to help their teen stop using drugs.

“We understand that getting to counseling sessions can be hard for some families. We try to make it easier by offering free snacks and light meals at each appointment. We also provide gift cards for parent and teen participation (along with other prizes) and transportation is provided when needed. Many families use their gift cards for food or gas when they leave their appointments,” said Stacy Ryan, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and clinical director of the CAMBIO program.

The 2013 Bexar County Community Health Assessment found that at least 67.5 percent of Bexar County youth had tried alcohol and about 41.9 percent had tried marijuana. “When parents participate in treatment, their children are more likely to stop using drugs. Because of this, the standard of care for treating adolescents who develop a substance use problem is to involve parents in treatment.” Dr. Ryan said.

Counseling sessions are held between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 5 pm. on Fridays at the University Plaza Building, 7526 Louis Pasteur Drive, in the South Texas Medical Center. The location is on several bus routes. For more information, call 210-567-2750.


The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the country’s leading health sciences universities. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 31,000 graduates. The $801.8 million operating budget supports six campuses in San Antonio and Laredo. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.

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