Alateen offers support at the high school


Maria Kotob

The GHS Alateen group is anonymous and meets weekly during school hours


Gloucester teens affected by a loved one’s alcohol or drug use now have more support at Gloucester High School.

Alateen, a national organization facilitated by adults, is a support group for kids affected by substance use by someone they love. The group meets once a week, during school hours, and is coordinated by Gloucester High School’s adjustment counselor, Amy Kamm.

According to, children of parents with substance abuse are three times more likely than other children to be the subject of abuse later on in life.

“On the youth risk behavior survey at least one in five kids are concerned about their parent’s substance abuse,” said Kamm. “We think it’s higher than that. I think people would be surprised to know how many students are living with someone they care about who is addicted, and it’s not just parents. It’s siblings.”

Alateen gives students a chance to heal through sharing their experiences.

“The group is anonymous,” said Kamm. “The reason I think it’s beneficial is because the students think they are not alone. The adult facilitators have also been affected by someone they loved ”

According to Kamm, all of the participants involved are understanding.

“They actually have some knowledge of the topic on hand,” said junior Tayia Klyce. “They’re going by life experience, not out of a book.”

Alateen has been proven to help children living in a household where there is addiction.

“Sometimes kids are living actively with an addict or alcoholic,” said Kamm. “Or, sometimes they’ve been in recovery but it still has affected them. Living in that environment of unpredictability, often times they have developed certain coping skills that are maladaptive coping skills which enable them to survive. But at some point it stops working and they need to learn healthier ways to survive.”

If you’re interested, see Amy Kamm in room 1208 or the Health Center in room 1214.