Common Behaviors and Symptoms in Adolescents with Substance Use Concerns:
  • Heightened secrecy
  • Fishy-sounding excuses or outright lying
  • Difficulty thinking or keeping focus
  • Withdrawing from classroom participation
  • Resistance to discipline or feedback
  • Increased tardiness or absence
  • Paranoia, irritability, anxiety, fidgeting
  • Changes in mood or attitude
  • Significant weight gain or loss
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities
  • Decline in school performance
  • Abandonment of long-time peer group

About Ms. Simonson:

I am a licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor and provide contracted chemical health and supportive services in Buffalo, Delano, and Kimball Schools to students who desire to learn more about the consequences related to chemical use and prevention strategies to reduce the likelihood of problematic substance abuse.

I specialize in working with children, adolescents, and young adults who experience challenges in life related to their substance use or the substance use of a loved one. I use a client-centered approach to meet my clients where they are at while providing a caring and accepting environment for all clients. I believe that chemical health is just one aspect of the whole person, therefore my work does not focus solely on the person's substance use. My work includes focus on self-esteem, emotional health, leisure time activities, support system and connection to others, and academic success. I have an integrated approach to counseling using the following modalities:

  • S.B.I.R.T. - screening, brief-intervention and referral to treatment
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Skills (DBT)
  • Evidenced-based prevention interventions

My prior work experiences includes chemical addiction counseling with adults in a residential setting, mental health program management, in-home children's mental health family and individual skills practitioner, children's mental health behavioral day treatment practitioner, and daycare and preschool teacher.