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General Frequently Asked Questions

Prevention & Education

Does PHT offer assessments and treatment services?

Not at this time. As of September 29, 2023, Phoenix House Texas is no longer providing clinical assessments, outpatient treatment, or residential treatment for substance use to adolescents in our community. Our organization has pivoted to focusing on providing our prevention and education services in schools and communities.

Prevention & Education

How can my school/my organization request prevention services?

For information on how to bring PHT to your school and/or partner with PHT for community events, please contact our Senior Director of Prevention Crystal Waddell at cwaddell@phoenixhousetx.org

Prevention & Education

Where does PHT operate prevention services?

PHT provides prevention and education services in 64 zip codes throughout Dallas, Austin, and Houston, Texas.

Prevention & Education

How much do PHT prevention services cost?

Thanks to state funding through HHSC and the support of our generous donors, all of PHT’s prevention and education services are provided at no cost to the recipient.


How do I talk to my teen about substance use?

Having an open and honest conversation with your teenager about substance can be challenging, but it’s an essential step to support a sober and healthy future for your teen. Here are some tips to help guide your discussion:

  • Choose the Right Time and Place: Find a calm and private setting where both of you can talk without distractions or interruptions.
  • Express Care and Concern: Begin the conversation by expressing your concern for their well-being. Let them know that you love and support them, and that seeking more support or treatment is an act of love and care.
  • Be Non-Judgmental: Avoid blaming or criticizing your teen. Instead, focus on understanding their struggles and empathizing with their challenges and goals.
  • Share Observations: Gently discuss the behaviors and changes you’ve noticed that indicate a potential issue with substance use. This helps your teen understand that you’re aware of their struggles and genuinely want to help.
  • Educate Yourself and Your Teen: Research together about substance use disorders, support and treatment options, and the benefits of professional help. This will enable you to have an informed conversation and address your teen’s concerns.
  • Listen and Validate Feelings: Give your teen the space to express their thoughts, fears, and reservations. Listen actively, validate their feelings, and reassure them that getting help is a positive step towards a healthier future.
  • Offer Support: Let your teen know that you’ll be there for them. Emphasize that sobriety and recovery are a team effort; together, you will navigate the challenges and celebrate their successes.


What substances can someone become addicted to?

Because addiction is a brain disease, it’s possible to become addicted to any substance that acts on the brain’s reward system. According to the DSM-5, categories of substance use disorders include:

  • Alcohol Use Disorder: This involves the misuse of alcohol products like beer, wine, and liquor.
  • Cannabis Use Disorder: This involves the misuse of marijuana through the use of flower/bud, THC carts, dabs, hash oil, edibles, etc.
  • Phencyclidine Use Disorder: This involves the misuse of substances such as PCP, ketamine, cyclohexylamine, dizocilpine, etc.
  • Other Hallucinogen Use Disorder: This involves the misuse of substances such as LSD (“acid”), MDMA, DMT, etc.
  • Inhalant Use Disorder: This involves the misuse of substances such as huffing toxic gases like fuel, aerosols, glue, spray paint, whippets, etc.
  • Opioid Use Disorder: This involves the misuse of substances such as heroin, fentanyl, codeine, oxycodone, etc.
  • Sedative, Hypnotic, or Anxiolytic Use Disorder: This involves the misuse of substances such as benzodiazepines (like Xanax or “bars”) and other prescription anti-anxiety prescription medications, prescription sleeping medication, carbamates, barbiturates, etc.
  • Stimulant Use Disorder: This involves the misuse of substances such as cocaine/crack, amphetamine, methamphetamine, prescription medications to treat ADHD, etc.
  • Tobacco Use Disorder: This involves the misuse of substances such as nicotine cigarettes/vapes, smokeless tobacco, etc.
  • Other (or Unknown) Substance Use Disorders: This involves the misuse of substances that are not able to be identified, drugs sold illegally under the wrong names, or newly developed illegal drugs that have not yet been named.


How can I tell if my loved one has a harmful relationship to drugs or alcohol?

When someone’s relationship with drugs and/or alcohol has become unhealthy, it is very common to see them prioritize obtaining and using substances over other important parts of life, such as family relationships, friendships and recreation, school and career, physical health, mental health, housing, finances, and legal consequences. Drugs make healthy thinking and functioning difficult by impairing the part of the brain responsible for judgment and even leading to the individual having the felt sense that they need drugs and/or alcohol just to survive. The mental and physical effects of using drugs/alcohol vary by the specific substance. If you suspect that a loved one is using, you may notice changes to their usual behaviors and demeanor, including potential symptoms such as:

  • Becoming more distant and/or secretive
  • A significant change in friend group and/or leisure activities
  • Unusual calmness, unresponsiveness, and/or being spaced out
  • Boundless energy, cheerfulness, and/or being unusually talkative
  • Increased agitation, irritability, and/or being quick to anger
  • Apathy
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Up and down mood
  • Paranoia
  • Delusions
  • Temporary psychosis/hallucinations


What is addiction?

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defines addiction as:

“Addiction is a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.

Prevention efforts and treatment approaches for addiction are generally as successful as those for other chronic diseases.” (ASAM, 2019)

This means that addiction is a long-lasting brain disease that impacts every facet of an individual’s life. Overcoming addiction, therefore, requires positive treatment and support in every area of an individual’s life. Preventing substance use and the onset of addiction whenever possible is the most impactful measure to prevent the long-term negative outcomes of addiction.