I want to digress for a moment and discuss a personal situation with my classmates regarding this week’s assignment. Last year my daughter was treated by our family physician for anxiety with Xanax. She later became addicted to it, abused it, and ultimately overdosed. She spent 30 days at Hazelden a rehabilitation facility for teens, and several months in outpatient care and still sees a psychologist for her anxiety. She is sober and currently in college. I felt it important to let you know about this, because this week’s assignment on Culturally Competent Health Communication made me reflect on my daughter and think about the internet as a venue for teens to get help. I choose to look at the information as though high school freshman, thru the eyes and heart of a teen, trying to get help, for myself a friend or family member. I am breaking a cardinal rule of anonymity in A.A. and Ala-Non by disclosing that my “qualifier” is my daughter. I would request that should you ever happen to meet me and she is with me that her anonymity be protected. It was a very difficult time in her life that she does not like to talk about. All her life she will be in recovery but she chooses to look forward, not back. She has given me permission to write the above statement. It is her personal health journey and even though I am her parent, it not my right to disclose her addiction without her permission
Culturally Competent Health Communication
I knew I wanted to locate a website on addiction and treatment specifically for teens and college age (young people) audience. A website that was straight forward that would lead young people to their local hospital, addiction treatment center, or Narcotics Anonymous or similar support group. I spent 30 minutes Googling such word combinations as addiction and teen, addiction, teen and treatment. Unfortunately, a significant number of advertisements made it to the top of every search, and below it information for parents on how to know if their young person had a substance abuse problem. Googling teen marijuana or Xanax addiction pulled up more treatment centers ads and websites for parents. I finally choose the website; www.samhsa.gov (Find Help).
In assessing this website I immediately ran it thru the SMOG formula looking for readability (Hedman , 2007). It got a grade level of 11, the equivalent of a junior in high school, way below the 5th to 8th grade level recommended, (Parvanta, Nelson, Parvanta, & Harner, 2011). Immediately evident, was that “living room language” was not utilized. The largest text box on the screen flashes about new grant opportunities, the latest NSDUH report, and media guides to bullying. Anyone who is looking for that type of information would have a higher level of education and would have the knowledge to scroll thru a website looking for mental health data. Simply reducing the size and lowering the placement of the text boxes would allow urgent mental health or...