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Teen Intervention Program for Substance Use

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Concerned about your teen’s substance use? We can help.

The Teen Intervention Program for Substance Use (TIPS) provides confidential assessments and treatment for eligible teens and families dealing with substance use problems.

Make an appointment anytime between 8am and 7pm, Monday – Friday.

What We Offer:

  • 14-week program
  • Comprehensive assessment
  • Motivational/Behavioral Counseling
  • Therapeutic Drug Testing
  • Educational/Intervention materials
  • Individual/Family Counseling
  • Incentives for Success
  • Conveniently located at 31 Elmwood Avenue in Burlington

What to Look For:

  • Changes in friends
  • Negative changes in schoolwork
  • Increased secrecy about possessions or activities
  • Increase in borrowing money
  • New use of mouthwash or breath mints to cover the smell of alcohol or marijuana
  • Use of more secretive or “coded” language with friends

Outpatient Treatment

We offer 14-week programs for youth ages 12-18 struggling with alcohol and other substance-related problems and their parents. This program provides comprehensive assessment through systematic collection of information from youth and their parents or guardians. Urine drug testing provides objective assessment of substance use. The programs include 14 weekly counseling sessions that provide motivational and behavioral support for making changes as indicated and desired by the youth or parents. Parents are expected to attend all sessions. This program does not include group therapy.


Treatment is provided in the context of research studies that are designed to help us learn more about substance abuse and how to more effectively treat or prevent substance abuse or dependence problems. Youth and their parents will be clearly informed about all research protocols and their purpose prior to participation. Participation in the research programs can only occur if both the parent (or guardian) and the youth provide their written consent stating that they are willing to participate.

Program Directors and Staff

Jeff Nowlan, Mental Health and Substance Use Counselor at Spectrum, in partnership with clinical psychologists and substance abuse researchers, Drs. Catherine Stanger and Alan Budney, directs the program. The treatment staff includes Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselors, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselors and interns who are experienced in the areas of child, adolescent, family and substance abuse treatment.


Appointments and professional referrals welcome

Please call (802) 864-7423 ext. 319 or email for more information or an appointment.  

According to the Vermont 2013 “Youth Risk Behavior Survey” of teens:

At least 33% used alcohol in the past 30 days
One in four used marijuana in the past 30 days
19% binged on alcohol (drank more than 5 drinks in one sitting) during the past 30 days
38% who drank in the past 30 days reported their usual source of alcohol as "someone gave it to me"
About 18% were offered, sold or given illegal drugs on school property during the last year