Pediatric Behavioral Health

About Julie Lysiak RN, MS, CS

Ms. LysiakJulie Lysiak is a child and adolescent psychiatric clinical nurse specialist who specializes in psychopharmacology. She worked as a registered nurse for seven years before getting her Masters in Nursing from Northeastern University. She has worked with children in a variety of setting including the inpatient psychiatric unit at Children’s Hospital in Boston, the Adolescent Continuing Care Unit at Westborough State Hospital, and currently at the Devereux School in Rutland, MA. She has extensive experience working with children with a variety of mental health issues ranging from mood disorders, autism spectrum disorders, eating disorders, and substance abuse. She enjoys getting to know each individual child and their families in order to provide individualized treatment and recommendations.

Areas of Practice
  • Medication Consultation
  • Psychiatric Evaluation
  • Medication Treatment

Julie Lysiak's Helpful Tip
Preventing Drug Abuse Among Children and Adolescents

Parents need to educate themselves about the unique pressures that impact teenagers today. These range from such things as peer pressure, commercialism, societal messages, parental messages, and the challenges facing our nation and the world as a whole. Parents who develop strategies early on in their child’s life to communicate and support them during times of stress have the highest likelihood of having children who are able to resist the pressures involved in substance abuse.

1. Create a safe, supportive environment in which discussions regarding alcohol and drug abuse can take place. Start this when your children are young. Talking about it will not make them want to use it more. They will learn about drugs one way or the other and it will serve them much better to hear about it from you first.

2. Connect with your teen to find out what they already know, how they feel, and what pressures they are already facing. Don’t assume they already know or that they will get all of the information that they need from school or TV. The world that we live in today has raised the bar as far as the amount of stress that we are all living under. Teens aren’t immune to this. It you are worrying about something, chances are that they are worrying about it as well.

Rather than telling them to “Just Say No”, teach them about the harmful effects and the consequences that they can expect. Don’t talk down to them. Speak to them in the same manner that you would to anyone to whom it is important to get your message across. Listen to their questions, concerns, objections. If they are resistant or dismissive of the information, back it up with research.

3. Communicate clearly what your expectations are and what the consequence of use will be should this occur in your family. Evidence consistently shows that the rates of alcohol and drug use are lowest in families where parents set clear expectations and who follow through with discipline when rules are broken. Young people need guidance in setting realistic goals and expectations for themselves. If you do not share your expectations regarding substance abuse with your children, they will concoct their own.