What is Addiction? Substance use disorder defined by meeting clinical criteria for abuse or dependence as outlined in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).
Our current crisis 90 % of Americans meeting clinical criteria for addiction started using substances before age 18.
The earlier substance use begins, the greater therisk for use becoming abuse or dependence=addiction.
The Adolescent Brain(ages 12-18 years old) More inclined to engage in risk-taking behaviors such as trying drugs or alcohol. Increased vulnerability to brain damage and addiction. Adolescence is a critical period for developing an addiction.
Who is really at fault? Reframe this issue as A Public Health crisis; not solely the fault of teens. Youth development is largely influenced by the community: American Culture The Media Family School
American Culture & TheMedia 77% of popular teen TV shows contain or mention drinking. American culture normalizes self-regulating and medicating through substances. Media, tobacco, & alcohol industries glamorize substance use- increasing chances of teens using.
Family: Mixed Messages Significant developmental factors: Risk: Families often normalize & enable substance use for stress relief & coping. Parents have the most influence & control over teen substance use through messages taught and behaviors exhibited in homes.
School: Failure to support New cultural climate: Pervasive belief that teen substance use is a norm/expectation. Inappropriate interventions: Punitive measures place significantly more teens in the juvenile justice system than in substance-related treatment programs.
Community: Failure tounderstand Some Treatment Barriers Misunderstanding the problem: Government spends more money on consequences of substance use than prevention/intervention measures. Ex: Crime, academic, & health problems. No insurance coverage & limited health care education
What can we do? Prevention Intervention Involve youth in organizing Fund training of more effective and relevant specialized addiction preventive measures. healthcare professionals Youth-Adult partnerships: Create more adolescent- Promote open focused treatment facilities communication between youth and adults about Earlier intervention with substances, health issues, comprehensive, age- and media influence appropriate services
As Parents Set a good example- Promote positive self-identity Restrict access to substances Monitor your child’s activities and mental health Give clear, consistent messages about substance use Communicate frequently and openly with your child Know the facts and share the dangers of adolescent addiction.
As Educators Raise awareness of this issue reframed as a public health problem Recognize warning signs of substance use Avoid punitive policies and adopt a health-based approach (access to healthcare services) Make appropriate treatment referrals
As Policymakers Reduce teen exposure to substance-related advertising Increase prevention & treatment options and funding (including research) Raise taxes on tobacco and alcohol products Fund and create public health campaigns to educate population on this issue
As the AdvertisingIndustry/Media Stop marketing addictive substances as attractive to adolescents audiences Create messages discouraging teens from using substances Use technology (social media, texting, apps, etc) to counteract problematic (pro-substance) adolescent marketing
An Alternate Approach Resolving this issue is a community effort! Promote systemic change Youth are not the problem! Educate others and increase awareness Re-evaluate American cultural norms and advertising Redistribute government funding to support prevention/intervention
Community YouthDevelopment Empower youth through valuing their voice and engaging them to organize relevant programs Comprehensive, age-appropriate interventions Foster youth-adult partnerships (parents, teachers, community organizers) Create more opportunities for youth to lead in combating this issue
References The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. (2011). Adolescent substance use: America’s #1 public health problem. New York: The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. http://www.casacolumbia.org/upload/2011/20110629adolescentsubstanceuse. pdf Images School image. http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQNrQENMPPR51kjJzEmyg8iiCGjkADnpgs28XbhYxpU__B17ImvVQ Media image: http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQSbfuNq_fXoV_jrcew4QYsgNumMubJnnM-gmeYHLSeSqmPN_Tg & http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSSTRJpYCz08G4T_1Wpmrms6wVkB0XtlEmRgQpA_ybXuc0VzHqAoA Pills image: http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcShvk9Lntb0ugvxlNWOWHet5_2pFcx3fgZhXxdgu82BkHY9gMMn Crisis image: http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRSjvTzIf06Z3gN3ix1UhNFUcF5X5x0a-VmjdRgFSE-zc1-f3pz Family image: http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS9JvND2_swAM68KXsbYI9pgbA_VDVSYjfnd74R8m-ZeIOKGrduLQ Comm image: http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRZcaTblL1LN1N3N1gixc6V_bwquJj44xJ35EGT9JDgp4xPavKLow