Foundations of Addictions Counseling | genius home works
Response to the below discussion with the below discussion topic.
Respond with a substantial, well-developed, response post discussing additional insights gained from the discussion activities and your readings.
Capuzzi, D. & Stauffer, M.D. (2020). Foundations of Addictions Counseling, 4th edition. Boston: Pearson.
Discussion topic: Imagine you were asked to develop a drug abuse prevention program based on the 9 principles outlined under “Prevention Research” on pages 340-341. Using these principles as a foundation or guide, describe your program. The additional resources above provide additional guidance into essential components of a prevention program. Be creative. (Consider advances in technology such as Apps). Remember to consider families.
Discussion post: My drug abuse prevention program would be aimed at adolescence in middle school. According to youth.gov, early intervention, before high school, is critical. The earlier an adolescent begins using illegal substances the more likely they are to have a substance abuse problem later in life. Thinking back to my own adolescent years, I vaguely remember the ‘say no to drugs’ campaign. However, I don’t believe that it was very effective. It didn’t involve the community enough. I would do things differently.
Initially I would assess the community, specifically the local high school community, to gauge what substances are most often being consumed along with frequency of use. This assessment would also include protective factors that correlate with abstinence from substance use. The assessment would be done voluntarily and anonymously. With these results I would ensure that teachers, principals, school board members and even local law enforcement are aware of the problem with underage substance use. It would be important to get as much of the community on board with this prevention program. Along with sharing the results of the assessments, I would also impart psychoeducation such as the link between adolescent substance use and later addiction as well as how trauma and mental health struggles also increase the risk of addiction. I think it is important to really get the community to buy into the importance of this issue. From this data I would hope to get enough interest from the community to assemble a committee to help roll out a prevention program. Once we as a team have planned out what the prevention program will look like it’s implementation time.
For starters, we would need to effectively advertise this prevention plan in the community. This would look like flyers going home with students, advertising in the school, email communication to all parents of middle schoolers. I think a pep rally to initially kick off this campaign could be really engaging. Everyone in the community would be invited and it could be held in a school gymnasium. At this pep rally psychoeducation would be relayed in the form of videos or possibly an engaging presentation by an addiction’s specialist or an LPC. Another aspect of the prevention plan could be the rollout of an app because most middle schoolers now have smart phones. It could be used if the adolescent finds themselves in the middle of peer pressure and wanting to engage in substance use or it could also be used if they are experiencing other mental health issues. I envision the app with a couple of different prompts, one, are you experiencing pressure to consume an illegal substance or are you experiencing emotional struggles? From there the adolescent could get connected to further resources and in the event of a crisis, a crisis counselor or other intervention specialist. Another potential aspect of the prevention program could be support groups made up of peers. These groups wouldn’t have to meet during school hours, but they could potentially use schools for a meet up space before or after school. Peer relationships are very important to adolescents so I think they could be effective.
In terms of evaluation of the program, initially we would have middle schoolers fill out an assessment gauging their use of illegal substances along with their attitudes regarding substance use. There would need to be periodic evaluation throughout the program and at the conclusion to determine if attitudes or behaviors have changed due to the prevention program. This is crucial data that can help us determine if the program needs revision or termination.
To conclude, I believe a good prevention program is one that involves the community at every level. Adolescent substance abuse It is not any one person’s problem, but a societal problem and the more we get engagement from everyone involved in the adolescent’s life the better.
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