Understanding teen drug and alcohol addiction

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Understanding teen drug and alcohol addiction

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I think it's really -- Sometimes it's difficult to judge whether a kids is just a straight alcoholic or a drug addict through genetic predisposition. Obviously, if you take a look at their family tree, you are going to see that a number of these kids are set up genetically to have problems down the road. But to determine that a 14 year old kids is a drug addict because they are using is sometimes not always readily available. You have to take a look at their genetic tree. You have to take a look at their behavioral issues. You really need to see, is it organic things going on. Do they need to be treated with medication? Is it just some kid that is acting out or is it just some kid that's had early childhood trauma issues; that it's the only way that they seek help. Sometimes, kids acting out are really crying for help. As a parent, we need to see the changes. It's not the behaviors so much; it's the changes in behaviors that help us to recognize what it is. When you are dealing with a professional, they are going to have a treatment team that will include a psychologist, a psychiatrist, and a substance abuse professional. So it's a team effect. If you go in for surgery, it's not just the surgeon. There's the anesthesiologist and everybody else that's involved in the team. That's why we believe in a treatment team to be able to determine what it is. Adolescents will sometimes go to a treatment program for addiction and they are not drug addicts, but some of them are. It's really harder to tell with a teenager. You can look at an adult and say, this person has a 30 year history with alcohol. They've lost jobs and marriages, but with a teenager, they have a shorter history. So it's important to look for the changes in behavior that go with the drug and alcohol.

See Dan Cronin, LISAC, CADAC, CAS, CCS's video on Understanding teen drug and alcohol addiction...

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Dan Cronin, LISAC, CADAC, CAS, CCS

Substance Abuse Expert

Dan Cronin has been a Substance Abuse Expert, a leading figure in the fields of Alcohol and Drug Intervention, Alternative Sentencing and Case Management for over 20 years. His organizations, Dan Cronin Consulting and A.I.R., provide Alcohol and Drug Abuse Care Management throughout North America and the world, for individuals, corporations and organizations including the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer, where he is the Director of their Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Programs.

As a licensed Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselor (LISAC, CADAC, CAS, CCS), Dan works closely with medical professionals in all aspects of addiction medicine. As part of Dan Cronin Consulting, Dan has teamed with renowned psychiatrist Dr. M. David Lewis, M.D., whose 30 years of experience has established him as a leading medical expert in the field. He also works with Dr. Brian F. Shaw, Ph.D., one of the top clinical psychologists in North America and co-founder of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). With them he has developed a specific model for Case Management that treats clients suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction. Working with his key executive Mellie Walker and the rest of his team at Dan Cronin Consulting, he’s implemented this substance rehab model nationwide and it is now used as a template in many referral agencies around the country.

Dan is also founder and director of AIR Alternatives, launched in 1997 to assist individuals and companies with Alternative Sentencing, including in-custody assessments, transportation and court follow-ups. AIR contracts with the courts throughout Los Angeles County, specializing addiction treatment center placement for individuals who face legal consequences due to addiction. Other members of the AIR team include DeAnne Soriano, Director of Operations, who has 10 years of experience and functions as direct liaison to the courts and Anthony Melillo, Assessment Specialist and transport coordinator with the firm for the last five years.

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