Teens who are more likely to use drug or alcohol

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Teens who are more likely to use drug or alcohol

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No child is immune from alcohol and drug use. It doesn't matter what religion, race, gender they are. It doesn't matter how rich you are or where you live in the country. Everywhere you go, kids will use alcohol and drugs. Lots of them will try, and stop; or try, and just do it socially, and others will go on to become addicted. There are certain risk factors that make a child more likely to try, and them move on with the progression to become abuse or addicted. Some of these risk factors include; heredity, if you have a family history of addiction, you are much more likely to progress to addiction. Exposure, if you are in an environment that has a lot of alcohol and drug use, including your parent or siblings. If you have alcohol or drugs in the house, they are more likely to use it. If you have mental health issues. The people who are depressed or anxious, or people who have undergone some kind of trauma; whether it's from victimization or loss of a loved one; are at much greater risk of becoming addicted. People who use addiction as a way to cope with physical or psychological pain, are much more likely to be at risk. So, if I have back pain, I'm going to use those meds to make it go away. If I've been raped and I feel the pain of that, I'm trying to withdraw from the world and numb myself; I'm much more likely to use it to the point of becoming addicted to cope with that pain. Another factor is timing. If everything else is equal, but one person is age 14 or 15, and the other is 20; that 15 year old is much more likely to use and go on to become addicted. Where they are developmentally is a whole other risk factor for them. Obviously, the more alcohol and drugs you use, the more likely you are to become addicted. Certain substances are more addictive than others. People use methamphetamines, crack, opoids; are much more likely to progress quicker to the point of addiction, then people who use alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco. So there are differences in those things. All of them are addictive, but the speed from which you move from use to abuse to dependence, is different.

See Michael Dennis, PhD's video on Teens who are more likely to use drug or alcohol...

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Michael Dennis, PhD

Psychologist

Michael Dennis, PhD, is a senior research psychologist and Director of the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) coordinating center at Chestnut Health Systems in Normal, Illinois. Over the past 25 years his primary area of research has been to better understand and manage addiction and recovery over the life course. This includes multiple clinical trials to compare the effectiveness of adolescent treatment approaches and recovery support services, longitudinal studies with adolescents, adults and older adults to understand the predictors of entering and sustaining recovery, and creating the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) coordinating center for teaching evidenced based assessment to support clinical decision making at the individual level and program evaluation. He has multiple awards for moving the field from science to practice, promoting diversity through practice based evidence and bringing more people into the field.

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