Won't teens just grow out substance or alcohol use?

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Won't teens just grow out substance or alcohol use?

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It's not a good idea to hope that your teen is simply going to grow out of it. Three out of four of them will, but would you let your kid drive your car if they had a one in four chance of having an accident? Would you allow them to go over to a friend's house if they had a one in four chance of being injured for the next 20 years of their life? Probably not. Unfortunately, that's what it is. If kids start using drugs and alcohol at a regular rate, particularly before the age of 15, they are about two to six times more likely to develop a course of addiction that may take 20 years on average, before they are able to recover. Don't panic. Most kids do try alcohol or drugs. If it happens, that doesn't mean it's over. As I said, three out of four will not develop problems. Even of those who do develop problems, two-thirds go on to achieve recovery. The longer you wait, the harder it is to get them to stop, the longer it will take them to respond. They may go in and out of using several times over the course of their life. It may take several treatment episodes. Intervening early, intervening well, using when they come out of treatment, paying attention to how you keep them in recovery are keys to shortening how long the problem will last.

Watch Video: Won't teens just grow out substance or alcohol use? by Michael Dennis, PhD, ...

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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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