Early intervention is valuable when facing drug and alcohol use

Early intervention is valuable when facing drug and alcohol use

Intervention is a big word with frightening implications to a lot of parents, but parents don’t need to be scared off by an intervention opportunity, especially if an intervention is just what their child needs to come clean.

To help parents learn how to speak to their children about drug and alcohol use, the Partnership at drugfree.org created Intervention, an eBook available online or as a printed copy through the Unified Prevention! (UP!) Coalition for a Drug-Free Doña Ana County, an initiative of the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico.

Intervention helps parents answer questions like: What is a drug or alcohol Intervention, how do I know for sure if my teen is using, how should I prepare for a talk with my child, how do I make sure the talk is productive and what if my child needs outside help?

The eBook points out that an intervention can be a conversation where parents express concerns about drug or alcohol use and make it clear they do not want their teens drinking or using drugs. In many cases, interventions cannot come too early since casual or experimental drug use can quickly turn into drug abuse, dependence or addiction and can lead to accidents, legal trouble, and serious health issues.

There are two types of interventions-formal and informal. A formal intervention is a planned and structured conversation required when a user is suffering from dependence or addiction, or has refused help or treatment on previous occasions. A formal intervention should involve parents and loved ones and a trained professional can be brought in to conduct the intervention in a capable way.

An informal intervention is a personal discussion with the drug or alcohol user, and is usually the best option for first time discussions and for parents that suspect their teen is experimenting. Informal discussions allow parents to have a back and forth conversation while making observations and listening to their teens.

Neither type of intervention should be held when the user is drunk or high or the parent is angry or unprepared.

“What I would tell a parent who suspects or has discovered that their child is using is to accept it. The worst thing that you can do is to go into this place of denial and start saying, ‘Oh, well, a friend left it here. Oh, well, that must have been there. Oh, well, that’s not my child’s.’ That is the worst thing you can possibly do. Accept it. Confront your child. Have a discussion,” said Lorraine Popper, a mother who contributed to the Intervention eBook.

One thing to remember during intervention is that follow-up is extremely important. Parents should prepare to follow-up on anything that is said during the intervention, especially rules and consequences.

Parents who see their teens facing a deeper progression of drug and alcohol use should seek guidance from authorities with the ability to provide resources and guidance including a school counselor, professional therapist or addiction counselor; pediatrician or family doctor or sports coach. When drug or alcohol use starts causing serious and recurring problems, it is likely time to start looking into intensive treatment programs. Both inpatient and outpatient programs provide the stability, education, discipline and counseling adolescents need to get better. For more information visit www.unifiedprevention.com

Source:  http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_23376983/early-intervention-is-valuable-when-facing-drug-and alcohol use         6.3.1013

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