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Presentation on theme: "SUBSTANCE USE PROBLEMS IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS A Resource for Teachers."— Presentation transcript:


2 What are substance use disorders? Substance use disorders are characterized by: o on-going or longer-term patterns of substance use and o negative feelings, thoughts and behaviors that accompany substance use. Substance use disorders include both substance abuse and substance dependence which differ in terms of severity and consequences. o Mental health practitioners consider these issues of serious concern when they persist for around one year. (Centre for Addictions and Mental Health, 2010)

3 How Does Abuse Differ from Occasional use? “Substance use” refers to the use of a range of drugs that alter how the user functions physically and psychologically. “Substance Abuse” involves ongoing use that leads to: failure to fulfill everyday obligations like school, work or home, use of substances in hazardous situations like drinking and driving or unprotected sex, legal problems like DUIs, breakdown of relationships like fighting with family members or distancing from old friends.

4 What is the Difference between Substance Dependence and Abuse? Substance dependence is more severe than abuse and is characterized by: increased tolerance to a substance, physical withdrawal symptoms, use of the substance in larger and larger amounts, continued use despite being aware of all the negative consequences, an inability to cut down or control use.

5 Continuum Experimental use Irregular use Regular use Dependent use (Centre for Addictions and Mental Health, 2004)

6 How do Professionals Determine Cause for Concern? Professionals and others will often look at the individual’s level of risk while using the substance. Factors that influence the level of risk include: the type of substance used (e.g., caffeine versus alcohol versus cocaine), the method of use, the purpose for the use, the quantity used, the pattern of use, and the context in which the use is occurring (e.g., community attitudes to use of the substance; availability; presence or absence of parental supervision; use in conjunction with other hazards such as while driving, boating, or hiking). Individual factors (e.g., problems with depression or anxiety, or thrill-seeking tendencies) may also increase the level of risk.

7 Substance use and mental health Dependent Use (Hawkins, 2009; Howard, Stubbs & Arcuri, 2007) Addictions can lead to mental health issues Mental health issues can lead to addictions

8 Types of substances Alcohol (59%): booze Cannabis (26%): w eed, Mary Jane, pot, grass Tobacco (22%): cigarettes, smokes Prescription medication (16%): T3s, oxy, percs Cold medicines (10%): robos, triple c (Paglia-Boak, Adlaf & Mann, 2011; National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2011)

9 Types of substances Inhalants (9%): huff, glue, spray, poppers Chewing tobacco (6%): chew Stimulants (5%): molly, blow Mushrooms (5%): shrooms, magic mushrooms Salvia (4%): Sally-D, magic mint (Paglia-Boak, Adlaf & Mann, 2011; National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2011)

10 What We Know About the Substance Use of DSB Ontario North East Students

11 Other Types of Addictions In addition to substances, process addictions expose individuals to mood altering events from which they can derive pleasure and become dependent on. o Many of these are socially acceptable, but can still cause functional problems for youth. They include o Gambling o Internet o Gaming o Sex/pornography o Often these occur alongside substance use disorders and other mental health concerns, but are still a new field of research. (Sussman, Lisha & Griffiths, 2011)

12 What to look for Feelings Negative moods that seem out of nowhere Anger towards family and friends Thoughts Positive attitudes toward substances and their effects Behaviours Increased need for money Secretiveness about activities Loss of interest in personal care Substance paraphernalia Sudden drop in academic performance or apathy about school New friends that are known to use substances or are older (Sussman, Skara & Ames, 2008; Englund & Siebenbruner, 2012; Ketcham & Pace, 2008)

13 What you can do to help! Become familiar with the general signs and symptoms associated with substance use problems and/or mental health concerns. Avoid modelling positive views about the pleasures of substance use. Students are inundated with media messages that present substance use in a positive light, and schools should be free from these messages. Be a positive role model for students by modelling appropriate, respectful behaviour, providing guidance and support, and helping students to make good decisions.

14 What you can do to help! Integrate information about substance use into the regular classroom curriculum (see the Healthy Living strand in the Ontario health and physical education curriculum) and provide students with opportunities to discuss the information, understand the consequences of substance use, and develop problem-solving and decision- making skills. Expand after-school academic, recreational, and enrichment opportunities (e.g., tutoring, sports, clubs, art, music, peer leadership and mentoring programs) that can help students develop the positive sense of self they need to make choices that will contribute to their health and well-being. (Based on information from: CYMHIN-MAD, 2011; Hincks-Dellcrest-ABCs, n.d.)

15 What will not help Enable substance using behaviour by fixing problems, providing money or placing blame on others. Label the youth as an alcoholic or a druggie. (Hawkins, 2009; Ketcham & Pace, 2008; Sussman, Skara & Ames, 2008)

16 THANK YOU! We hope that you found this a useful introduction to substance use problems. Should you have questions, your Mental Health Leader is available to provide ongoing support and leadership to your team.


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