How Alcoholism Can Be Caught Early

Alcohol Abuse | Teenage Alcoholism | Find Addiction Rehabs | Man drinking alone with multiple spirits in foregroundAlcohol abuse can start surprisingly early. Preventure is an innovative new program recently rolled out in schools throughout Europe, Canada, and Australia. The goal of this initiative is simple. It’s to make teenagers aware of alcohol abuse before they start drinking.

Developed by Professor Patricia Conrod, a psychiatry professor at The University of Montreal, Canada, it approaches prevention by targeting each person’s unique personality.

Students who abuse alcohol tend to fall into one of four specific behavioral/emotional personalities. These personality traits are believed to place them at an increased risk factor for becoming substance abusers. These teens express that they feel impulsive, hopeless, anxious, sensitive, or want attention. These are early indicators of personality disorders which frequently develop into alcohol or drug addictions.

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Schools Want to Stop Binge Drinking

This program offers a series of sessions that teach at-risk students cognitive behavior techniques to them overcome their underlying emotional problems. They also endeavor to reduce the number of teenagers who binge drink, as the amounts of alcohol consumed continue to rise. prevalent among teenagers.

Alarming Fact about Alcohol and Teenagers

Here’s an alarming fact: In 2010, a UK survey reported that about 50% of people in their nation classified as heavy drinkers were only 15 to 19 years of age. Preventure is a much-needed first step in combatting shocking statistics like this.

How Does Preventure Work?

Several months before the Preventure sessions roll out at any school, all students are required to complete a personality questionnaire. To prevent the falsification of data, the students are told that the survey is about successful personality types. Each student who falls into any one of the four high-risk personalities is next invited to attend a session. It’s a voluntary program. Students attend 2 group workshops, are assigned homework, and receive 2 years of follow-up contact. The sessions give those at-risk teenagers “brief, personality-specific coping skills before the natural onset of drinking behavior.”

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Why is Preventure Different?

Preventure differs from other alcohol prevention programs because they focus on identifying at-risk teens and equip them to cope with problems before they ever arise. While some scoff at this and label it as a worst case scenario or alarmist approach, Preventure measures all risk factors then approaches the prevention of alcohol abuse in a proactive manner.

Preventure sessions are small group settings, and they give each teen plenty of one on one time to help them learn to manage their emotions. This approach helps them learn to make better choices when they are in danger’s way.

Alcohol Abuse is Surprisingly Socially Acceptable

There are several barriers to Preventure’s success. First, our society takes a lenient look towards teenage drinking. In many countries, the fact that teens are drinking is attributed as a part of growing up or rite of passage. It’s almost expected that teens will experiment with alcohol.

The time is now to adjust our attitudes. Teens are still children who are still developing physically, mentally, and emotionally. Alcohol can destroy their lives before they’ve even entered adulthood.

Another barrier is that there is no way any program achieves a success rate of 100%. As we can’t predict the future, how do we know absolutely that any given teenager is more at-risk than another?

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The Unlikely User

Alcohol Abuse is Drug Abuse | Alcoholism is a Disease | Find Addiction Rehabs | Find Addiction Rehabs | Man who is abusing alcohol and drugsI probably wouldn’t have been identified as at-risk. Growing up, I had zero behavioral issues, and I was a good student even as a teenager. I only developed issues after falling in with a bad crowd. I was under constant pressure to drink. At the time, I felt that the only way I could make friends—and keep them—was to drink.

My high school didn’t really cover the topic of drugs or drinking aside from a lesson or two in health classes. I feel I could have benefited from an alcohol abuse awareness program such as Preventure. It would have opened my eyes to the danger of alcohol, how to deal with those peers who pressured me and equipped me to say no.

We must insist on a new reality, where drinking is not socially acceptable amongst teens. As a parent, I will insist on making my children understand this. As a person in recovery from addiction, I live in fear that my children might fall down the same rabbithole that I did. I will use any positive method to prevent that from happening to my children.

Alcohol Education Not Just The Job of Schools

Abuse prevention programs such as Preventure should be embraced also by parents. Once the children get home, parents must take an active role in prevention. Most feel that a two-pronged program involving both schools and parents would be more comprehensive. Parents must learn the warning signs of drug and alcohol abuse and watch their teenagers with vigilance.

If you’re trying to help someone who struggles with addiction, this is important for you to know. Fortunately, Preventure is gaining more confidence from the schools they serve. This is because the scientific evidence and results point to the fact that in addition to reducing the long-term drinking rates in at-risk teens, lower-risk students are not caught up in drinking due to peer pressure. No teens are excluded from benefitting from the program, but no teens are tagged a “problem child” in this program.

Addiction and Parenting

Knowing that your teenager faces these problems can be frightening. To keep open communication with your teen, be available to them and be honest with them. While this is difficult to do, remain non-judgmental in your communication. Tell your teen that you only want them to be their own personal best. Work as a partner with them to help them build a bright future. Then, accept them as they are with open arms and heart.

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