Youth who are struggling with an addiction often resist attempts at intervention. While some youth are merely experimenting, others may have larger unmet needs that can lead to a negative pattern of use. This workshop provides a framework for responding to a variety of addictions, including those related to substances, gaming, internet, and pornography. Participants will examine the needs underlying the choice to participate in a potentially addictive activity, and will consider issues that are unique to working with youth. Both short-term and longer-term intervention strategies are provided.

Some of the Topics Reviewed

  • The Continuum of Addiction
  • Why Youth Use
  • Adolescent Development 101
  • When Use Becomes Abuse
  • Identifying Youth at Risk
  • Assessing Underlying Needs
  • The Role of Attachment
  • Impact of Addictions on Families
  • Strategies and Best Practice Approaches
  • Harm Reduction Strategies
  • Tips for Handling Cravings and Triggers
  • Working to Create Longer-Term Outcomes

Target Audience

This is an introductory-intermediate level workshop intended for school personnel, social service and health care professionals, counsellors, social workers, and anyone working with youth who have addiction issues.

Method of Delivery

Presentation, video, case study exercises, personal reflection, and small group discussions.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the role of addictions in youth
  • Learn how to assess and differentiate between experimentation and addiction
  • Identify the underlying needs of youth struggling with addiction
  • List new strategies for supporting youth and families