Gobi Addressing High-Risk Teen Substance Use

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Image credit: Gobi Support

While most youth lead a healthy lifestyle, some may be at an increased risk for teen substance abuse, leading to poor life choices and health outcomes. Teens with significant substance use experience a high rate of physical and mental health and teen behavior issues. This leads to diminishing their overall well-being and progression to addiction.

Gobi stands out as a leader, providing accessible, proven, and supportive substance use intervention programs that make a real difference. Their commitment to helping families navigate these challenges with confidence and care is evident in the positive outcomes reported by participants. How, let us find out.

Identifying High-Risk Teen Substance Use

High-risk teen substance use among adolescents refers to daily and high rate usage of substances that carry a significant risk of adverse outcomes, such as injury, criminal justice involvement, school dropout, or loss of life.

This category includes the use of illicit substances such as alcohol and marijuana. Therefore, as a parent, you must take all precautionary measures to prevent your teen from indulging in any substance use because heavy use of alcohol and marijuana may sometimes lead to the use of injectable substances. This can potentially pose a high risk of infection with blood-borne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.

Risk Factors for High-Risk Teen Substance Abuse

The major risk factors for high-risk teen substance abuse in teenagers may include the following:

Family History of Substance Use

A family history of substance abuse can predispose teenagers to similar behaviors due to genetic and environmental influences.

Parental Substance Use

Parents who use substances themselves set a behavioral example that teenagers may follow, normalizing the use of drugs or alcohol.

Parental Support in Substance Use

When parents have permissive or approving attitudes towards substance use, teenagers are more likely to engage in these behaviors. The study, published in the Journal of Migration and Health, discovered that adolescents with low family support were at a greater risk of using substances, including alcohol, compared to those with strong family support.

Poor Parental Monitoring

Lack of adequate supervision and monitoring by parents can lead to increased opportunities for teenagers to experiment with substances.

Family Rejection of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity

Teenagers who face rejection from their family due to their sexual orientation or gender identity are at higher risk of turning to substances as a coping mechanism.

Substance-using Friends and Peers

Peer influence is strong during adolescence, and associating with peers who engage in delinquent behavior or substance use can increase a teenager’s likelihood of doing the same.

Lack of Academic Engagement

A weak connection to school, including feeling unengaged or unsupported, can lead to higher risks of substance use as teenagers seek acceptance and identity elsewhere.

Low Academic Achievement

Struggling academically can contribute to low self-esteem and increased stress, making teenagers more susceptible to using substances as a form of escape.

Childhood Sexual Abuse

Experiencing sexual abuse during childhood can lead to psychological trauma and increase the risk of substance use as a coping mechanism.

Mental Health Issues

Mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety, can drive teenagers to use substances as a way to manage or numb their emotional pain.

High-Risk Substance Use Prevention in Teens

Research has improved our understanding of factors that help buffer youth from a variety of risky behaviors, including substance use. These factors, known as protective factors, play a crucial role in preventing high-risk substance use among adolescents. Some protective factors include:

Parent or Family Engagement

According to research, the active involvement of parents or family members in an adolescent’s life can significantly reduce the likelihood of substance use. Studies show that adolescents who have strong, positive relationships with their parents are less likely to engage in high-risk behaviors. Family activities, open communication, and emotional support foster a sense of belonging and security, which can deter substance use. Therefore, you must learn how to talk to your teenager about teen substance use.

Family Support

Supportive family environments, characterized by warmth, care, and stability, serve as a strong protective factor against substance use. Research indicates that adolescents who perceive their family as supportive are less likely to succumb to peer pressure to use substances. This support helps build resilience and coping skills, reducing the chances of teen substance abuse.

Parental Disapproval of Substance Use

Clear communication of parental disapproval regarding substance use is a critical deterrent. Adolescents who are aware that their parents strongly oppose drug and alcohol use are less likely to engage in these behaviors. Studies have found that parental attitudes and expectations significantly influence an adolescent’s decisions regarding substance use, with explicit disapproval acting as a powerful protective factor.

Parental Monitoring

Effective parental monitoring is associated with lower levels of substance use. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), Research has shown that adolescents who are closely monitored by their parents are less likely to have opportunities to experiment with substances. Consistent and structured supervision helps prevent situations where substance use might occur.

School Connectedness

A strong sense of connection to school, including positive relationships with teachers and peers, engagement in school activities, and a feeling of being valued and supported, acts as a protective factor against substance use.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), students who feel connected to their school are more likely to exhibit positive behaviors and less likely to engage in substance use. School connectedness promotes academic success and healthy social interactions, which can deter involvement in risky behaviors.

These protective factors are essential in creating environments that promote healthy development and prevent high-risk substance use among adolescents. Effective prevention strategies should focus on enhancing these protective factors through family-based interventions, school programs, and community support systems.

Gobi Leading the Teen Substance Use Intervention

Gobi’s approach is not just about addressing substance use but about fostering overall mental health and well-being. By involving parents in the process, Gobi ensures that teens have a robust support system at home. This holistic approach recognizes that effective intervention must consider the family unit and equip parents with the knowledge and skills to support their children.

Positive, Proven, Parenting

When it comes to addressing the pressing issue of substance use among teenagers, Gobi has emerged as a beacon of hope for families across the nation. Their comprehensive, evidence-based programs are specifically designed to support parents and teens in navigating the challenges of substance use. With a focus on early intervention, Gobi is making a significant impact on the lives of young people and their families.

How It Helped

Gobi programs are made accessible to parents at no charge, removing financial barriers that might otherwise prevent families from seeking help. These programs are not only free but also proven to be effective, private, and HIPAA-compliant, ensuring that families can trust the confidentiality and professionalism of the support they receive. Clinical mental health professionals utilize Gobi’s resources to provide tailored guidance and support, enhancing the overall efficacy of the intervention.

Reaching Over 2,000 Families

To date, over 2,000 families have participated in Gobi’s early intervention programs. This impressive reach highlights the widespread need for such resources and the trust that families place in Gobi’s approach. By engaging with these programs, parents and teens are taking proactive steps towards healthier lifestyles and improved mental health.

Remarkable Completion Rates

One of the standout statistics from Gobi’s program is the high completion rate among teens. An impressive 65% of teens who start the program see it through to the end.

This high level of engagement is a testament to the program’s relevance and the supportive environment it fosters. Completing the program is a crucial step towards meaningful change, and Gobi’s structure and support play a key role in keeping teens committed.

Transformative Outcomes of the Intervention Program

The benefits of completing Gobi’s program are substantial. Among those who complete the program:

  • 71% Say They Will Consider Reducing or Eliminating Their Substance Use: This statistic underscores the program’s effectiveness in influencing teens’ attitudes towards substance use. By providing the right tools and support, Gobi helps teens make more informed and healthier choices about their futures.
  • 49% Reported an Increase in Their Willingness to Change: Change is a difficult but essential part of overcoming substance use. Nearly half of the program’s participants report a heightened willingness to make positive changes in their lives, demonstrating the program’s ability to inspire and motivate.

As Gobi continues to expand its reach and refine its programs, it offers a promising path forward for families seeking to overcome the challenges of substance use and build healthier futures together.

 

References to Research in this article:

https://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/programs/safe-supportive/school-connectedness

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6765768/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6923556/

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/273205249_The_Effects_of_Parental_Monitoring_and_Communication_on_Adolescent_Substance_Use_and_Risky_Sexual_Activity_A_Systematic_Review

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666623523000144?via%3Dihub

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