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Youth Substance Use: Awareness, Prevention and Solutions


Youth Substance Use: Awareness, Prevention and Solutions April 23, 2010 Tiffany Wood-Lycett, School Social Worker, TVDSB Jessica Austin, Youth Prevention Worker, ADSTV – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Youth Substance Use: Awareness, Prevention and Solutions

Youth Substance Use Awareness, Prevention and
  • April 23, 2010
  • Tiffany Wood-Lycett, School Social Worker, TVDSB
  • Jessica Austin, Youth Prevention Worker, ADSTV

Tiffany-- who are you?
  • Jessica-- who are you?

Getting to Know Each Other
What level of exposure do you have??
  • Minimal...
  • Regular...
  • Daily....

What Were Here to Learn...
Youth Substance Use Awareness, Prevention and
  • Youth substance use a brief overview
  • Behavioural indicators of use
  • Impact of substance use on school success
  • Resources, programs and agencies that can help
  • Creative ways to prevent and support substance
    involved youth
  • Why?

Did you know....
  • In a provincial public health survey, 14.1 of
    youth(surveyed)in OUR Southwest area reported
    having 3 or more of the following problems at the
    same time
  • Why is this significant to us?
  • This means that 14 of students are at
    significant risk! the way, this was the
    second highest rating of co-morbid reports in all
    of Ontario-- and Torontos rating was less than
    half of this.
  • Psychological distress
  • Hazardous drinking
  • Drug problems
  • Delinquent behaviour

Canadian Statistics
  • The overwhelming majority of youth in Canada do
    no have alcohol or drug problems...but most do
  • In Ontario, over 25 of youth used cannabis in
    2007 (N256 610)
  • In Canada, the number of young persons charged
    with drug posession has tripled over the past
  • Between 1991 and 2005 the percentage of youth
    reporting selling Cannabis more than doubled
  • Over 1/3 of students grade 7-9 have binged on
  • Over 40 of 15-19 year olds have binged on
  • 29 of 15-17 year olds report use of Canabis
  • 10 of students have used hallucinogenic drugs
  • Under 10 have used other drugs such as cocaine,
  • Use of OxyContin and methamphetamines is a
    regional issue(nationwide 1)

School Related Factors
  • Between grade 7 and 8 the likelihood of using
    illicit drugs increases
  • In Ontario, students with a C average or below
    are more likely to report illicit drug use and
    hazardous alcohol use
  • Lack of commitment to school and low bonding with
    other students and teachers is seen as a
    significant risk factor for teen substance abuse
  • 87 of teens reported that they believed their
    parents to be a credible source of information
    about illicit drugs
  • Research has PROVEN that when youth
  • 1.speak to caring adults in their lives about
    drug use AND
  • 2. where the adult monitors the youths
  • the likelihood of use is much less!

Risk Factors Protective Factors
Behavioural Indicators of Addiction
Change is the key...
  • School performance?
  • Motivation/drive?
  • Attitude toward sports and other activities?
  • Weight or physical activity?
  • Eating or sleeping habits?
  • Friends or peer group?
  • Behaviour?
  • Future plans?
  • What do you do?

Is it a problem?
Four main areas when the youth wants to talk to
you about their drug use...
  • Tolerance
  • Physical Dependence
  • Psychological Dependence
  • Effects of use

Impact of Substance Use on School Success...
  • Impaired judgment
  • Lack of concentration
  • Lack of motivation
  • Poor memory
  • Actual physical illness
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Loss of trusting relationships
  • Dammaged relationships with peers and adults
  • Lack of access to extra-curriculars
  • Progressive discipline

TVDSB Policies and Procedures...
  • Codes of conduct discourage use or trafficing
  • Bill 157
  • What do you do?

Harm Reduction
Accurate and unbiased information on the harm of
use to potential users in order to help them make
informed decisions about whether to use and if
they choose to use what precautions to take to
minimize their risk. Dr. Christiane Poulin, M.D.
Best Practices for Working with Youth and
  • Accessible and flexible
  • Youth directed
  • Location and atmosphere
  • Holistic and biopsychosocial
  • Strength based skill building
  • Safe respectful service
  • Meaningful involvement
  • Youth not a homogeneous group

Creative Ways to Prevent and Support Substance
Involved Youth
  • Multi-media communication, word of mouth main
    ways of communicting
  • PIER Project Research has shown youth access the
    internet as their primary information source on

A real life example...
  • I want to get the information straight. My
    health class teacher told us that marijuana is
    not addictive and does not give you cancer like
    cigarettes or is not as dangerous as the other
    drugs like cocaine, meth, etc.,
  • WHY is it so bad to smoke marijuana, if its not
    that bad for you?
  • annonymous youth at local Talbot Teen Centre

A Case Example
A High School Support Group...
  • Joe using since entrance to secondary, unstable
    home, CAS involvement, living with grandparents
    in town, 18 credits, gr.12. 1x residential
  • Charlie using since grade 7, siblings, rural
    home, 16 credits, 2 parents, gr.12, 2x
    residential treatment, best friend died in
    elementary school
  • Jason using since entrance to secondary, BFF
    with Charlie, siblings, rural home, 15 credits, 2
    parents, gr.11, No previous treatment
  • Allansingle mother, living in rural area, no
    siblings in home, gr.12, 13 credits, 1x
    residential treatment, father died
  • Mikeusing since entrance to secondary, single
    mother, living in town, siblings, 21 credits,
    father died, 1x residential treatment

Resources Programs and Agencies That Can Help
  • Handouts

Knowing All of this Info
What level of exposure do you have??
  • Minimal...
  • Regular...
  • Daily....

Presentation Sources
  • Kids and Drugs a Parents Guide to Prevention.
    2008. AND Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse
    Commission. 2007.
  • The Mental Health and Well- Being of Ontario
    Students. 1991- 2005, OSDUS and CAM-H. AND
    Ontario Youth Strategy Project. 2008. All
    available at--
  • Talking With Your Teen About Drugs. 2008.
    Government of Canada. www.nationaldrugstrategy.gc
  • Substance Abuse in Canada Youth in Focus. 2007.
    Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse Activities.
    AND Harm Reduction For Special Populations in
    Canada AND Action News March 2010 All available
  • Drug Use Among Ontario Students. 1977-2009

Thank you for coming!
  • ....and goodbye