Dangers of assuming all kids will experiment

Learn about: Dangers of assuming all kids will experiment from Michael Dennis, PhD,...
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Dangers of assuming all kids will experiment

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Parents often ask should they just assume are their child going to use alcohol and drugs some day. The odds are quite good that better than chance they will, in fact, use alcohol and drugs. It's actually about 80 percent for alcohol and about 54 percent for drugs by the time they finish high school that they'll try it. That doesn't mean that they go on to become addicted, and it doesn't mean that the game is over. You don't want to convey a message to them of permissiveness that says, "Oh, you're gonna use so go ahead. You might as well get it over with." You don't want to tell them war stories where it becomes like a rite of passage to go out and get drunk and use drugs. You have to approach it on the one hand as a real risk and yet at the same time conveying to them that you're worried about this risk, that you don't want them to use, that if something happens, you want them to come and get help.

Learn about: Dangers of assuming all kids will experiment from Michael Dennis, PhD,...

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Michael Dennis, PhD

Psychologist

Michael Dennis, PhD, is a senior research psychologist and Director of the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) coordinating center at Chestnut Health Systems in Normal, Illinois. Over the past 25 years his primary area of research has been to better understand and manage addiction and recovery over the life course. This includes multiple clinical trials to compare the effectiveness of adolescent treatment approaches and recovery support services, longitudinal studies with adolescents, adults and older adults to understand the predictors of entering and sustaining recovery, and creating the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) coordinating center for teaching evidenced based assessment to support clinical decision making at the individual level and program evaluation. He has multiple awards for moving the field from science to practice, promoting diversity through practice based evidence and bringing more people into the field.

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