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  1. Dangerous Journeys A metaphor for passage through the teen years Marvin Krank

  2. How can we help youth get through these perilous times

  3. Project on Adolescent Trajectories and Health (PATH): social context, cognition, risk-taking behaviour, and health outcomes • Three-year longitudinal study • Funded by the SSHRC and CIHR • Partnership with SD#23

  4. Grades 7-10 are a time of significant transitions in drug and alcohol use

  5. Patterns in use of marijuana Source Krank and Johnson (1999a,b)

  6. Why weshould care

  7. Adolescent risk is based on what they do Unsafe sex in youth leads to teen pregnancy, low birth weight babies, and STDs including HIV Drug and alcohol use increase unintentional injuries, the leading cause of death in youth

  8. Health Aches and pains Accidents Hospitalization Violence Victim Perpetrator Various kinds Bullying Assault Sex Early sex Regretted sex Sexual assault Problembehaviours Skipped school Stayed out all night without parent permission Damaged property Warned or detained by police School detention Stole something outside of home Stole at home Suspended out of school Suspended in school Ran away from home Carrying weapons Early and heavy alcohol use is correlated with many negative outcomes

  9. High risk behaviours tend to co-exist Drug and alcohol use, early and unsafe sexual activity, and violence tend to co-occur For example, heavier drug and alcohol use is linked to being both a victim and a perpetrator of sexual assault.

  10. Dating and sex • 1/3 of grade eleven students have had sex • 2/3 of females had sex under influence of alcohol • 43% of the girls have given oral sex • ½ of the girls regretted having sex • 14% of grade 9-11 girls have been physically harmed by their dating partner • 26% of drinkers and 28% of marijuana users have been physically harmed by their partner.

  11. Justsay no!

  12. Mixed messages

  13. The social and cultural roots of these cognitions • Parents • Peers • Personality • Pop Culture

  14. The effects of advertising • $1Billion/yr • 70% on TV • 22% magazines • 50% on Saturday and Sunday • 33% between 8-11 pm

  15. Tuborg

  16. Crying

  17. Thoughts precede actions Teens take risks for the same reasons adults do: they expect better things will happen to them. Fun, Sex, Relax, Socialize.

  18. Modern Risk Prevention Programs • Discuss social influences • Encourage alternative behaviours • Correct misperceptions about norms • Focus on changing false expectations

  19. Contemporary Evidence-based Methods • Less confrontational • Motivate change • Meet individuals where they are • Brief interventions

  20. P R E V E N T I O N T R E A T M E N T E N F O R C E M E N T H A R M R E D U C T I O N Prevention in context: The Four Pillars

  21. Alternative Intervention for Marijuana Suspension (AIMS) A collaboration between School District #23, the RCMP, and the PATH Research Group.

  22. The Objective • Develop a proactive program to deal with students engaging in marijuana related behaviour on school property. • Must operate under the limited resources of the school district.

  23. How AIMS Works • Self-report questionnaire => Personalized feedback sheets will be created. Frequency of Marijuana in a Week

  24. How AIMS Works The Counselling Session • The single 60-minute counselling session must take place before students return to school. • Utilize the four principles of MI • Express empathy • Develop discrepancies • Roll with resistance • Support self-efficacy

  25. The AIMS Program Goals • Students’ use of marijuana will decrease. • Reduction in students’ recidivism. • Decreased police involvement in schools. • Fewer number of marijuana related incidents on school grounds.

  26. What can parents do? • Goal is to change or prevent risky expectancies • Parents can and do make a difference The problem is how do you do that?

  27. Parent-Child Balance Parental Expectations Independent Decision Making

  28. What should you say: Cognitive Expectancy challenge “More is less” is a general point What else could you do is an exercise for the youth, ask questions, but be ready to help answer with healthy alternatives that they would like.

  29. When to talk to them • Quiet times when the opportunity arises • Away from friends and siblings • In the car • Watching TV – e.g. TV commercials

  30. Try to speak their language

  31. How to talk to your kids • Listening first • Four principles • Be understanding and try to see things from their perspective “That must be difficult” • Present facts contrary to what their long term goals “Did you know that research shows that smoking marijuana interferes with learning and memory. I wonder how that might influence getting into university?” • Don’t confront or challenge work around the issue • Be supportive and positive about your child “You can do it” • Be prepared and tell the truth – www.ouc.bc.ca/path

  32. Conclusion • The real war on drugs is the battle for the hearts and minds of our youth • We don’t want to prevent them from taking the journey, but we do want them prepared for challenges along the way.