Teens Using Drugs: What To Know and What To Do






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Comments from the Audience Members


Here are some examples of what people thought about the "Teens Using Drugs" workshop series - the following comments are from the written evaluations provided by people who attended "Teens Using Drugs" workshops:


Comments from Parents/Adults

Comments From Professionals

Comments From Teens


Comments from parents/guardians/adult family members:

General comments:

Part One:

-    Very enlightening, all of it.

-    I took lots of the handouts – they look very informative.

-    Extremely professional, highly experienced lecturer conveyed practical information to the group …

-    Real life examples and examples from presenter's experience helped my understanding …

Part Two:

-    I am so glad I came … 

-    Very compassionate, easy to listen to style … 

-    Young speaker was excellent way to end the presentation. His talk was very enlightening.

-    The story by Steve was very powerful. It helped open my eyes to my daughter’s situation and realistically to the long road ahead. It means so much to hear a real story of how someone in addiction can turn their life around …


In response to the question: "How did your participation tonight change your knowledge, attitudes, or potential future actions?"  parents/guardians/adult relatives said that:

Part One:

-  It has given me knowledge upon which I can act. I know what to look for in the future and when to be alarmed and seek help.

-  I now have questions and checklists to work with for observing. Most important though was the end, “totally treatable,” which gives me hope.

-  I feel more knowledgeable about drug problems and how to identify the signs and symptoms. I feel encouraged that the condition is treatable.

-  Not "bad" behavior, a chronic illness… 

Part Two:

-    Practical ways to confront drug use, with love … 

-    List of things my spouse and I have to do to help our son, and that we must agree on consequences …

-    I learned that stopping use of the drugs is just the first thing to happen and much more must occur for the teen to be able to recover. We must confront this problem directly and we must get help.

-    I have a better understanding of what I need to do to help my son. I see more clearly the path that he is on and I don’t want him to have to go all the way down it to get the help he needs. We must get help from outside of our family.


 In response to the question: "What did you find most helpful?"  parents/guardians/adult relatives said that:

Part One:

-  The talk about values and feelings helped me to understand better what the drug addict feels like.

-  Seeing so many people here – we are not alone in this problem.

-  It was all helpful information. It will help me take action to help my son before it is too late.

-  Chemical dependency is incredibly treatable…

-  The video was powerful - it's good to see that the faces of chemically dependent young people are not of  any particular type …

Part Two:

-    It is all immensely helpful. I am going to change how we have been dealing with this. The part about the parent has to take charge hit home with me. Until now my son has been calling the shots and we have been playing the parts he wants us to take. We must help him.

-    Everything was very helpful. The stories provided excellent real life examples that made it make sense when you talked about how parenting a child with a drug problem differs from “normal” parenting. It was particularly helpful to know how to confront the problem and what types of resources are available. Stopping drugs is only the beginning.

-    All of Ron’s information is very helpful. The literature we took home last week was very helpful also. The talk this evening by Mike was wonderful. I have never heard such a story with a happy ending. It gives me hope.

-    Mike’s talk made me realize that no matter how afraid I am there is hope for my child.


Comments from professionals and people who work with teens:


General comments:

Part One:

-    Valuable session, very good information…

-    I appreciate your direct, humorous approach. Stories of clients and family helped me better understand drug problems…

-    We see so much addiction in our patients, and we do not treat it as a primary problem.  We tend to think that if we can relieve all the other problems the drug problem will go away too, but that is thinking like the addict thinks; that the drug use is the solution, not the cause …

Part Two:

-    The information dispelled notions about a drug problem being a problem/fault of the family/environment... 

-    This has been very enlightening and has very much changed how I think of and will deal with teens with drug issues …

-    This is an awesome accessible and free program … 

-    This is an excellent series.


In response to the question: "How did your participation tonight change your knowledge, attitudes, or potential future actions?"  professionals in the audience said that:

Part One:

-    My concept of teen chemical dependency has been changed. The concept of addiction as a primary disease is very different from the theories I have seen our practices based on, and makes much more sense, especially with the teens that do not get better with therapy…

-    I feel better prepared to work helpfully with adolescent patients who are using alcohol/other drugs … 

-    It make me look at drugs as more of a problem for which an adolescent needs help, instead of a problem for which they need to be disciplined … 

-    That the addiction must be treated first - I always assumed that the psychological issues must be addressed before the addiction ... 

Part Two:

-  I have a new awareness of the need to address a drug problem directly. My attitude before was to try to address the surrounding problems with the idea that improving these would reduce the drug use. I now know the drug problem must be addressed first.

-  It will better help me deal with families in the church and community to better provide support when it is needed. 

-  More awareness of resources for teens with drug problems. 

-  This gave me a new view of how to address the problem of addiction. I gained a new perspective on the seriousness of addiction in teens. I learned how teens and adults can recover from addiction and what they must do to become whole human beings again.


In response to the question: "What did you find most helpful?" professionals in the audience said that:

Part One:

-    The list of signs and symptoms that are seen and the descriptions. Also the values explanation at the end.

-    The concept of “primary illness.” The “love relationship.” The values description.

-    The process you go through with parents. The distinction between drug user and abuser.

-    What to ask parents. What it (substance abuse) may look like in adolescents. Also that chemical dependency is a primary diagnosis.

Part Two:

-  Understanding and learning the characteristics needed to address the drug problem.  The steps for dealing with the teen or person using.

-  The young speaker was compelling. He gave me a new view of the meaning of recovery. Because of him I will have more respect and compassion for “street people” and will never again presume someone’s addiction is beyond hope.

-  All the information was very helpful in educating me about the realities of addiction and recovery. The information about recovery was perhaps the most useful part. It was very surprising to me to learn that there are many young people in the AA program and that AA provides support for life changes besides not drinking.

-  “Stopping is only the beginning …”


Comments from teens:


In response to the question: "How did your participation tonight change your knowledge, attitudes, or potential future actions?"  teens in the audience said that:

Part One:

-    It taught me a lot about drug problems - the usage and consequences of your actions …

-    It made me want to help my friends more…

-    People with drug problems can get treatment and get better.

-    He made me realize that my decisions now will affect my future.

-    I see better why my parents are worried about me.

Part Two:

-  It showed me how to get the help I need.

-  My perception of changing changed. I realize that you can come from a really bad place and move on and start over.

-  I learned some insight into my behavior. I learned you can recover from a drug problem. I learned the things you have to do and the things that can help you.

-  Just listening helped …

-  It made me realize that I have a lot more to live for, and that drugs do not have to be part of my life…


 In response to the question: "What did you find most helpful?" teens in the audience said that:

Part One:

-  You can get help for a drug problem.

-  If you use drugs and have problems, the drugs are the problem.

-  I came into this thinking it was another fact-based therapy, but this really was different, and a lot better than I thought …

-  That drug dependency can be treated…

Part Two:

-    Hearing real life stories from someone who has actually experienced a drug problem …

-    The "real life" approach, instead of the usual BS we get from our parents and the school …

-    The teen speaker was GREAT! He was informed and had his own story. He handled the questions well.

-    Chris’ speech showed me that I am the same way. I can make it.


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PLEASE NOTE: this site is not a counseling or treatment service. We welcome comments and requests for information about the "Teens Using Drugs: What To Know and What To Do" program and/or about this Web site, but the people who maintain the Web site are not substance abuse professionals and cannot provide advice about substance abuse problems.  Parents, family members, teens, professionals, and concerned community members are all welcome to attend the free "Teens Using Drugs: What To Know and What To Do" program to learn more about adolescent substance abuse problems and what can be done to help adolescents with alcohol/other drug problems. If you are not able to attend this program, you can click on the "referrals" section to find suggestions for other options, and check the "information/links" section for other sources of information.