Alcohol and drug use among youth is common, with 40 percent of young people reporting regular use of some substance before finishing high school.
While not all young people using substances will develop a dependency, there may nevertheless be problematic behaviours associated with their use. They commonly include, mood swings and emotional outbursts, isolation to their room or not coming home at night, missing school or dropping grades, stealing money or alcohol from family.
In working with young people, my approach is to include parents in a process that helps to get all the information possible, listening to the struggles and strengths while building a trusting alliance with the young person.
Using a framework of four sessions together, the assessment process looks like this: