From Dabbling to Destruction: Signs and symptoms of adolescents who are struggling with active addiction (Session 4 of 5)

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Michelle Muffett-Lipinski, M.Ed., Principal, Northshore Recovery High School; Maureen Cavanagh, MPA, M.Ed., LADC


How do we create spaces in our community where we can work together to create realistic goals and consequences for our students and children? This fourth session will discuss the signs and symptoms of an adolescent who is using substances enough to meet the DSM criteria for a substance use disorder and is struggling with active addiction. In his Ted Talk, British journalist Johann Hari discusses the available research into the underlying causes of addiction and concludes, rather brilliantly, that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it’s connection. We will discuss ways to develop “connection.” How can we have these discussions without having a trusted relationship with the child? How does mattering theory apply to the ability to develop and maintain an authentic relationship with someone who is in active addiction? How do we let the adolescent know we care in ways that the adult will follow through and can be trusted?  We will discuss resources for schools and families who are in this stage of substance use.

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