Adolescent drug abuse: Helping families survive

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 2005, 14 (3), pp. 209 - 214
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Drug use and abuse carries risk in people of all ages. However, adolescents are particularly vulnerable to substance misuse. Adolescent drug use continues to be an area of concern with a number of adolescents developing problems associated with the use of various drugs. Negative sequelae associated with adolescent drug use include areas such as schooling, health, and family relationships. Difficulties with the legal system, schooling, or within the family are commonly the triggers for recognition of substance misuse problems in a young person. However, problems are usually wellestablished before they are recognized. The challenge of dealing with these problems will fall on families, particularly parents. This is a crisis for families, and ongoing support is needed if they are to overcome the challenges. Health workers (including nurses) are well-positioned to support families who are dealing with adolescent drug problems. In this paper we propose the adoption of a strengths approach as a strategy for developing resilience in families.
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