Trying to Stop Opioid Addiction Before It Happens: Addressing Transgenerational Substance Abuse at the Youth and Family Levels

Friday, June 15, 2018
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Daniel Jacobs, Psy.D.

While adult opioid-abuse and related concerns (e.g., the increased rates of overdoses and deaths) have garnered a great deal of attention in the media and at governmental levels, the overwhelming majority of adults with opioid addiction began using other (non-opioid) legal and illicit substances during their adolescent years. Many recent open and creative discussions about addiction intervention have focused on reactive planning for adult concerns (for obvious reasons) but there has not been an equal level of effort focused on prevention planning and early intervention with youth. Many of the young people who engage in substance using behavioral patterns that can lead to development of substance use disorders also come from families who have been significantly impacted by substance abuse in a variety of ways. Interventions designed to address youth substance abuse must take into account transgenerational substance abuse challenges, as well as related mental health concerns (e.g., depression, trauma), if they are to be effective and actually make a positive change.

In this training, we will look at evidence-based theories and practices designed to address transgenerational substance abuse and help youth and families break out of negative and dangerous cycles that can lead to opioid (and other) addiction concerns in adulthood. We will examine this challenge predominantly from the lens of the school system, but will also explore family-therapy and community-based interventions that can help support youth. In this session, we will specifically look at skill development for mental health clinicians and caregivers. We will also examine up-to-date research findings related to adolescent substance abuse, school-based interventions, and lasting behavior change. Intervention concepts and practices that foster self-efficacy and actual change practices will be introduced and discussed as well.

This workshop is designed for social workers, educators, school psychologists, special educators, guidance counselors, psychologists, case workers, and other professionals who want to be successful in helping youth with substance abuse concerns. Workshop format will include lecture, interactive case examples, use of multi-media tools, and discussion. We hope you can join us.

Following this training the participants will be able to:

  • Understand the connection between current adult opioid addiction and the contributing factors linked to transgenerational substance abuse in families.
  • Identify up-to-date data on adolescent substance abuse and know how to apply this knowledge in a practical fashion in systemic intervention and collaborative consultations.
  • Explore new areas of evidence-based dual diagnosis and mental health intervention designed for school settings and community-based programs to develop social and life skills.
  • Consider and implement ways to help youth, families, and their supports, adopt a proactive stance towards substance abuse intervention for youth that fosters self-esteem, self-efficacy, and lasting behavior change.
  • Take practical skills back to the field for trial with a focus on prevention and responsive services for youth with substance usage concerns.

Daniel B. Jacobs, Ed.M., M.B.A., Psy.D. is an Assistant Professor at William James College in the School Psychology Department where he teaches courses focused on the needs of individuals and families impaired by mental health and dual diagnosis concerns. Dr. Jacobs also serves as an adjunct faculty member in WJC’s Organizational Leadership Psychology Departments.

Dr. Jacobs has a private practice in Andover, MA (Jacobs Psychological and Consulting Services) and provides individual, family and couples therapy. Dr. Jacobs consults and trains nationally with agencies, schools, residential programs, and other systems addressing issues of behavioral and systemic change and also on topics of self-care and prevention of burnout, compassion fatigue and vicarious traumatization. Dr. Jacobs was formerly the Director of Sub Acute Services at NSMC/Salem Hospital in Salem, MA where he developed and ran the Adolescent and Adult Partial Hospital Programs, which helped adolescents, transitional age youth, adults, and their families, address significant mental health and dual diagnosis concerns. Dr. Jacobs believes hope is always an option and believes utilization of strength-based approaches is the most effective way to help our clients learn to make positive changes in their lives.

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