Understanding Youth Drug & Alcohol Use
Helping Young People to Change
….A small dry seed sits on a window sill. Surrounded by sunlight it knows it wants to become something more than a shrived dry seed and so every day it wills itself to grow….
Sadly, the seed doesn’t grow. As we all know, even the most determined seed can’t shoot through sheer will alone. It requires good soil.
Similarly, change is what happens when a person is ready for action and they are in an environment that supports that action.
For young people facing issues with alcohol and other drugs, change is not something that can be achieved simply because they really hope to change. They must be in an environment supportive of change and conducive to their personal growth.
Safe, substance free housing, ensuring basic needs like food and clothing are met, looking for meaningful education or employment options and having experiences that enhance self-esteem and build a sense of worth are all promoters of change.
Whilst Youth AOD workers can help a young person achieve some of these, often the people who can most influence a young person's social environment are family members.
Is the family home a good environment for change?
- Is home safe and free of violence?
- Does a young person have an area of their home that is private and they are in control of?
- Is the home a place of encouragement?
- Is effective communication practiced and modelled? (Poor communication can actually create barriers to change!)
- Is the family something that a young person can draw strength from?
- Do adult family members seek help when they need it?
- Is responsible use of alcohol (or other substances) modelled?
It is worth exploring these questions when trying to promote change. Concerned about a young person not wanting to change? Take a look at our video and remember you can talk to YoDAA for more info, advice and support if you need.