• Quality time vs. quantity time

    Posted on July 24, 2013
    Parents want to have “a great time” with their kids. Realistically, however, how many “Kodak moments” are likely to occur? Wonderful moments or encounters don’t happen daily, and maybe not even weekly. More importantly, these moments can’t be scheduled. They happen when they happen. There is a simple guideline for increasing the number of wonderful moments you have with your children: Spend more time with them. Aim to have “quantity time” and the “quality time” will follow. What ways of spending time together are there? First, there are the basics. Have meals together. Engage the children in helping prepare the meal. Tuck your younger children into bed each night, preferably reading something out loud with them beforehand. In the car, turn off the radio and talk with each other. A...
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  • Parenting 101: 28 Tips for Being the Best Parent You Can Be

    Posted on July 24, 2013
    Even if you have been away from your children because of reasons related to your addiction, your kids are probably not far from your mind. In early recovery, it is important to focus on yourself long enough to build a solid foundation for change (however long that takes will vary from person to person). Once a stable foundation is established, it is time to think about your relationships, especially those with your children. Most parents strive to be the best parents they can be. Given the hectic nature of our lives, this is not always an easy feat to accomplish. When we are under stress, our children may also exhibit signs of stress by becoming irritable, moody, clingy, or withdrawn. They may also show changes in their eating or sleeping behaviors (such as more frequent nightmares o...
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  • Helping Your Troubled Teen Without Making Things Worse

    Posted on July 24, 2013
    Recent revelations of scams and manipulations on Wall Street have opened our eyes as to just how greedy and dishonest some individuals can be. It should be no surprise that there are individuals who prey on the desperation of parents whose teens have become involved in alcohol and other drugs, gangs, crime and violence. Considering the many forms of trouble that seem to attract teens, and our seemingly limitless willingness to sacrifice for our kids, parents of troubled teens are appallingly at risk for exploitation. This sad truth is grippingly revealed in Maia Szalavitz’s appropriately titled Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled-Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids (Riverhead Books, 2006). Even professionals in human services are often not aware of what can be done for teens tha...
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  • Teach Teens Drinking Before it Kills Them

    Posted on July 24, 2013
    A. Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP Alcohol prohibition in the US lasted from 1919 to 1933. Prohibition continues for those under age 21. Prohibition was repealed because it was violated so often.  Given how much people like to drink, prohibition as a public policy was not realistic. In this article I suggest that we are seeing similar violations of drinking laws by young people, and that it is time to modify the prohibition on their drinking. The actions I suggest are already in place in many families. Drinking actually seems to be decreasing among young people (according to the Monitoring the Future surveys the federal government funds).   However, despite the “zero tolerance” approach, some young people drink regularly or in large amounts. On occasion, some die from drinking. Many colleg...
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  • Addiction and Youth

    Posted on July 24, 2013
    Addiction, Recovery and Society How society should view addiction Ending recoveryism Let’s stop insisting addiction is a disease Will insurance cover addiction treatment if addiction is not a disease? AA’s dominance in the US is harmful Court-ordered 12-step attendance is illegal CRAFT: An alternative to addiction "intervention" Substance abuse evaluations in child custody cases Addiction and youth Teach teens drinking before it kills them Why do college students drink so much? Why does anyone? From adolescent substance experimentation to addiction Helping your troubled teen without making things worse Alcohol advertising targets youth Addiction impaired professionals On June 30, 2008, the state of California stopped its medical diversion program.  ...
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  • Substance Abuse Evaluations in Child Custody Cases

    Posted on July 24, 2013
    A. Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP I make a number of assumptions when conducting a substance use evaluation as part of a litigation process: The individual’s use is usually not less than the individual reports, but it might often be more (or much more). Inaccurate accusations of substance abuse are common because there is usually little negative consequence for inaccurate accusations. The parties to the litigation, and those connected with them, may provide biased and inaccurate information. Therefore outside corroboration of their reports is essential for determining the extent and consequences of substance use. Getting outside corroboration: As a practical matter, getting outside corroboration (information from sources not connected with the litigation) is difficult because suc...
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  • Pregnancy and motivation for drug treatment

    Posted on July 23, 2013
    Using drugs during pregnancy creates multiple risks for the mother as well as the baby. Drug use during pregnancy may lead to miscarriage or severe developmental abnormalities for the child. Yet little research has examined the motivation for drug treatment among pregnant women. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University hypothesized that pregnant drug-using women would be more likely than non-pregnant drug-using women to have higher motivation for addiction treatment (Mitchell, Severtson & Latimer, 2008). The researchers analyzed data collected from 149 drug-using women between 2000 and 2007; 49 of the drug-using women were pregnant and 100 were non-pregnant. The study found that pregnant women were more than four times as likely as non-pregnant women to express greater motivation ...
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  • Does watching MTV increase likelihood of alcohol treatment for adolescents?

    Posted on July 23, 2013
    Music television is popular among teens in Belgium as well as adolescents in the U.S. A great deal of recent research has examined how the portrayal of alcohol use on television impacts adolescent alcohol use. Previous research shows that adolescent alcohol use is associated with higher rates of television viewing in general. Music television often glamorizes alcohol use and contains more alcohol advertisements. Might MTV predict alcohol consumption and the need for alcohol treatment for adolescents? A team of researchers from Belgium examined whether television viewing and music video viewing specifically could predict alcohol consumption among adolescents (Ven den Bulck & Beullens, 2005). The researchers recruited a random sample of 1,648 secondary school children in Flanders, ...
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  • Parenting style as alcohol treatment for adolescents

    Posted on July 23, 2013
    There may be an association between parenting style and alcohol consumption by adolescent children; however, it is important to note the availability of alcohol treatment programs for those individuals who have chosen to engage in drinking. In an alternative to AA, self-empowering addiction treatment programs are available to adolescents who may be seeking an individualized treatment plan. It is important to focus on the treatment of underlying issues and through the use of a self-empowering approach, adolescents can be offered a practical solution for their well-being. Individuals can learn problem solving skills, good health habits, and self-control to aid them in learning how to live life with a purpose. It is important to have a treatment plan customized for a specific individual be...
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  • Peer delinquency should be considered in adolescent alcohol treatment

    Posted on July 23, 2013
    Evidence based addiction treatment takes into consideration the trend between peer delinquency and alcohol consumption. However, there may be underlying issues present with adolescents that correlate with their alcohol consumption and aggressive behavior. Thus, it is imperative that adolescents receive individualized treatment plans during alcohol treatment so that the individual is encouraged to find motivations that are deeper than the addiction. An individualized self- empowering treatment plan enables adolescents to focus primarily on underlying issues that may have been the cause of their drinking and/or engaging in aggressive behavior. Previous research studies have found associations between impulsivity and alcohol consumption, between alcohol expectancies and drinking behavio...
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