Neuroscience is clear that adolescence is the crucial time for brain development and forming habits and coping mechanism. As brain want to build new connections and synapses, teenagers are in need of experimenting, risk taking and thrill seeking.
That’s the time of great vulnerability and with little life and stress coping skills, with not fully developed frontal lobe (responsible for rational thinking), they are at great risk falling into life long addiction.
Not so mention: Peer pressure, need for belonging and being accepted, the opinion of being immortal (“it will not happen to me”), genetic, family predispositions and constant pressure on achievements
I’ve been working with numerous teenagers dependent on alcohol, illegal drugs (Cannabis, Extasy, LSD, cocaine etc.) and various pharmaceutical drugs. It’s never a quick fix, however with trust and gradually growing motivation first to reduce and ideally to stop taking drugs, I make changes in my teenage client’s lives.
Each case is individual, I equip them with stress coping and communication skills, help them to develop core values, reconnect, create a meaning and purpose behaviours.
I don’t scare them with worst scenarious. This strategy does not work. Instead, I explain them, through neuroscience how drug taking changes their mind and how it will affect their mood, cognitive and social functioning in a short and long term future.
Together with a client we build an alternative to their current world. We find hope and a way out. With new skills and determination they unlearn and learn how to live and enjoy their drug free live.