Knowledge is Power

TruthTalks News   •   March 30, 2017

A recent New York Times article by Maia Szalavitz discusses the 4 traits that put kids at risk for addiction. This is relevant and important to our work here at TruthTalks because these traits highlight what may or may not be going on beneath the surface as our child is growing up, often struggling through school.  Without exception, the kids in recovery who volunteer with us all talk about their own underlying condition(s) that make their lives more stressful and chaotic–underlying conditions that led to their drug abuse.

There’s a new anti drug program, Szalavitz says, that’s been tested in Europe, Australia and Canada. It is called Preventure, and it recognizes how the temperament a child is born with drives his or her risk for drug use.

The kids in this program undergo personality testing which identifies 90% of the highest risk children, targeting risky traits before they lead to addiction such as sensation-seeking, impulsiveness, anxiety-sensitivity and hopelessness. Often, these traits are linked to mental health issues.  And often as kids grow up, they begin to self medicate. For example, impulsiveness is common among people with ADHD, while hopelessness is related to depression. Many ADHD kids and become addicted to certain drugs as they try to control their out of control impulses and inability to focus on tasks.

After completing the personality testing, the kids with the extreme scores attend workshops targeted towards their test results. In these workshops, kids are taught cognitive behavioral techniques which address the specific emotional and behavioral problems that would likely lead to drug abuse.  Kindof like a pre-emptive move to steer kids away from choosing drugs, and towards using their own tools to to navigate this stressful world.

For kids with personality traits that put them at risk, learning to identify and manage these traits at an early age is key.

Read more about this HERE