Sharing – Why Adolescence Matters in Preventing Substance Abuse

I have written before about ACE scores not being our destiny, but here is some more real talk about that when it comes to addiction –

Several factors put children at increased risk for substance abuse, including adverse childhood experiences, family history of substance abuse, low academic achievement, peer culture, and lack of school connectedness. But none of these factors are destiny, says Lahey, and she wants to absolve the shame and guilt that some parents may feel when they recognize their child is in a higher-risk category for one reason or another. Instead, she wants parents to feel empowered by what they can do, starting today.

The reality is, even if a kid has had severe trauma in their life, there are things we can do, immediately, that can lower the chances of this trauma impacting them later in life. Things like getting them support, positive role models and experiences, and actively getting them involved in healing can make a huge difference.

One of the most frustrating things that I see far too often in the child abuse survivor community, are adults, some in their 50s and 60s, who never got that. They were not believed, or even blamed, for the trauma they suffered as children, so instead of getting immediate support that may have offset the risks, they simply got more trauma piled on top, and now are trying to heal themselves. That is so much harder, not impossible, but they could have gotten such a head start if only someone had believed them, and acted to protect them.

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