Assessing Adolescent Substance Abuse Intervention Programs in South Texas
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Drug use among teenagers is an increasing problem for individuals, families and communities. Individual and environmental factors contribute to continued drug use among teens. Throughout history there have been various approaches in combating this problem. Currently there are diverse types of programs available to intervene at the different stages of drug use. Intervening at the experimental stage of drug use can prevent young children from developing a substance use disorder and the severe consequences that occur with dependence and addiction. Therefore, it is crucial to develop effective substance abuse intervention programs. This applied research project assesses adolescent substance abuse intervention program within South Texas. The ideal type model contains six categories: program foundation; community collaboration and awareness; participant identification; determining needs; counseling services and program improvement. An assessment is performed through structured interviews and document analysis. The results indicate adolescent substance abuse intervention programs within South Texas generally support the model. Recommendations included: improving staff awareness of the program purpose, mission and goals; requiring screenings and assessments; providing alternative activities; and increasing the availability of individual and family counseling.