VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Adolescents and Substance Abuse: What Works and Why?
Charlotte Chapman and Laurie Rokutani
The nature of adolescent development poses unique issues for counselors when providing substance abuse services to this client population. Some of these issues are rapid growth of the brain and body during adolescent years, emotional and social influences on adolescent behavior, impact on normal development due to substance abuse, identity and self-esteem development, and family dynamics. In addition, today’s adolescents are living in a culture in which they are exposed to more information about drugs and easier access to drugs, such as the Internet. National surveys continue to show that the majority of adolescents believe that their use of alcohol and drugs is normal (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 1999). These factors increase the challenge for counselors when trying to intervene either through prevention or treatment.