Vistas Online 2012

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.


Stigmatization of Adolescents Who Use Alcohol and Marijuana: A Counseling Concern

Michael D. Brubaker, Laura A. Nabors, Jordan Pangallo, and Halley Shipley


It is estimated that in 2010, 1.8 million youth aged 12 to 17 needed treatment for alcohol or drug dependence, yet only 138,000 (7.6%) actually received it. When considering alcohol dependence alone, the percentage of youth who receive treatment is even lower (6.1%; SAMHSA, 2011). There are many reasons why individuals would not receive treatment. One reason is the concern that getting treatment would invoke a negative opinion by neighbors or community members (Luoma et al., 2007, SAMHSA, 2011). Other barriers to treatment included lacking health coverage and the cost of treatment as well as a lack of “readiness” to quit or a decision to manage the problem without treatment (Kertesz et al., 2006; SAMHSA, 2011). As a significant portion of adolescents who need treatment do not receive the care they need due to perceived stigma and other barriers, it is important that we better understand barriers to receiving treatment and stigma toward those who have received treatment. Through greater awareness of current barriers, including stigma, as well as facilitators to treatment, counselors may be better equipped to support adolescents and their families who all may benefit from addictions services.

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