Adolescent substance use is a serious—and potentially deadly—problem with many repercussions for the adolescent, the family, and society at large. It is also an issue that too few education professionals feel prepared to address even as they see it playing out in their schools and classrooms. Struggling with Substance Use: Supporting Students’ Social Emotional Learning presents evidence on the magnitude of the problem and the many underlying factors and commonly co-occurring disorders associated with student substance use. It covers the risk factors for adolescent substance use (e.g., trauma, ADHD, peer pressure, and family dysfunction) and contrasts each with specific protective factors that education professionals need to consider when designing schoolwide programs and classroom initiatives. Each chapter concludes with an example of an evidence-based program that has made a difference for students and families. Armed with knowledge, understanding, and examples of proven programs, school professionals can incorporate the necessary protective factors to provide hope and help for struggling students and their families.
Deborah Lynch has taught at the elementary, high school, and college levels and recognized the need for greater awareness and understanding of student substance use on the part of school personnel. She is also a certified addiction counselor who works to increase awareness and support for students and their families in today’s schools.
Chapter 1. Understanding Adolescent Substance Use
Chapter 2. Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders: Trauma and Adolescent Substance Use
Chapter 3. Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders: ADHD and Adolescent Substance Use
Chapter 4. Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders: Conduct Disorders and Adolescent Substance Use
Chapter 5. Understanding Co-Occurring Disorders: Depression/Anxiety and Adolescent Substance Use
Chapter 6. Understanding the Role of the Family and Adolescent Substance Use
Chapter 7. Understanding the Role of Peers and Adolescent Substance Use
Chapter 8. Understanding the Role of the School in Addressing Student Substance Use
Chapter 9. Understanding the Role of the Community in Addressing Adolescent Substance Use
Chapter 10. Making a Difference: Connection, Engagement, Resilience, and Hope
Appendix A: Selected Reviews of Evidence-based Programs
Appendix B: NIDA Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment
About the Author
After my years in the field working with dual-diagnosis, I can honestly say that a book written by an educator with knowledge in substance use disorders is the perfect supplemental resource for all educators. Research shows us the importance of understanding the impact of substance use and mental health from an early age, and allowing our educators to increase their awareness and understanding will provide the additional support our children truly need.
Deborah Lynch clearly has not only an excellent grasp of the research but a passionate desire to offer help, support, knowledge, and training to others. Though it’s presented through the lens of school, Struggling with Substance Use: Supporting Students’ Social Emotional Learning is a useful book for social workers, clergy, community workers, and others who are impacted by addiction.
Every day in substance abuse treatment we see living examples of the trauma and co-occurring disorders that Struggling with Substance Use: Supporting Students’ Social Emotional Learning alerts readers to. Educators, social workers, and policy makers will change the futures of the most vulnerable by reading and responding to this exceptional well-researched book.
This book reminds educators that no matter how well versed we think we are in the matters of educating students, there is still so much more to learn. Lynch’s analysis of the research suggests that the prevalence of school aged youth using substances is more pervasive than one would imagine. These facts reveal how important it is for educators to become more cognizant of the presence of substances, risk factors, and evidenced-based prevention strategies. For teachers seeking to become better informed, Struggling with Substance Use will strengthen and improve their ability to support students. It is paramount that all who are involved in supporting those struggling with substance use have this information. As a matter of fact, it should become required reading.