This is an article that is concerned with intervention approaches for the younger population that have problems with alcohol abuse. It describes the gravity of the situation by reporting the huge number of adolescents who have a problem with alcohol and substance abuse. Thus, it reports that “[i]n 2002, an estimated 10. 7 million American youths, 28. 8% of total youths 12–20 years old, were current drinkers. ” The article determined current drinkers by using the criterion that the person “consumed at least one drink in the past 30 days” (Society for the Study of Addiction, 2004).
The gravity of the problem is underscored by the huge part of the statistics to belong to binge and heavy drinkers. The “US National Survey on Drug Use and Health in 2002” estimated that 7. 2 million adolescents are binge drinkers, while 2. 3 million adolescents are heavy drinkers. Heavy drinkers are those who consumed more than four drinks in five different days in the past 30 days. The staggering figures lead to the conclusion that there is serious public health problem among the youth with respect to their alcohol consumption.
This problem extends to serious behavioral disorders resulting from alcohol consumption, such as alcoholism. The problem is even more serious because disorders that are related to alcohol abuse are likely to become “chronic and to persist into adulthood” (Society for the Study of Addiction, 2004). The problem with adolescent alcohol abuse has led to the development of various treatments, both in the private and public healthcare systems. These treatments often range from adolescent to adult care. However, treatment cares often result in relapse in 50-70 percent of affected adolescents.
Therefore, there is a need for systematic approaches that are tailored to meet the specific needs and limitations of the target population, which is the youth (Society for the Study of Addiction, 2004). Treatments require appropriate diagnostic criteria in assessing alcohol use patterns of adolescents. Moreover, there is a need to develop a framework within which “alcohol-related pathology” could be accounted for in the adolescent stage of a person’s life (Society for the Study of Addiction, 2004).
The article likewise cites Liddle (2004), who reviewed therapies involving the family of the adolescent who has problems in alcohol and drug abuse. There are suggestions to develop “adolescent focused, family-based therapies for substance abuse” (Society for the Study of Addiction, 2004). Family-based therapies are believed to be effective for the helpful recovery of alcohol-dependent adolescent. Family-based therapies often analyze “videotaped in-therapy sessions. Such records help in the identification of problems and issues, and serve as bases for change and treatment (Society for the Study of Addiction, 2004). This article is useful because it points out how important it is to first determine the extent of the problem before attempting to solve it. In the case of alcoholic adolescents, there is a need to first know the needs and limitations of each person and proceed from there.
Intervention strategies, such as family-based therapies, should factor in such details in order to be effective. Videotaped therapy sessions are also helpful because they allow all stakeholders, such as the alcohol-dependent person, his family, and the therapist, to have a clear perspective of the situation, through observation from a different angle. Finally, family members could be effective in helping adolescent alcohol dependents by providing moral support.
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