October 26, 2012 | British Columbia
Substance abuse is increasing around the world, and Canada is no exception. According to Teen Challenge Canada, a program committed to keeping young people clean, more than 47,000 annual deaths in the country are linked to substance abuse.
The Vancouver Sun reports that 20 percent of those struggling with substance abuse problems are teens under the age of 18, and the average age that many are introduced to the world of illegal drugs is 11 years old. These statistics signal a need for more workers to help young people fight addictions. Those looking for a worthwhile profession may want to consider learning more about becoming an addictions and community services worker. Here are several ways that these workers can help teens with harmful addictions.
Help to Educate
Addictions and community services workers can help to inform the general public about the risks surrounding drugs and other substances. The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) recently published a study reporting that around 10 percent of junior high and high school students have used hallucinogenic drugs, with an additional 17 percent smoking marijuana regularly and 40 percent binge drinking. By educating youths about the risks involved with illegal drug use and the side effects of substance abuse, professional workers can help to cut down on teen addictions before they begin.
Help to Heal
Often, substance abuse is used as a coping mechanism for other problems. Effective treatments usually involve counseling as well as administering medications, and the mental aspect behind drug addiction is an important one to address. Socioeconomic factors and family problems can tie into substance abuse, with the CCSA reporting that children of addicts are about nine times more likely to develop their own substance abuse problems. An addictions and community service worker can help youths tackle these issues head on.
Help to Refocus
Once personal issues have been addressed, many former addicts will need to refocus their lives in order to live cleanly. Rehabilitation helps teens give back to the community in a way that can also help them. They are able to find purpose and structure in their immediate environment, and a range of people are part of that support system.
Students who are interested in finding a fulfilling role in this field can first enroll in programs like Addictions and Community Services Worker and Social Services Worker Foundations at CDI College. For more information, fill out the form on the right.