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Parents & Teens - FAQ's
1. What is the difference between use, abuse and dependency?
2. What can parents do?
3. What can teens do to help friends or family members?
4. What can teens do to help themselves?
5. Who is at risk?
6. How is addiction defined and diagnosed?
7. How is addiction treated?
8. What does the research say?
9. Excerpts from Young People in Recovery?
10. Local resources – BASES groups, AA, NA, other agencies, meeting lists, other web-sites?
11. What is offered at BASES?
12. How much does it cost?
13. How does someone access services?
14. What about drug testing? What does it cost? How does it work? How is it accessed? Who is tested?
15. What are the research-based recommendations for effective drug addiction treatment?

1. Q: What is the difference between use, abuse and dependency?
  A: Use is legal, social, planned, does not lead to problems of any kind and never jeapordizes one's responsibilities and duties. Abuse leads to problems. Abuse involves any illegal use due to the potential for negative legal consequences. Abusive users frequently have "control" of their use the majority of the time but will develop a progressive pattern of more and more abuse. Dependency involves using for euphoria, then craving more of this euphoric experience, the development of tolerance, then loss of control. The term dependency can be interchangeable with addiction or alcoholism if the drug of choice is alcohol. Dependency is primary, obsessive & compulsive, chronic, progressive, can be fatal if left untreated, and TREATABLE.
2. Q: What can parents do?
  A: Parents of young people showing signs of substance abuse can get educated about the differences between use, abuse and dependency, learn about enabling vs. healthy support, learn about normal adolescent development, co-existing disorders common in adolescents, available resources in their area and learn from the experience of others so they don't have to experience as much pain, anguish and heartache as a result of living with a child with substance abuse or dependency.
3. Q: What can teens do to help friends or family members?
  A: Education is always going to be first. Learn about the symptoms of abuse and dependency. Develop communication skills that permit you to tell people the truth about their behavior and how it may impact you or those around them. By providing others with clear, objective feedback, they have the opportunity to evaluate their own behavior. It will also be important to know about resources where people can seek additional help. If you talk directly with someone about their substance abuse, you need to be prepared if they say, "Okay, I'd like to change. Where do I begin?" Knowing how to access detoxification services and the local licensed substance abuse professionals in your area are good steps to make a beginning. It will also be helpful to know about self-help groups in the local area and available phone numbers or web-sites to refer people to for more information.
4. Q: What can teens do to help themselves?
  A: The longer a teen waits to begin their first use, the less problems they experience. If a teen has already used, make a commitment to be alcohol and drug free from this point forward. Living alcohol and drug free requires skills - skills in communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, stress management, goal setting, and many more. Work on developing these skills to avoid the pitfalls of using to cope.
5. Q: Who is at risk?
  A: The risk factors that increase a person's likelihood of experiencing substance abuse problems come from a variety of areas. One involves family history of addiction issues. Another involves their environment - family, neighborhood, school, community - if it is all around you, it will be the only thing you will know and your definition of "normal" will be impacted by these experiences. Some people have high risk "personalities" through such things as impulse control problems, poor self-concept, a strong desire to please others who may encourage them to use and anger issues. Research has suggested that the most common parent profiles of substance abusing teens involve over controlling females and absent, physically or emotionally, fathers. Another area that places teens at risk involves an unwillingness to make a choice to not use. By not choosing to be healthy, they leave themselves open to use with the idea that "everyone does it", "I won't get in trouble", "I'm smart enough to avoid the pitfalls" and all of those beliefs that are common in teen users. No one believes smoking cigarettes is a healthy choice, yet they smoke anyway. Why? Finding answers and alternatives to these type of questions will help the young person develop skills and reduce their risk of substance abuse.
6. Q: How is addiction defined and diagnosed?
  A: Addiction is defined by some as being anything we cannot stop doing. Abuse becomes addiction with the repeated use in spite of negative consequences. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) defines addiction / substance dependence as "a maladaptive pattern of substance use, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress, as manifested by three (or more) of the following, occuring at any time in the same 12-month period: (1) tolerance, as defined by either of the following: (a) a need for markedly increased amounts of the substance to achieve intoxication or desired effect, or (b) markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance; (2) withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following: (a) the characteristic withdrawal syndrome for the substance, (b) the same (or a closely related) substance is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms; (3) the substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended; (4) there is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use; (5) a great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance (e.g., visiting multiple doctors or driving long distances), use the substance (e.g., chain-smoking), or recover from its effects; (6) important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of substance use; (7) the substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused by or exacerbated by the substance (e.g., current cocaine use despite recognition of cocaine-induced depression, or continued drinking despite recognition that an ulcer was made worse by alcohol consumption)."
7. Q: How is addiction treated?
  A: We address addiction with three components – abstinence, lifestyle change, and learning. Abstinence from all mood altering chemicals initially and as more skills are developed we also include abstinence from additional unhealthy behaviors. Lifestyle change involves finding safe and drug free activities and friends. Learning involves ongoing stress management, problem solving, and lifelong self improvement to prevent relapse.
8. Q: What does the research say?
  A: Research about addiction recovery rates is very encouraging. The medical compliance rates for heroin addiction, diabetes, and high blood pressure show that diabetes and high blood pressure have a less than fifty percent patient compliance rate. Heroin addicts follow the prescribed treatment sixty percent of the time. Typical adult recovery rates one year after treatment show a fifteen percent continued abstinence rate. We teach that recovery is a process and dealing with changes for adolescents and newly recovering people is a critical recovery skill.
9. Q: Excerpts from Young People in Recovery?
  A: http://www.basesteencenter.org/YPRcondensed.pdf
10. Q: Local resources – AA, NA, other agencies, meeting lists, other web-sites?
 

A: In addition to all of the services offered at BASES, there are additional resources in the local area:

Charlevoix Alano Club

District 13 Alcoholics Anonymous – Charlevoix & Emmet County

West Michigan Area 34 Alcoholics Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous

Harbor Hall

11. Q: What is offered at BASES?
  A: BASES has services for adolescents and adults. We do substance abuse evaluations for young people and adults. We offer specialized assessments for driver’s license appeal hearings and one time educational programs for drunk drivers and minor in possession of alcohol offenders. We also offer individual outpatient and group counseling for adults. We have numerous books and resources available for family members. BASES also provides extensive referral services for additional substance abuse programs and mental health referrals. BASES does drug testing for local courts, schools, businesses, and families. Our drug testing includes urine testing with instant results or lab results. If you have a substance abuse concern, feel free to contact us and we will help direct you to the appropriate resources.
12. Q: How much does it cost?
  A: Call 231-547-1144 for specific information. Also, we have free consultation appointments available to help you develop a plan to get your needs met.
13. Q: How does someone access services?
  A: Contact BASES to set up an initial appointment which is usually scheduled within one to three days of initial contact.
14. Q: What about drug testing? What does it cost? How does it work? How is it accessed? Who is tested?
  A: We offer drug testing during all of our hours of operation – Monday – Thursday 10:00 – 6:00, and Fridays 10:00 – 5:00. We are closed on holidays. Costs for drug tests are $20 and preliminary breath tests cost $3.00. If you need to do a drug test you can call or stop in and our staff will explain confidentiality issues and have you sign appropriate releases so the results can be shared with only those people you want informed of the results. Families can test their teenagers and have the results returned only to the family. Lab tests take three to seven days to get results. We also have instant tests available, but these are usually not permitted for court referred drug testing clients.
15. Q: What are the research-based recommendations for effective drug addiction treatment?
 

A: 1. No single treatment is appropriate for all individuals.

2. Treatment needs to be readily available.

3. Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug use.

4. An individual's treatment and services plan must be assessed continually and modified as necessary to ensure that the plan meets the person's changing needs.

5. Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical for treatment effectiveness. (Research indicates that for most patients, the threshold of significant improvement is reached at about three months in treatment.)

6. Counseling (individual and/or group) and other behavioral therapies are critical components of effective treatment for addiction.

7. Medications are an important element of treatment for many patients, especially when combined with counseling and behavioral therapies.

8. Addiction or drug-abusing individuals with coexisting mental disorders should have both disorders treated in an integrated way.

9. Medical detoxification is only the first stage of addiction treatment and by itself does little to change long-term drug use.

10. Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective.

11. Possible drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously. Lapses to drug use can occur during treatment.

12. Treatment programs should provide assessment for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases, and counseling to help patients modify or change behaviors that place themselves or others at risk of infection.

13. Recovery from drug addiction can be a long-term process and frequently requires multiple treatment episodes.

Source: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (1999) National Institude on Drug Abuse