Protecting Teenagers from Addiction to Substances

Protecting Teenagers from Addiction to Substances

Pelican mouths are like big pouches. Their bills allow them to swoop down and grab a ton of food for survival. Symbolically, the pelican asks us to open up to all opportunities available to us. Scoop up all the good stuff you need to fly higher! Pelicans also fish in groups. 

Similarly when children reach adolescence, they are getting ready to strengthen and grow their flying wings, in order to leave the shelter of their family and to open themselves up to new and exciting experiences as they approach adulthood. Not all at once of course, because teenagers still need and want to be loved and taken care of while they figure out who they are and what they want.

During this pivotal development period, adolescents can easily fall foul of the dangers of modern living; using substances just to fit in with peer groups or to alleviate depression and anxiety. Teenagers need to be taken care of, need productive and appropriate stimulation and social engagement. They also need appropriate freedoms. Like pelicans they are raring to fly and scoop up the good stuff.

This three-hour workshop provides cutting edge information on how the teenage brain differs from the adult brain, how this makes them more vulnerable to substance use and looks at why teenagers might be struggling with anxiety and depression and what practical strategies can be used to minimize these risks of adolescence. It covers models of addiction and presents new evidence regarding how we understand this disorder. A must for anyone who has or works with teenagers.

Course Outline:

Section One: The Teenage Brain

  • How initiation of substance use dovetails with onset of adolescence.
  • The characteristics of adolescents.
  • How the teenage brain develops.
  • How to mitigate against risk taking tendencies of adolescents.

Section Two: The Psychological Toxicity of Modern Adolescence.

  • Increase in mental disorders and suicides among teenagers
  • Disease of modern lifestyle
  • Ancient stress response to modern threat

Section Three: Managing Mental and Physical Health.

  • Sleep
  • Negative obsessive thinking patterns
  • The benefits of exercise
  • Nutritional aids
  • Social support

Section Four: Addiction Theories Re-examined

  • Rates of natural recovery from addiction.
  • A different kind of disorder
  • A drug is not a drug is not a drug
  • Steps of natural recovery
  • Is it really chronic?

Section Five: Summary and Conclusion

Section Six: References and Closing Discussion


Course reference: PTA115

Duration: Half Day (½ Day)

Time: 09h00 - 12h00

Type: On-site at your work premises, Online via Skype


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Training Methods: This workshop includes dynamic trainee/trainer interactions and discussions, written and oral exercises, role plays, case studies, reflection, quizzes and a workbook for each participant to take back to the workplace.


Target Audience: A must for anyone who has or works with teenagers.



  • There is no doubt that this workshop has everything you need in order to lead people and have great productivity at the same time.

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