Eric K. Mason
Helping Students Overcome Substance Abuse: Effective Practices for Prevention and Intervention
Helping Students Overcome Substance Abuse: Effective Practices for Prevention and Intervention, by Jason J. Burrow-Sanchez and Leanne S. Hawken focuses on helping mental health professionals effectively recognize and prevent substance abuse in school-aged children and adolescents. Furthermore, the book provides readers with practical solutions in order to help students overcome substance abuse. According to the authors, the information found in Helping Students Overcome Substance Abuse is up to date and researched based.
The beginning of the book serves to orient the reader by providing general information about substance abuse. For example, the differences between substance use, abuse, as well as addiction and dependence are explained. The book briefly explains the concepts of tolerance and withdrawal, in addition to other general terms related to substance abuse.
Chapter three of Helping Students Overcome Substance Abuse is dedicated to describing drugs with the highest abuse potential. For example, the book provides a detailed description of each of the following classifications of drugs: depressants, stimulants, opioids, club drugs, marijuana, and inhalants. In addition to the description of each drug, warning signs for abuse are explained, as well.
Helping Students Overcome Substance Abuse gives details on the screening process when a student is determined to be at risk for abusing drugs. The book recommends conducting a brief interview with students determined to be at risk for abusing substances. The interview should allow the mental health professional to gain a better understanding of the student’s situation, as well as the factors that may contribute to his or her substance abuse. After the interview has been completed, Helping Students Overcome Substance Abuse suggest the use of various screening instruments in order to obtain more information about the student’s potential for substance abuse problems. For example, the book recommends the Adolescent Alcohol and Drug Involvement Scale (AADIS) and the Problem-Oriented Screening Instrument for Teenagers (POSIT).
The end of Helping Students Overcome Substance Abuse points out various intervention techniques through individual counseling or group counseling. The book briefly discusses fundamental counseling skills (i.e., confrontation, reflective listening, resolving ambivalence, etc.). Furthermore, case examples are provided in order to allow the reader to gain a better understanding of how to implement these interventions.
Helping Students Overcome Substance Abuse is practical guide for those interested in helping young people with substance abuse problems. However, the book only provides a general outline of substance abuse issues and is, therefore, of limited to use to those with graduate training in substance abuse counseling. Although Helping Students Overcome Substance Abuse may serve as a refresher on substance abuse treatment for some mental health professionals, it would probably be more useful for teachers and school administrators as a means of helping them recognize substance abuse in their students. All in all, Helping Students Overcome Substance Abuse is a good introduction for those interested in learning more about substance abuse, as well as how to help young people with substance abuse problems.
Burrow-Sanchez, J.J., & Hawken, L.S. (2007). Helping Students Overcome Substance
Abuse: Effective Practices for Prevention and Intervention. New York: The Guilford Press.