Blog — Generation Found Film

From the Filmmakers of THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE

GENERATION FOUND is a powerful story about one community coming together to ignite a youth addiction recovery revolution in their hometown.

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Generation Found To Headline Largest US Mental Health Conference

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Generation Found has been chosen to screen at The National Council Film Festival next month in Seattle, Washington when more than 5000 mental health and addiction professionals will come together. Co-Filmmaker, Greg Williams and Community Outreach Lead, Mario Diurno will on hand for a full film screening and special Q&A on April 3 at 5:30 PM and then the following day on April 4 at 12:30 PM for a moderated discussion with Lloyd Sederer on the film’s utility in communities. Here’s what two of the addiction field’s leaders have said about the film:

“…masterfully portrays the story of a youth-focused recovery revolution that could profoundly reshape the future of addiction, addiction treatment, and addiction recovery in the United States.” Bill White

“…highlights what’s possible when communities come together to address the leading cause of disease, disability and premature mortality among America’s youth – substance use.” – John F. Kelly PhD, Director, Recovery Research Institute


NEW PRICE OFFERING FOR COMMUNITY SCREENING LICENSE

In 2016, Generation Found screened in hundreds of cities across the country. It is amazing to see how audiences across the country have been inspired by the call to start a #YouthRecoveryRevolution in their home-town. Hundreds of inquiries have flooded into Recovery Schools and Alternative Peer Groups from around the country wanting to bring these models close to home! 

You can now acquire institutional rights to PERMANENTLY use this educational and inspirational film in your prevention, treatment, or recovery program, high school, hospital, university, jail, faith-based group, and other training programs for just $250!


 Host a Community Screening

If you want to host a free screening for the public you can purchase a Single Screening Rental.
 

Host a Theatrical On Demand®
Screening

If you don’t want to purchase a license or handle the logistics of securing a venue you can crowdsource a screening in your local movie theater. 

 

GREG WILLIAMS GIVES SPECIAL INTERVIEW ON ADDICTION RECOVERY REVOLUTION

Greg Williams recently participated in an online seminar series, Addiction Recovery Revolution, that went live March 4th! He will be featured on March 9th and was honored to be included with 29 other Doctor's, Holistic Healers, Therapist, and Activists. This totally Free online seminar was developed to be an unbiased resource of information and inspiration!

 

Every Collegiate Recovery Student Gets to Watch Generation Found For Free!

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Generation Found is now available on Kanopy, an innovative new educational platform that gives college students and faculty the ability watch the film for FREE.  All students have to do is go to the Kanopy website and log in using their Student ID. When 4 people at the same University watch even just a few minutes of Generation Found, a 1-Year License is automatically purchased for their student body.  This is a simple way that students can help spread the message the youth recovery revolution to thousands of students around the world. Stream Generation Found on Kanopy Now! 

 

Support and celebration of addiction recovery at ‘Generation Found’ showing

 

The UConn Recovery Community presented "Generation Found" about addiction for adolescence in Laurel Hall on Feb. 15. The film focuses on various adolescent recovery groups in Houston, Texas. (Charlotte Lao/The Daily Campus)

The UConn Recovery Community presented "Generation Found" about addiction for adolescence in Laurel Hall on Feb. 15. The film focuses on various adolescent recovery groups in Houston, Texas. (Charlotte Lao/The Daily Campus)

Stories of loss, love, healing and support were all central in the youth addiction recovery documentary “Generation Found,” as students and those undergoing recovery gathered in Laurel Hall Wednesday night for a viewing of the film.

The screening was hosted by the University of Connecticut’s Counseling Services Office and the UConn Recovery Community (URC). “Generation Found” focused on various adolescent recovery groups in the area of Houston, Texas, such as the Center for Success and Independence and Archway Academy, which is the largest recovery high school within the US.

The film followed Archway’s graduating class of 2014, and several other individuals, as they went through the process of recovery from addiction to substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs and heroin. According to the film, 90 percent of all addictions begin in adolescence, making it a critical time for intervention and change.

“Part of what recovery is, [is] faith,” said Sasha McLean, the executive director of Archway. “[It’s] the faith you can be sober.”

McLean had been addicted to alcohol herself, she said in the film, using it to self-medicate and cope with her anxiety and panic attacks. Since becoming sober, she went on to help found Archway.

The basis of Archway and other recovery groups, according to the film, is to give adolescents a “sober space” to recover and encounter positive peer pressure to stay sober.

One of the founding ideas for this principle is rooted in Alternate Peer Groups, which offers a space for teenagers to interact with others going their age through recovery and support one another, according to the film.

With Archway, as a recovery high school, students enrolled can not only have that support group, but also get a chance to recover their GPA and graduate so they can attend college or get a job, according to the film.

URC aims to create a community like this, especially with the new recovery housing implementation currently set for Fall 2017, said Anne Thompson Heller, a professor at UConn and a marriage and family therapist.

Heller, who herself has been in long term recovery over eight years and who helped to organize the event, said that she hoped that ‘Generation Found’ would help motivate those in recovery themselves.

“We wanted a documentary that celebrated recovery,” Heller said. “The film is inspiring, and it shows real life examples of how recovery saves lives.”

Many of the people who attended the screening were in recovery themselves, and heard about the event through URC or their own support groups.

“[It] was really inspiring and motivational,” said Ryan Murphy, a second semester animal science major who is two years sober. “I definitely think having a recovery group in [high school] would have been helpful. Having [one] is really beneficial to people on campus.”  

Though peer-based recovery is a successful option for many, some members of the audience said that the documentary failed to explore other options for those in recovery.

“I think it’s a great thing, but I was also concerned… that [the film said] it might be the only option for people,” said Brian Dalena, a Plainville resident who has been sober for eight years. “I had to make the choice. It’s not the only way people can do [recovery].”

Overall, recovery is a long term process, Heller said, and people need to recognize the causes and treatment for the disease of addiction.

“It’s a journey, and that’s something people can identify with,” she said. “The earlier we provide treatment, the better the outcome. This is a chronic disease that requires long-term support.”


Marlese Lessing is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at marlese.lessing@uconn.edu

 

 

On-Campus Solutions for Substance Abuse and Peer Pressure in Fraternities

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When most people think of American fraternities, they think of hard drinking, drug-infested parties, the likes of which you’d see in the movies. They think of underage kids running amuck on college campuses, drunk on their newfound freedoms, spending their mom and dad’s money getting wasted on the weekends. They think of strange hazing rituals that result in hospital stays and they image rampant substance abuse and declining GPAs. While all of this may sound very stereotypical, and it may sound like I am attempting to typecast fraternities, the reality is that what I just described isn’t far from the truth.

It is no secret that many college fraternities throughout the United States are known for their over-indulgence in alcohol and illicit substances. While over the past 5 to 10 years many fraternities have attempted to clean up their act, or at least attempted to clean up their public persona, there still seems to be an overall culture of drug and alcohol abuse prevalent in many American fraternities.  

Part of the reason for this is because the conditions of the fraternity promote this type of dangerous behavior. Firstly, many of the members of the fraternities are for the first times in their life living away from home, and away from parental supervision. This means that there is no one to watch over them and so they are allowed to indulge in whatever type of behaviors they want. For many of these students, this means that they will push their own limits and start to abuse substances and drink to excess. This isn’t just conjecture but is backed by a Harvard University study, which found that 4 out of 5 fraternity members were binge drinkers. It is interesting though because this same study found that among the rest of the university population that was surveyed only 2 out of 5 non-fraternity students participated in binge drinking. Which seems to show that there is something about fraternity life that either causes an increase in substance abuse and binge drinking, or entices people to join who have a predisposition towards substance abuse. More than the likely it is a bit both, as fraternities have a reputation of being places where a person can indulge in drugs and alcohol, so a person who wants to participate in these types of behaviors will be more apt to join, and the communal living aspect of a fraternity promotes peer pressure and groupthink towards these types of behaviors.

With that said, there are many alternatives to this sort of fraternity drug fueled lifestyle for the American college student, and as more and more people are getting sober at an earlier age, more collegiate recovery programs have become available.  Just like we are changing the way that we talk about addiction in 2016 hopefully more and more we can encourage the changes on college campuses to encourage a healthier approach. 

For instance throughout the country there are a number of universities who offer sober dorms, so that people who are either in recovery, or who just don’t wish to be surrounded by a bunch of drunk and high people can seek refuge. Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey was one of the first colleges in the United States to offer such a program and almost three decades later this sober housing option is still going strong. The college has supported this program since its inception and finds it to be an important part of their collegiate programming, as it offers the support necessary for students who are attempting to keep their sobriety intact, in an environment where drinking and drugging is often times glorified.

There is also the Association of Recovery in Higher Education whose mission is to “empower Collegiate Recovery Programs and professionals to support students in recovery.” ARHE supports Collegiate Recovery programs on over 100 college campuses throughout the country. They help CRPs get established within their collegiate communities so that they can begin to promote a culture of abstinence and recovery for students who need that extra support while they are away at school. They offer counseling services for students who may have questions about their drinking or using, and they offer a wide network of fellow students who have found the path of recovery and wish to give back to those in need of help.

The latter is probably the most important thing that CRPs offer, because very often the best person to help a fellow addict, or potential addict, in their time of need is someone who has already been through what they are going through. The students who are involved in the CRPs are all in recovery themselves and they can speak to, on an intimate level, the struggles that come with being sober, in your 20s, while attending college.

Such collegiate recovery programs as the ones offered by the ARHE are important to the college experience because they help to offset some of the party atmosphere that most college campuses are known for. They offer a safe haven for students who want to pursue their higher education but do not want to get caught up in the messy quagmire of drugs and alcohol, and they create a sense of community for people who have found recovery, but still want to interact with kids their own age.

So while substance abuse will probably continue to flourish in American fraternities for years to come, at least at this point our college campuses are addressing the larger issue of binge drinking and substance abuse and offering services for students who want help. I personally believe that as we become more and more aware of the damage that substance abuse has wrought upon this nation, we will see more services available for people who need help, and there will be a larger culture of abstinence than we currently see today. 


Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.

 

You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram

 

Social Media Triggers for Young People in Recovery and How to Deal

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Social media has profoundly changed the way that we interact with each other. Whereas just a few short years ago connecting with people from all around the world on an instantaneous level was thought impossible, it is now commonplace, occurring every second of every day.

 

Social media has also led to a proliferation of information. In the past most news and media was owned and distributed by a small number of large corporations, but through platforms like Facebook, the act of disseminating news has been fundamentally changed and more people have direct access to the current events of the world.

 

However, as much social media has helped to bring together a globalizing world, it also has its drawbacks. There are questions raised about how social media is affecting our ability to connect with others and what it is doing to our sense of traditional communities.

 

Many philosophers and psychologist believe that social media does have the power to bring us together, but often times it does not do that, it instead creates a schism in society and disrupts people’s ability to truly connect with each other. They point to studies showing how increased social media usage can lead to depression and how people do not talk to each other any more, but rather just look down at their phones and flip through Instagram or Facebook.

 

While the debate on what effect social media is having on us will probably continue to rage on for decades to come, and while I offer no real answers to those questions, I can however interject some thoughts on how social media can and does affect people in recovery, in particular young people.

 

What brought this whole topic up is the fact that I was talking to a friend of mine who is in her 20s and has a few years sober now. She was telling me that she didn’t really like being friends with people she went to high school with on Facebook, because whenever she saw their posts on her newsfeed it would make her feel less than.

 

She would see that they were having kids or buying a house or that they appeared to further along in their life because they didn’t fall into addiction like she did and so whenever she saw these posts, it would just make her feel like a loser.

 

It is interesting because my friend is by no means a loser. She graduated from a great college with a 4.0 GPA, she is working in a career field that she loves, and she’s sober, but yet social media and viewing these images actually has the ability to affect her well being.

 

You could say that my friend is just being too sensitive or that she maybe hasn’t come to terms with something from her past and that is why she feels that way, and maybe you’d be right, but for the fact that she is not alone in feeling this way.

 

Many people that I have talked to throughout my time in recovery have shared similar experiences. They have told me that whenever they go on Facebook or Instagram they begin to judge themselves harshly. They look at all of the pictures of people having fun and going to exotic places, or these see old friends that seem to be further along, whatever that may mean, and since many times it doesn’t match up to what they are currently doing, they feel like they are missing out on something, or they should be doing better in their life. This can and often times does led to feelings of dejection that are not easily overcome and if they continue to feel this way it could lead to problems in their recovery.

 

Besides judging themselves against others, young people in recovery can also face another dilemma through social media that can cause issues in their recovery.

 

For the most part our society believes that if you are young you should be out partying, but for the young person in recovery this is not an option. For the most part young people who are really involved in their program will not have an issue with this, but there are times when the constant stream of party pictures, possibly from old friends, or just from random people on Instagram, can trigger them to feel like they are missing out on something. It can in time make them forget just how bad it was when they were out there and because of this they could possibly relapse.  As the saying goes people, places, and things can definitely trigger us and awareness starts the process of disempowering it.

 

While all of this may sound a bit extreme, or it may sound like I am giving too much credit to social media, it is all based on conversations that I have had with people about their experiences in the past. All of triggers I have listed above are things that people have experienced or are currently experiencing and so to just shrug it off as an overreaction I think is unwise.

 

For the most part we don’t really understand what this constant influx of visual stimuli does to the mind. We don’t know what viewing these often-staged pictures on social media, presented in a way that tells a fabricated narrative about a person’s life does to the people who are viewing it. We just simply know that it affects some people in a negative way and that when they spend too much on any given social media platform, their mental health usually suffers.

 

So if you find that when viewing old friend’s picture, or when looking at pictures of people partying, you begin to feel the urge to use or you just feel bad about yourself, then put the Internet down for a little while. Uninstall Instagram and Facebook from your phone and give yourself some space to decompress. This can very often go a long way in helping bring perspective to your life and it ends the compulsion to check your social media accounts every hour, even though they are making you feel bad.

 

Remember that social media does not equate reality. That many times the story you create, based on pictures and posts, is not even the one the person posting them is attempting to put forth. So try not to judge yourself so harshly and try to remember how far you’ve come.

 


 

Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.

 

You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram

 

6 Ways to Ignite a Youth Recovery Revolution in Your Hometown

Devastated by an epidemic of addiction, America is faced with the reality of burying and locking our young people at an alarming rate. In response to this crisis, the creators and supporters of Generation Found film, a story about one community coming together to ignite a youth addiction recovery revolution in their hometown, have created 6 tips on how you can kick start a youth recovery revolution in your community as real and tested long-term alternative to the "War on Drugs."

6 Ways to Ignite a #YouthRecoveryRevolution: 

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Tip #1 by Shannon Egan, Marketing and Communications Director for Generation Found Film: share your story with your community members. Be bold. Be brave!. Shannon says, "I have 5 years in recovery and today I know my past doesn't make me any less worthy of love, compassion and support. By sharing my flaws, I can inspire others to embrace their own."



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Tip #2 by Mario Diurno, National Outreach Director for Generation Found and individual in long-term recovery: host a screening of Generation Found and use the film to start a dialogue on addiction and recovery issues. Then, invite everyone you know! Mario says, "We want to use Generation Found as a tool to help communities face addiction head on – and the only way we can do that is by creating an opportunity and safe place to talk about it."


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Tip #3 by Greg Williams, co-creator of Generation Found and individual in long-term recovery:  learn more about the youth recovery resources in your area. Join an Alternative Peer Group, Young People in Recovery Group, or Collegiate Recovery Program, and bring your friends!  Greg says, "My passion for telling youth recovery stories like Generation Found stems from my own experience of feeling like an outsider in many places after entering recovery at 17."


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Tip #4 by Brendan Berry, creator of the Original Score for Generation Found and individual in long-term recovery: share your hope across the globe and organize and show the power of recovery community! Let every single person who suffers know they are not alone.  Brendan says, "I once believed that I wouldn't live through my 20s. At 21, hundreds of recoverying young people shared the gift of recovery with me, Today, in my 30's, it's my duty to share my hope with the hopeless." 


 

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Tip #5 by Sasha Mclean, Executive Director of Archways, featured subject of Generation Found film, and woman in long-term recovery: believe that your voice and story can create meaninful change and share 20 seconds about your recovery to anyone who will listen. Sasha says, "I'm very clear that all the pain I've been through was for a greater purpose. I'm thankful evey day for those people in recovery that were flickers of light in my dark world. Go be a light!" 


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Tip #6 by Matt Butler, songwriter and singer of Generation Found's original song, Just One, and individual in long-term recovery: build a strong foundation for your own recovery.  Participate actively within your community, and find others to help!  Matt says, " I deeply admire teens that have the courage and the wisdom to start on the path of recovery, and now we've got a whole new generation of young people committed to being the change we want to see in the world around us." 


 

SEE THE FILM:

GENERATION FOUND is a great way to catalyze a dialogue on youth addiction and recovery issues in your community. Independently filmed over the course of two years, GENERATION FOUND takes an unprecedented and intimate look at how a system of treatment centers, sober high schools, alternative peer groups, and collegiate recovery programs can exist in concert to intervene early and provide a real and tested long-term alternative to the “War on Drugs.” It is not only a deeply personal story, but one with real-world utility for communities struggling with addiction worldwide.  Host a community or theater screening or purchase a copy here

 

Peer Pressure & Why ‘Just Saying No’ Isn’t Realistic in Today’s Society

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Peer pressure is a term that is thrown around quite a lot these days. It is a concern of most school administrations and a concern of parents whose teens are at an age where they are susceptible to peer influence. Yet it is something that many of us do not fully understand. When it comes to peer pressure we often times just tell our teens to ‘stick to their guns’ or ‘be their own person’ and these flippant responses really do nothing to actually help.

The reason for this is because giving into peer pressure is not just some weakness on the part of teens. It is not just a matter of giving into group mentality and following the dictates of others, it is actually a serious issue and one that is difficult for many teenagers to deal with.

Imagine this for a minute if you will. You are at an age where your entire life is changing. You are no longer a child, but you are not yet an adult. Your hormones are running wild through your body causing you to feel and act in ways that don’t make sense to you. Your parents no longer seem to make sense and they no longer are able to relate to you. You see images on the television and on social media that are telling you that 100% of people are cooler than you and having more fun than you and you are surrounded by people who all feel the same way, but are pretending otherwise. You have the pressure of having to make important life decisions, like where you are going to attend college and what you are going to do for the rest of your life, and in the midst of all of this, you also have to find someway to fit in.

That is the context in which the American teen faces peer pressure. They are beleaguered by pressure on all sides of them, and if this wasn’t enough, we have a culture that not only promotes drug and alcohol usage, but also greatly hinders individual’s ability to move apart from the group. We tell people to be an individual, think for themselves, but then our media, our school system, and our very way of being endorses the exact opposite. For these reasons and so many more, just telling a teen to ‘stick to their guns’ or ‘Just Say No’ isn’t going to cut it.  “On top of this we have the epic failure of the ridiculously expensive war on drugs.  Which has done nothing but further exacerbate the problem instead of preventing it. 

Yet, teens also have another difficulty to face when it comes to peer pressure, because their minds during this time period are hardwired to want to fit in. During adolescence the number of brain receptors that interact with dopamine is higher than at any other time in their life. This means that the brain’s reward center is working tirelessly and anything that the brain perceives as rewarding is given importance over everything else. If we are being honest here, fitting in and being accepted by your peers feels good. It feels good to have the admiration and love of those around you and so when a teen feels accepted, they feel great… they feel really great, because of the physiology of their mind.

They will pursue this desire to fit in above their own health and wellbeing because their mind is telling them do so and because of this combating peer pressure can be tremendously difficult. Not to mention that teenagers can be brutal, so if the choice is between feeling good and fitting in or walking your own path and possibly experiencing ridicule to the 11th degree, most people will choose feel good and fit in.

However, with all that said, being your own person and making the right choices is the way to go. What I am about to say is sad, but it is the truth. I even hesitate to write it because it sounds like an attack and also I know I was told the same thing many times in high school and never believed it, but many of the people who you think are “cool” during high school and that you want to fit in with, will do absolutely nothing with their lives. They will use drugs and drink and this will get in their way of achieving success. If they are lucky they will find their way out of that damaging path at some point and redirect their lives in a meaningful manner, but following them down that road is neither wise, nor ‘cool’. It can cause you years of regret all so that you could fit in for 4 years.

I hope that doesn’t sound too harsh, but it is the truth. High school is a drop in the bucket and I wish that I could have truly understood that when I was in high school. I wish that I could have seen the fact that the choices I was making were going to affect my life and that none of the social decisions I made were as serious as I thought they were. That in the long run it didn’t matter if I fit in with a lot of those people, and while at this point in my life I do not regret anything I have done, but I do wish that I could have seen this back then.

So that is really my only words of wisdom for you. I understand how difficult it can be to try to walk your own path through your teenage years and I know what it is like to try to resist pressure. If I can offer you anything, I just want you to know that there are people out there who understand how difficult it can be and who have already walked the path of addiction for you, so that you do not have to. If you find that you struggle to fit in in your school because most people are making decisions that you do not agree with, then try to find social groups outside of school. Get involved in things you are interested in, with people who interest you, and you will find that your life in infinitely better because of this.


Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.

You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram

 

5 Reasons Teens Try Drugs or Alcohol

 

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9 out of 10 people who wind up having substance abuse problems get their start on this path during their teenage years. That means that 90% of all adults who are addicts or alcoholics had their first drink or drug while they were between the ages of 13-18. This percentage is extremely high and it exposes that for as much as we attempt to dissuade teenagers from drinking or using drugs we are woefully failing in that department.  It also demonstrates that the approach of “Just Say No” was a failure and has in the long term accomplished little if any success.

Up until a few years ago we attempted to deal with teenage addiction in the same way that we dealt with adult addiction. Our teenage treatment programs offered similar services to their adult counterparts and after the teen was released, they were sent back into the same environment that they drank and drug in, with little to no age appropriate support available. They would have to attend 12 Step meetings with people twice and sometimes three or four times their age and their ability to finds peers in recovery was incredibly limited.

Some of this has changed over the past decade as we have begun to understand the importance of early intervention and prevention for teenagers. There have been a number of successful and lasting teen recovery based programs, like Recovery High Schools or Alternative Peer Groups, but with that said there are still millions of teens around the world that every year drink or use drugs for the first time.

Many of these teens are unaware that they are possibly opening up Pandora’s box with that seemingly innocuous sip or puff, and that in time, and if they are predisposed to the disease of addiction, it can lead them to wind up grappling with something well beyond their power to fight. This is why it is important to educate our youth on the dangers of drug addiction and alcoholism and attempt to create cultures within high schools were drinking and drugging is not the norm. It is important for parents to tell their children about any and all family history in regards to addiction, and while it may still not change anything, at least the teen can make a proper and educated decision as to whether they want to try drugs or drink.

With all of that said, let’s take a look at 5 reasons that teenagers try drugs or alcohol. Let’s a take a look at what is really going on here, so that maybe we can learn to better help our teens to make better decisions in these formative years of their life and help them avoid the years of pain that can come with addiction.

5 years Teenagers Try Drugs or Alcohol:

While this is by no means a comprehensive list of every reason that a teen will start to drink or use drugs, it does represent some of the more common aspects that cause teens to experiment. Each person is varied in regards to their psychology, their experience in life and what their motivations are, so if you really want to give your child the best possible chance at navigating the waters of adolescents, drug and alcohol free, then talk to them. Have an open line of communication where you can address problems in real time and give them the life skills and tools necessary so that they can avoid peer pressure and can avoid following the path of addiction.

1.    Witnessing Others Drinking or Using

This is probably the number one reason that teens will start drinking or using drugs. They will either see their parents doing these things, their peers doing these things, or celebrities engaging in these behaviors, which will spark a curiosity and a desire to try it out. While there is really no way to stop a teen from witnessing these things, because alcohol and drug culture are fairly ingrained in the American experience, we can help to offset some of these visual stimuli by instilling in adolescents, a strong sense of self and a spirit of independent thinking, so that they will not feel such a draw to drink or use drugs just because they see others doing so.

2.    Boredom

This may sound like an excuse that a teen would use, ‘Why did you smoke that joint?” ‘I don’t know, I was bored,” but it is actually a real reason that teens start to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Teenagers who are not active in extracurricular actives are more apt to start using drugs and alcohol, because it helps to pass the time and its helps them create a sense of community, with other drug using kids, that they are missing due to their lack of activity.

3.    Self-Medication

This is probably the most underreported reason that many teens start to use drugs or alcohol. Many times people fall into addiction because they are attempting to deal with some underlying issue that they may or may not know about. They may have felt extreme anxiety their whole life and then when they smoked a joint they found that they could relax. When this happens they begin to equate pot with an ability to relax and having only dealt with the symptom and not the cause of that symptom they use continue to use drugs to medicate themselves.

4.    Rebellion

During adolescence, teens are attempting to find a sense of self apart from the family unit and this many times means that they are going to rebel. For some teens this means they are going to change their hair color or something similarly harmless, but for some they fall into drug use as a way to create something that is separate from their family and uniquely their own.

5.    Misinformation

This reason for teenage drinking or drug use is easily the most preventable, but since a lot of the times the drug programs offered within the school system are not particularly extensive, teens get their information about drinking and drugs from other avenues. This information is often times incorrect and it can cause a person to fall into the trappings of drug use before they even know what is happening.

As a parent, if you think your child is starting to drink or use drugs, have a talk with them. I know that this can oftentimes be difficult, and it can seem fruitless, but given the fact that a recent survey showed that parental influences is more powerful than advertising and many other outside factors, do it anyway. Just because many teens drink and use drugs, does not mean that your teen has to as well. Hopefully this helped to shed some light on the issue and will help you in your attempts to support your child in making good decisions.


Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.

You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram

 

How to Screen for at Risk Teens More Likely to Suffer from Substance Use Disorder

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Trying to discern who will suffer from substance use disorder and who will not is an extremely difficult task. There is no exact science to it, and looking at genealogy, which is usually a good indicator, or psychosocial influences is no guarantee. Some people who grow up in an environment with parents who suffer from substance use disorder will become afflicted with addiction, while others will not. What exactly causes one person to become addicted while another does not is unknown still, but just because we are unable to determine the exact outcome does not mean that preventative measures cannot be put in place.

 

The importance of prevention in the treatment of substance use disorders has become more apparent over the past few years, especially among at risk teen populations. This is not to say that prevention was not always looked at as important, but in all honesty the general consensus for many years was that not much could be done before an addict wanted to get help and there was no way of telling who would have issues with substance abuse until after they already started using. We were aware of certain characteristics that would make a teen more at risk to suffer from substance use disorder than their peers but implementing an actual prevention plan many times lay outside out the school, parents, or mental health professionals ability. They either lacked the funding, know how, or parental approve to try to help steer these at kids away from a life of addiction and towards services that could save them years of pain.

 

However, a recent paper published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism may offer a solution to the problem faced by those attempting to implement preventative measures for at risk teens and may be the basis for a screening process to better help diagnosis addiction before its onset.

 

The study found that there are 3 key components of the brain that are shared by most people who suffer from alcoholism or addiction. Theses three components affect the relationship that addicts and alcoholics have to drugs and alcoholic and may represent why they react differently to substances then the average person. The three components have to do with the executive motor function of the brain, incentive salience, and negative emotionality.

 

First, the study found that among people who suffer from substance abuse disorder, or have the potential to suffer from substance abuse disorder, the way that their executive motor function operates in the brain is different from that of people who do not suffer from substance abuse disorder. The executive motor function oversees things like inhibitory controls, reasoning, problem solving, memory, and among people who suffer from substance abuse disorders, their executive motor function does not operate normally. It was found that their ability to reason when faced with decisions like should I go get high again after just overdosing was non-existent, and while this may not be news to people who suffer from addiction, finding the reason behind this is very important in how we treat addiction moving forward.

 

Second, the study found that people who are at risk for suffering from substance use disorder have brains that put more emphasis on partaking in behaviors that result in reward than those of a normal brain. The research found that the reason for this has to do with incentive salience, which is a desire trait, that is assigned by the brain, in particular the nucleus accumbens shell. Those who suffer or could suffer from substance use disorder will have a mind that will place the pursuit of pleasure or reward above everything else, even survival. Which is interesting because it has long been understood that addicts and alcoholics will seek out substances even when it has become apparent that to do will result in their death, but the actual reason for this, beyond just having a compulsion was never understood.

 

Lastly, the study found that people who are at risk to suffer from addiction or alcoholism are more apt to experience negative emotionality. This means that they are more likely to experience a negative emotion from stimuli than people who do not have a brain that is hardwired for substance use disorder. Breaking the cycle of being addicted to not only substances but also negative thoughts is a significant challenge in sobriety.They are more likely to give into cravings then other people because they do not have a positive emotion or thought process to help offset their desire to use and people with substance abuse disorder are more likely to suffer from anger, depression when they are stimulated, regardless of what the stimuli is.

 

If we were able to take this new information into account and also take a look at the teen’s family life; how their genes may be contributing to their risk factor, and how their environment may be conducive to promoting substance abuse, we should be able to create a fairly comprehensive screening process for teens in order to see if they are at risk for becoming addicts or alcoholics. Granted this last part is difficult because many times families, in particular children, do not discuss whether or not they have a parent that suffers from substance abuse disorder, but it is at least a start and at least something to move towards.

 

While there is still a lot that we do not know about substance abuse disorders, our understanding has grown so much over the past 20 years that we should be able to better screen for this sort of thing. We won’t be able to save every kid, because that is just the nature of things, but if we could even help prevent one tragedy it would be well worth the effort.

 


 

Rose Lockinger is passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.

 

You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram

 

NYC Film Premiere – A Message from Brendan Berry, Original Score

Hello friends, colleagues, and family,

America's youth are under tremendous threat from the scourge of addiction. Research has shown that 9/10 cases of addiction begin during adolescent years. Often misunderstood by the public and misrepresented in media coverage, filmmakers Greg Williams and Jeff Reilly have spent the last several years documenting the overlooked side of this disease: recovery. In 2013, I had the pleasure of scoring Greg and Jeff's first feature length documentary, THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE (on Netflix),which helped demystify the story of the more than 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. This film has inspired many and helped spark a recovery revolution, headed by Facing Addiction, co-founded by Greg Williams.

This film has inspired me personally to open up about my own recovery, which began at the age of 21, and share my story to help others, specifically in my daily work as a music therapist in the adult inpatient psysch ward at  Kings County Hospital. In November, I was recognized for my work in the field by the Caron Foundation, when I received their award for Educational Excellence. 

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of writing the original score for Greg and Jeff's second feature length documentary, GENERATION FOUND, set to premiere in New York City on December 14, 2016. This film tells the story of a community in Houston, TX that has united in an effort to successfully address addiction in America's youths. GENERATION FOUND takes an unprecedented and intimate look at how a system of treatment centers, sober high schools, alternative peer groups, and collegiate recovery programs can exist in concert to intervene early and provide a real and tested long-term alternative to the "War on Drugs," and ignite a youth addiction recovery revolution in their hometown.

There will also be a live performance from Matt Butler, writer and performer of the original credit song, "Just One."

Please come out to see this amazing film if you are in the NYC area. Those not in the NYC area can request a screening in your community here.

The event will include a panel discussion following the film featuring:

·         Greg Williams, co-founder of Facing Addiction, co-creator of The Anonymous People and Generation Found

·         Sasha McLean, Executive Director of Archway Academy 

·         Emilio Parker, Recovery Coach

·         Courtney Lovell, Former Director of Recovery Education and Training, Friends of Recovery New York

·         Moderated by Joe Shrank

 

BUY TICKETS HERE: NYC Premier of Generation Found


Brendan Berry's professional career in music began as a performer, playing at a young age with the distinguished District of Columbia, Blue’s Alley Youth Jazz Orchestra. He went on to receive his Bachelor of Music from the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Music in Studio Composition. Early in his collegiate career he began writing film scores for short documentaries. Brendan has scored award winning films, and his work has been heard across the world on numerous stages, in thousands of theaters, on television, and the radio. Brendan prides himself on his ability to not only create any genre or style of music and sound design, but his ability to subtly capture and enhance the emotions of the medium that his work is being written for. Brendan received in Masters in Music Therapy in 2014, and works as a full time music therapist while continuing to score feature length films and write for television.

brendan

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