Sunday, November 20, 2022

Treating substance use disorder requires holistic approach [column]

I'm the parent of a teenage daughter, and the idea of kids her age considering suicide feels untenable. It's heartrending, as the editorial board wrote, to think about a 12-year-old Columbia seventh grader suffering to the point that he ends his own life.

The soaring rate of mental health issues among adolescents — it was increasing even before the pandemic — has predictably led to too many of them turning to drugs and alcohol to "manage" conditions like anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

As the editorial noted, a teacher of that Columbia student devised the practice of having students journal via personal Google Docs during the pandemic. This exemplifies the type of novel thinking and intervention we must apply when imparting life skills to teens — especially those most at risk for developing substance use disorder, and especially while they’re at school.

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