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New Programme For At Risk Youth

New Programme For Young People At Risk From Alcohol And Drugs Launched

6 September 2004

A new programme to assist young people at risk of alcohol or drug-related problems was launched today by the Alcohol Advisory Council (ALAC).

Smashed n Stoned? is a early intervention programme to assist at risk young people to focus on their alcohol and drug use and draw on their own strengths to see they can make choices to improve their health and well being.

Speaking at the lunch this morning in Wellington, ALAC Deputy Chief Executive Officer Paula Snowden says ALAC is committed to reducing alcohol-related harm for young people.

“Early intervention is recognised best practice in working with young people,” she says. “In New Zealand funding for adolescent alcohol or drug intervention is allocated at the severe/dependent end of the alcohol-related harm continuum and there is limited provision for early intervention.”

Smashed n Stoned? is a small group programme for 13-18 year olds.

“It comprises of four workbooks and the young people work through these booklets with the assistance of a counsellor or alcohol and other drug worker,” she says. “It is a distinctly New Zealand resource that incorporates Te Whare Tapa Wha model of health that focuses on the social, spiritual, whänau aspects of young person as well as personal responsibility.”

Paula Snowden says programme is motivational, designed to help young person move through stages of change and importantly non-judgmental, providing a supportive environment where group participants can examine their alcohol and drug use and come to their own conclusions. It provides a framework for setting goals and creating a plan to make positive changes.

The Smashed n Stoned? resource is an evidence-based early intervention that can be used both by alcohol and drug counselors and also by non-specialist alcohol and drug clinicians such as school counselors.

“ALAC is pleased to have produced an alcohol and drug early intervention programme that will make help for young people more accessible.” The resource is available from ALAC.

ENDS


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