Alright - My guest today is Liz Blackwell-Moore. I connected with Liz through my friend, and one of your fave podcast guests, Julietta Skoog from besproutable.com. I am so excited to have Liz on today to talk about an incredibly relevant topic – kids and drugs. GAH. I know. No one really WANTS to talk about this, but we have to.
Liz has been working in the field of substance use since 2000. Her current work involves working with community coalitions and organizations to provide training on prevention strategies as well as technical assistance to translate public health research into practice and implement a restorative trauma-informed approach to addressing public health problems.
So basically, Liz is going to break it all down for us in a way that is helpful. She lives in Portland, Maine with her wife, two happy kids, and a puppy.
Liz shares about her early work with people involved with substance abuse and was drawn to exploring prevention work
How can we make “systems” (including the family) better for young people, with more support in their lives?
What the “risk taking years” feels like, according to Casey
Liz shares her moms’ analogy of the two boats
Adolescent brain development
It’s like a house being build bottom up
Built through interactions and the environment kids experience
Reward center develops first – ready to go, “volume turned up”
Front, logical part of brain not fully developed, and not integrated
W/o the desire to try new things, how would they ever leave home??
The perception and science of marijuana and adolescence
National Academy of Sciences – research on the research
Young people using
Impacts learning and memory
Significant effects on mental health
“Regular use” – once every 30 days
2xs more likely to become depressed
3xs more likely to have suicidal thoughts
Kids with MH issues are more likely to use/self-medicate
Initially make people feel calm/relaxed
Brain likes to do what’s easy so eventually wants more
What about vaping
Tobacco companies are SO LAME – trying to suck in kids
Some kids just the flavoring
Not regulated – we don’t know what is in it
Lots of kids ARE putting nicotine and weed into the vape
All drugs impact the reward center of the brain – putting young people at a greater risk of addiction later in life
Rewires/primes the brain for addiction
How do we get them to wait????
Relationship is the most powerful tool we have… Share our values… AND – THEY HAVE CRAZY REWARD CENTERS!!! GAH!!!
Be present, listen, develop a strong relationship
Set clear expectations – bring it up in a variety of ways
Continue to bring it back to what their goals are, how might risky behavior get in the way?
Help them to “see” the bigger picture
Restorative practices: Hold them accountable while offering support
What are you getting out of this?
What were you thinking?
How else can you get thrills?
Is this a mental health issue?
Having these conversations REQUIRES the adults to be in solid relationship with their kids
Also, our stuff shows up and gets in the way – fear, rigidity
Ok to say, “this is disappointing” “this is hard for me” – they need to know how they are impacting their parents
Teens aren’t great with nuance
Natural consequences are powerful
Boundaries are MESSY
How do we balance nurture and structure?? It’s a dance
How do we know when it really is a problem?
Major changes in physical appearance
Peer group changes
Public image has changed
org – online resources
20-minute guide – helping parents use motivational interviewing 20inuteguide.com
Find your people!
There is uncertainty and change AND we all have flexible, learning brains – we can be resilient!!
What does Joyful Courage mean to you?
For me it means trying to see those amazing things that are happening as you move through adolescence – having the courage to stick with your values and follow our instincts…
Links for young people:
*This is National Institute of Drug Abuse website for teens
*This is a website out of Colorado for young people specifically about marijuana use
Where to find Liz:
Journey to Joy Ecourse
Journey to Joy is a 3-part offer.
Each Module contains a video, audio and workbook to guide you in doing your work.
You will increase your awareness around the areas you are stuck (you know, the irritation that never seems to go away... the exhaustion, the guilt and shame that shows up so often after you have "dealt with" the challenges your kids bring on a regular basis.
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