Recent studies show a dramatic increase in drug overdose deaths among American teenagers as fentanyl contamination becomes more prevalent in drugs used by young people. Young people are very receptive to harm reduction, and do not respond well to “just say no” or abstinence only approaches to substance use prevention. Despite this, youth programming does not tend to embrace harm reduction or discuss harm reduction strategies with young people. In Boston, there are stories of a lack of access to treatment, harm reduction, and recovery. This 3-hour training aims to equip service providers, youth workers, and other serving youth and working in substance use and/or harm reduction with practical skills related to positive youth development, motivational interviewing, and thinking about how they can incorporate more harm reduction messaging and approaches into their work with young people.
Participants will be able to:
- Define and link the concepts of adultism, youth development, and harm reduction
- Understand the impact of the War on Drugs on youth and current drug policy
- Practice 1-2 strategies of motivational interviewing for talking to young people about substance use
- Gain skills to rewrite policies to be more inclusive of harm reduction when working with youth
Audience: Employers/worksites, Providers, Substance Use Services