On Wednesday, May 22nd, Mentor Foundation USA hosted our Parent Seminar to ‘Bridge the Gap’ between parents and teens to promote strong relationships that help combat and prevent substance use. This interactive parent seminar helps parents navigate this difficult but important time in their child’s life. Leading experts shared research-based knowledge and explored tools to build and maintain a strong relationship with teens and the protective factors to empower parents on this journey.
Mentor USA partnered with the Anne Arundel County Department of Health for this event. Community engagement is key to developing evidence-based programs and seminars for parents to better understand their child’s development and be better prepared to combat substance disorders.
Guest speaker Andria Botzet, Marriage and Family Therapist and Community Program Associate from the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota, places an emphasis on the language we use to approach substance use in our teens. According to Botzet, the words we use to describe a substance use disorder (abuse/dependence vs. substance use disorder) “can alter our cognition/thoughts from a behavior problem to a health disorder, which then can alter our reactions and responses from punishment to more helpful/supportive approaches. The parent/teen relationship relies heavily on language, so this subtle (but very difficult) change can greatly impact the parent-teen relationship.”
The parent seminar also featured a presentation from Dr. Ruben Baler, a leading scientist on the neurobiology of drug abuse and addiction at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dr. Baler offered expertise on drug abuse and addiction and helped parents break the complicated science behind substance use down into information they could easily understand and learn from. Dr. Baler shared about brain development, risk behaviors, and the impact of substance use on the adolescent brain.
Read more about our parent seminars here. Get in touch with Alex at [email protected], to find out how you can partner with our organization to develop similar programs to empower parents and promote healthy lives for adolescents, free of drugs.
Mentor Foundation USA is a member affiliate of Mentor International, which was founded in 1994 by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden and the World Health Organization. Mentor is the largest network of its kind for evidence-based programs that prevent substance use among youth. Collectively, Mentor has implemented projects in over 80 countries, impacting more than 6 million youth. Mentor is now represented in the USA, Sweden, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, the UK, and has regional offices in Lebanon serving 22 Arab countries.