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A Message from the CEO: Are You Ready for An Unforgettable Time with Natalie Cole?

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It is hard to believe that we are about to celebrate our 31st Annual Spring Luncheon!  We are honored that the Waggoners Foundation Speaker Series has become such a tradition in the Houston recovery and philanthropic community. 

On May 1st, we are sure to have an unforgettable experience. The talented Natalie Cole will share her personal story of experience, strength and hope, as we share in the fellowship of 1,000 others who trust in the “hope” of recovery.

It is hard not to be moved and awed by the power of so many people coming together with a common desire to raise awareness for the issues that alcoholism, addiction, and mental health disorders raise in our individual lives, families, and community.  Many of the folks in attendance have seen first-hand the destructive power of these issues, but gratefully, many of them have also seen the happy, joyous, and free side that comes from recovery.  This is where the “hope” comes in… we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t know that recovery is possible.  And we want everyone to see and feel that same hope, even at the depth of their despair.

Come join us, and feel the power of hope on May 1st.  It will surely be a day you will never forget.

Mel Taylor
President & CEO, The Council

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Prevention Principles That Work

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Prevention Principles That Work
Written by Crystal Collier, PhD, LPC-S

Prevention programs are designed to inhibit initiation of high-risk behaviors by addressing social influences and teaching resistance skills. Long-term empirical evidence of the effectiveness of such programs exists and indicates that certain high-risk behaviors have been prevented or reduced for up to 15 years (Skara & Sussman, 2003). For decades, prevention programs have been the focus of rigorous study in the hope of discovering what models and key elements are most effective in preventing diverse youth problem behavior. Most of these researchers agree with the key findings of Tobler et al.’s (2000) meta-analysis of 207 prevention program evaluations that interactive, universal change programs with adequate delivery lengths and teacher training possessed the highest level of effectiveness. According to Tobler (2000), interactive teaching techniques emerged as an essential element with interactive programs showing a 21% reduction in high-risk behaviors prevalence rates as opposed to 4% for non-interactive programs.

This research indicated that youth risk behavior is unlikely to change by offering information and persuasion only. Change is more likely to occur by teaching skills and increasing dynamic interactions among peers in order to allow for skills practice throughout the entire school-system. In addition, the duration or intensity of the interactive program was significant. Programs with higher intensity or longer duration were significantly more effective than were lower intensity or shorter programs (Nation et al., 2003; Porath-Waller et al., 2010; Tobler et al., 2000). Lastly, the program leader’s characteristics were extremely important in determining a program’s success. The leader’s training and ability to lead interactive activities determined the success or failure of large-scale program implementation (Gottfredson & Wilson, 2003). Other important prevention elements included active involvement of family and community, relationship building elements, and cultural relevancy.

Thus, in order to maximize school-based prevention effectiveness, a program must include long-term, interactive programming activities that saturate an entire school system including faculty, parents, and students.  The program must possess a dynamic leader that can offer teacher training and support, student skills coaching, and muster active involvement of family and community. The programming should include culturally relevant information and foundational relationship building elements that garner interest and support from all key stakeholders within that school system.  Such tailored programming should target the multiple high-risk behaviors youth struggle with today.

Prevention of early engagement in high-risk behaviors is crucial. The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (2011) reported that if early youth drug abuse continues into later adolescence, the youth typically become more involved with alcohol and marijuana while simultaneously advancing to other illegal substances. However, alcohol and drugs represent only part of the problem. Youth of today are faced with a growing variety of choices regarding high-risk behaviors. The diversity includes driving while drinking, gambling, pornography, self-injury, criminal activity, bullying and cyberbullying, eating disorders, video game and technology addiction, suicide, dating violence, and risky sexual behaviors. Many adolescents engage in multiple high-risk behaviors simultaneously. In 2010, Fox et al. conducted a national study that revealed more than one half of U.S. high school students were engaged in two or more significant risk behaviors, and 15% were involved in at least five. This study also revealed a pattern of increasing prevalence rates from freshman to senior year in high school.

Unfortunately, in the United States, most prevention programs target the entire student body universally and focus only on two to three high-risk behaviors (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices website [SAMHSA NREPP website], 2011). Although universal programs are effective, most neglect students at high-risk as well as those who are already engaging in high-risk behaviors who need targeted programming. Research has taught us that effective prevention programming should target all three levels of students including parents and community. In light of the variety and prevalence of multiple high-risk behaviors involvement of our youth today, effective prevention techniques must also contain innovative programming that keeps up with the trends occurring in modern student environments and integrates programming into multiple levels of students’ social influence sphere.

For more more information about Choices, please contact Dr. Collier at ccollier@council-houston.org.

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References

Fox, H. B., McManus, M. A., & Arnold, K. N. (2010, March). Significant multiple high-risk behaviors among U.S. high school students (Fact Sheet No.8). Washington, DC: The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health.

Gottfredson, D. C., & Wilson, D. B. (2003). Characteristics of effective school-based substance abuse prevention. Prevention Science, 4(1), 27-38. doi:10.1023/A:1021782710278

Nation, M., Crusto, C., Wandersman, A., Kumpfer, K. L., Seybolt, D., Morrissey-Kane, E., & Davino, K. (2003, June/July). What works in prevention: Principles of effective prevention programs. American Psychologist, 58(6/7), 449-456. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.58.6-7.449

National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. (2011). Adolescent substance use: America’s #1 public health problem. National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University: Author.

Porath-Waller, A. J., Beasley, E., & Beirness, D. J. (2010, June). A meta-analytic review of school-based prevention for cannabis use. Health Education & Behavior, 37, 709-723. doi:10.1177/1090198110361315

Skara, S., & Sussman, S. (2003). A review of 25 long-term adolescent tobacco and other drug use prevention program evaluations. Preventive Medicine, 37, 451-474. doi:10.1016/S0091-7435(03)00166-X

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices website. (2011). https://preventionplatform.samhsa.gov

Tobler, N. S., Roona, M. R., Ochshorn, P., Marshall, D. G., Streke, A. V., & Stackpole, K. M. (2000). School-based adolescent drug prevention programs: 1998 meta-analysis. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 20, 275-336. doi:10.1023/A:1021314704811

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Kids Camp Registration Now Open for July 10-13 Session

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Kids Camp at The Council aims to help children ages 7 to 12, from families who have struggled with alcohol and/or other drug addiction, whether in the past or currently. The four-day prevention and support program helps kids learn that they are not alone and that other kids and families have similar experiences.

Registration is now open for the July 10-13 session. For more information you may click the links to each date above, call (281) 200-9299 or email children@council-houston.org.

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A Message from the CEO: Is It Spring Yet?

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While we have been fighting winter’s gloom in Texas for what feels like a very long season, I am reminded that families struggling with addiction and alcoholism may feel like they are in a perpetual winter. When you live for so long in the gray and shadow, it is easy to forget that the sun lies just behind the clouds, and that spring and summer are possible.

We are very fortunate that families in Houston need not wait much longer for spring, literally and figuratively.  The Center for Recovering Families is a true family resource here in Houston, where entire families touched by addiction and alcoholism can access specialized care in an outpatient setting.  We know that the issue affects everyone around the individual who is suffering, and that resources that help the entire family are limited. We stand ready to meet the challenge in our efforts to help individuals change their lives, help families heal, and create a happier, healthier, and safer community.

Looking forward to seeing the sun peek out from behind the clouds here in Texas!

Mel Taylor
President & CEO, The Council

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Waggoners Foundation Speaker Series’ 31st Annual Spring Luncheon with Natalie Cole

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The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston is excited to announce that Grammy-winning songstress, Natalie Cole, will be the keynote speaker at our Waggoners Foundation Speaker Series’ 31st annual Spring Luncheon on Thursday, May 1, 2014 where she will graciously share her inspiring story of self-renewal through recovery. Click here for more information and to purchase your seats.

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Behavioral Health Training Institute Now Accepting Applications

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The Behavioral Health Training Institute (BHTI) at The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston offers a multi-discplinary training experience for graduate student interns and post-graduates seeking further training and licensure-hour fulfillment. The BHTI offers one-year learning opportunities for masters and doctoral students in the fields of social work; counseling; psychology; and marriage, family and child therapy, working with adults, adolescents and children. For more information, please click here.

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Self-Esteem Workshop

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During this workshop, you will come to understand the difference between self-esteem and self-efficacy and explore the factors that impact self-esteem. Ultimately, you will learn the sources of self-efficacy and be able to identify ways to improve both self-esteem and increase self-efficacy. Click here for more information and to register.

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Secrets of Validation Workshop

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Please join us for this full-day educational course for family, friends, and medical professionals of those suffering from an inability to manage their emotions. Skilled presenters will reveal the “Secrets of Validation” in ways that will prove to be a memorable experience. This workshop is co-sponsored by the National Education Alliance - Borderline Personality Disorder and The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston. Click here for more information and to register.

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Finding Hope in the Familiar Workshop

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Experiences based in childhood inevitably shape the way we “show up” in our adult lives. Through group exploration, process, education, and experiential activities, you will have the opportunity to deepen your understanding of how you relate to others, yourself, and the world. Click here for more information.

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Eager Beavers & Procrastinators CEU Workshop

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Join us for our Eager Beavers & Procrastinators two-day, multi-session workshop in which you can earn up to 12 hours of CEUs including 3 hours of ethics credit. You are welcome to register for one, two, or three sessions or you can receive a discount by signing up for all four sessions at the same time. Click here for more information and to register.

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