Substance Abuse Intervention
Intervening early—before high school—is critical. The data suggest that patterns of substance abuse become worse in the high school years. Individuals who begin using alcohol or tobacco when they are very young are more likely to abuse them later in life, when it becomes much more difficult to quit.
This Website links to evidenced-based prevention and intervention programs and identifies the key features of substance abuse prevention and intervention programs.
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA)*
MHFA is an 8-hour face-to-face course that trains participants how to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The training includes: risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems; information on depression, anxiety, trauma, psychosis, and addiction disorders; a 5-step action plan to help someone developing a mental health problem or in crisis; and where to turn for help – professional, peer, and self-help resources. MHFA teaches about recovery and resiliency – the belief that individuals experiencing these challenges can and do get better, and use their strengths to stay well.
For immediate and confidential help, 24 hours a day, to connect parents and students with resources, (OSARs) may be the first point of contact for those seeking substance use disorder treatment services. Regardless of ability to pay, Texas residents who are seeking substance use disorder services and information may qualify for services based on need. OSARs are now located at Local Mental Health Authorities (LMHAs) in 11 Health and Human Service regions. Contact information is located on this Website.
Prevention Resource Centers in Texas provide information about substance use to the general community and help track substance use problems. They provide trainings, support community programs and tobacco prevention activities in many schools. They also connect people with community resources related to drug and alcohol use. A map on this HHSC Website provides links and contact information to the Centers.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a systematic therapy that organizes treatment into stages and goals, or targets. The goals of the first stage of DBT focus on decreasing life-threatening behaviors, including addressing depression, suicidality, substance dependence and PSTD. DBT skills are taught in DBT groups by a mental health professional and focus on improving behavioral, emotional, and cognitive instability. DBT groups focus on the development of the following four skills: Mindfulness meditation; Interpersonal effectiveness; Emotion regulation; and Distress tolerance. It is evidence-based.