Consequences of Family Dysfunction and Substance Abuse

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Discussion Question

Thelma, a 16 year old girl, suspected that her father had a
drug problem but never knew it for certain. One day, she found out from
some friends at school that her father used to buy crack cocaine from a
known dealer. She agonized for over a week about whether she should
tell her mother. She eventually did. Her mother asked Thelma’s father to
leave the house and filed for a divorce. Thelma felt that the breakup
of the family was her fault.

 Read the article on http://www.aaets.org/article230.htm that discusses behavioral, medical, educational, and emotional consequences of family dysfunction and substance abuse.

 Read the following article http://www.cigna.com/healthwellness/hw/medical-topics/teen-alcohol-and-drug-abuse-tp17749
on Teen Alcohol and Drug Abuse, paying particular attention to the Why
Some Teens Abuse Alcohol and Drugs and Prevention Strategies sections.

 Answer the following:

  • Did Thelma do the right thing by revealing her knowledge of her father’s drug use to her mother? Explain why.
  • What behavioral and emotional consequences might Thelma experience as a result of her situation?
  • What risk factors for teen substance abuse are present in Thelma’s life?
  • What practical action would you recommend for Thelma to
    fight against the guilt and anger she feels about the situation with her
    father?
  • What practical action would you recommend for Thelma’s mother to reduce Thelma’s risk for substance abuse?

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