Judith Welles Cousins: Hi, my name is Judy Cousins, I am a Clinical Social Worker. I have a private practice in Old Town in Alexandria, Virginia and what I am talking about right now is how to recognize teen alcohol and drug abuse. What are the signs and symptoms and what I want to talk about specifically now is, how do you know and what do you look for and what are the signs and symptoms of recovery of a teen getting healthy again?
Host: What is a protective factor with alcohol abuse?
Judith Welles Cousins: When I talk with families about what to look for when they are concerned that they have a teen who is using alcohol or other drug, one of the things I do is make an assessment, make an evaluation, what's going on in this family, what's going on with this teen and I talk about risk factors and protective factors.
A risk factor are those things that are going to influence a teen to use. A protective factor is just the opposite. A protective factor are those behaviors or those values or those actions, those traits in a teen and in the family and in society as well that are going to make it less likely that a teen is going to use, really mitigate against the teen using. 1