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Faculty Advisors

Goncy, Elizabeth; Naser, Shereen


With a striking rise in drug related deaths over the past few years, researchers have looked towards improving prevention methods as a way to not only react to substance abuse with treatment, but learn to better prevent individuals from following these risk taking behaviors. Adolescents specifically are prone to risk taking behaviors such as substance use as they navigate through the challenges of adolescence and transitioning into their identities. Therefore, research in understanding how and why youth decide to get involved in substances is important for creating stronger prevention. Using qualitative data obtained from semi-structured interviews with community providers (N=4), the current study identifies themes revolved around adolescent substance use as well as use in their communities. Along with information gathered from the interviews, partnerships were created with a local community center, Recovery Resources, in order to learn and observe the prevention programs already in place. Themes revealed from the interviews showed the following factors: (1) motivation for teen substance use such as a coping mechanism, (2) where teens get access to substances such as from peers, and (3) the perception of teen attitudes towards substances such as drugs not being a big deal. Personal quotes from these interviews highlight the themes being drawn as well as give first-hand thoughts to the big picture of substance use in society. Limitations included recruiting participants for the study and therefore further research needs to be conducted to verify the themes being drawn.

Publication Date



College of Sciences and Health Professions




Psychiatry and Psychology

Perspectives on Adolescent Drug Use: Interviews with Community Providers