Alcoholism Treatment Model Proposal


Research shows that the rates of underage drinking are increasingly worrying. When they become inebriated, adolescents become increasingly predisposed to commit crimes. This paper aimed at proposing a treatment model for such adolescents. Focusing on adolescents aged 13-19, cognitive behavioral therapy, tailored to fit the unique characteristics of the target population is suggested as the best model. It is imperative to provide a treatment model for adolescents as alcoholism can easily impact them negatively in their adult lives. Further, it is easier to correct this problem when they are still young. The therapist will provide counseling services regarding behavior change, and equip them with skills to avoid situations that may lead them to consume alcohol. Further, group and individual therapies will be employed in the treatment. With the assent of the individual patient, family members will also be invited to the therapy sessions. Aftercare services will include counseling where the progress of the adolescents shall be evaluated, and necessary actions are taken.

Adolescent Alcoholism Treatment Model

Inarguably, alcoholism continues to be a menace that haunts the United States of America. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that alcoholism is a leading cause of thousands of deaths in America. Deaths resulting from the consumption of alcohol are among those cases that are the most preventable. Sadly, the last few years have seen a rising incidence of underage drinking. Thus, the youths have become increasingly involved in crime, as their judgment becomes significantly impaired. The role of alcoholism in adolescent problems such as physical violence, sexual abuse, rape, and accidents demonstrates the need to develop a treatment model for adolescent criminal offenders. The involvement of young people in alcohol-related offenses hurts the lives of juveniles. For example, the consequences may include troubled relationships with peers and parents, poor academic performance, and reduced productivity among others. Inarguably, therefore, it is essential to establish an effective treatment model for adolescents to alleviate this menace of alcoholism among teenagers. In this regard, tailoring and utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy will be the best approach for the treatment of alcoholism among adolescents aged 13-19, as the model is imperative to behavior change, provides for the inclusion of several therapy types and ancillary services as well as allows for the consideration of factors that contribute to juvenile alcoholism.

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Essentially, the number of adolescents who require treatment is huge. For instance, twenty years ago the National Household Survey estimated that eleven percent of teenagers were binge drinkers while six percent were involved in frequent illicit use of drugs (Parast, Meredith, Stein, Shadel, & D'Amico, 2018). Sadly, these figures have more than doubled today. A 2017 survey established that in 30 days, more than 30% of the respondents had had an alcoholic drink. 14% of the participants had been involved in binge drinking whereas 6% had driven a car under the influence of alcohol. A national survey conducted in 2016 further revealed that more than 19% of individuals aged 12-20 drank alcohol, with 12% of them have been frequently binge drinking (CDC, 2018). These statistics are a sad representation of alcoholism among American adolescents, hence, the need to develop an appropriate treatment model is paramount. Research studies have also postulated that compared to adults, teenagers have a higher likelihood of abusing alcohol owing to the development of their brains. During this adolescent stage, the pleasure centers develop quicker than the parts responsible for sound judgment. In this regard, a treatment therapy that addresses such developmental needs is advised. Moreover, the suggested treatment model would focus on adolescents, who, in this case, encompass those aged between 13-19 years. This target group was selected since most of them are at their most critical stages of development.

Studies reveal that early treatment is the most effective, sensible, and financially affordable approach. Thus, it is easier to tame behavior at its early stages of development contrary to when it is deeply rooted (Dash, 2018). On the other hand, the money and time spent on treatment and recovery could be utilized elsewhere to advance one’s talent or career. For example, early treatment can reduce the cases of school dropout and crime rates resulting from substance use and alcoholism. Overall, the benefits arising from early treatment are profound.

It is imperative to recognize some of the characteristics that are crucial to the treatment model focused on adolescents. Firstly, since the targeted population comprises young people, it is important to involve their family (parents, guardians, or older siblings) in the process. The treatment model should also be comprehensive and integrated. Additionally, the strategies and interventions f the treatment model should meet the needs of the current developmental stage of the adolescent. Lastly, the model should promote the engagement of juveniles, provide retention strategies, employ a qualified therapist and provide continuous care to avoid relapse (Rolando & Katainen, 2014). Hence, ensuring that the chosen treatment model fulfills all or the majority of suggested requirements is critical to helping the youth recover fully.

It is also crucial to comprehend the need for treatment among adolescents. Contrary to adults who seek medical assistance with the emergence of life-threatening challenges or dependence, professional therapy is important for adolescents mainly because of the troubles with the justice system or at school (Dash, 2018). Usually, a rebellious nature arises in teenagers who drink alcohol. As earlier noted, such underage drinking, inarguably, has adverse consequences, which in most cases lead young people to juvenile court. For example, those who reported drinking frequently or driving intoxicated have an increased predisposition to physical violence. Some of them also become violent when they are adults. The value of helping such adolescents, therefore, cannot be overemphasized.

Primarily, the cognitive behavioral treatment program focuses on a person’s mindset and resulting behaviors. Historically it has been a successful recovery program for treating psychological disorders, namely anxiety, depression, anger, and stress (Farmer & Chapman, 2016). Moreover, cognitive behavioral therapy has been effective in treating substance abuse among many adults and young people. Additionally, it can be applied in the prevention of relapse. As noted by Farmer and Chapman (2016), this model recognizes that there are internal as well as external factors that make an individual engage in alcoholism. Thus, the beliefs that alcohol helps to relax or the opinion that one must take alcohol as it is considered normal in society are some of the pertinent factors. Usually, many teenagers convince themselves that they will only have one drink. Eventually, they take more alcohol than they intended, become dependent and subsequently find themselves involved in the juvenile justice system.

While not every young person who uses alcohol ends up addicted, several risk factors increase the probability of addiction. Age is an important factor. For instance, the earlier an individual experiments with alcohol the higher the risk of long-term addiction (Hofmann & Otto, 2017). The second influencing factor is one’s, immediate family. Some teenagers are pre-disposed to alcoholism if one of the parents or a family member struggles with this problem or any other form of substance abuse. Therefore, the more such an adolescent avoids alcohol the greater the chances of staying clean. The third factor is the environment. In this regard, studies reveal that easy access to alcohol exposure normalizes its use. Additionally, lack of support or supervision at home is another environmental risk factor. Lastly, one’s mental health is another risk factor for alcoholism (Hofmann & Otto, 2017). Several adolescents engage in alcoholism to fight anxiety or phobia due to sexual identity crises, bullying, and other stressors in their lives. Cognitive behavioral therapy considers such cues when handling teenagers fighting alcoholism and, therefore, it will be effective for this target population.

Several young people resort to crime either due to the effects of alcohol or as a defense mechanism against their internal struggles such as depression, rejection, poverty, and bullying among others. Thus, it is imperative to understand the individual’s internal as well as external triggers before the treatment process begins (Hofmann &Otto, 201cognitive-behavioral foundation of cognitive behavioral treatment. Proper consideration of these triggers will not only help to develop prevention measures against alcoholism but will also enhance one’s awareness regarding their hidden strengths and weaknesses. Hence, it is a model that will benefit many adolescents in incarceration.

Generally, cognitive treatment is a highly structured program. Therefore, for each session, an objective or an area will be identified. Sufficient time will be dedicand and ated to discussing any challenges, holding a one-on-one session where ideas will be exchanged and a way forward will be forged. This treatment model also covers motivational talks to involve individuals in the recovery process (Thorberg et al., 2016). Extensive research on cognitive behavioral therapy has been conducted, and evidence suggests that it is a potentially effective model.

During the treatment process, a therapist will guide the adolescent on how to fight alcoholism. For example, about ripped with knowledge about avoiding situations where there is the consumption of alcohol, planning time to disengage in behaviors that may trigger drinking alcohol as well as comprehending their internal and external triggers, namely emotions and places that create compulsive or craving tendencies (Hofmann & Otto, 2017). Eventually, this therapy will instill behavioral changes such as developing schedules of low-risk engagements, increasing awareness of high-risk instances and ways of their prevention, coping with a wide range of challenges connected to alcohol abuse, along with understanding relapse as a condition and the techniques to avoid it. Moreover, this treatment model will employ both group and individual therapies. The former is imperative as the subjects get a sense of security knowing that the problem they are facing is not uncommon. Grotherapies will also help expand the scope of ideas regarding the actions that adolescents need to take to address the issue. On the other hand, individual therapies will be incorporated to ensure that one can openly share any concerns that may deter their progress. In such private conditions, it is easier for the therapist to identify the factors that may lead to relapse and make the best suggestions. Family therapy will be included with the permission of patients. For instance, if one feels that they need their parents for support, they will not be denied the opportunity.

Skills training helps a person relearn or acquire better management skills. Whereas skills training in most cases would focus on equipping or re-equipping the individual with the skills to void substance abuse, for example, this would not necessarily work for adolescents, as most of them are still in school. Instead, in this treatment model, the main focus will be to equip teenagers with the skills to remain alert and prevent relapse. This goal will be attainable through the provision of counseling as an aftercare service. Juveniles, particularly those under 15, may relapse if frequent counseling is not availed to them until they fully recover. Thus, arrangements will be made to have therapists and counselors provide counseling and sharpen the skills of young people to overcome relapse. Additionally, when adolescents do not go to school, unemployment and poverty may force them into alcoholism. In such cases, the therapist will aid the client to refuse old behaviors and acquire new healthier habits instead. The major objective will be to instill new perceptions in patieAfterwardng their alcohol abuse. Afterward, they shall be educated on the effective ways to deal with circumstances and situations that contributed to their drinking tendencies in the past. This practice is quite useful, especially for incarcerated adolescents who are on the verge of completing their sentences.


In summary, whidevelopincreasingly important to develop efficient strategies to address alcoholism in the US, there is a dire need to devise a model that will target juveniles. This conclusion is not only substantiated by the fact that they are young, but it is also essential to highlight that the current statistics on their alcohol consumption are worrying. To help adolescent criminal offenders who abuse alcohol, the cognitive behavioral therapy model could be tailored, as it would be rather effective. Group, individual, and family therapies will be included to treat teenagers who commit crimes and are alcoholics with the latter therapy demanding the patient’s consent. Additionally, skills training and counseling will be provided as an ancillary service for the target population group.

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