Resources for Parents & Teachers
The IPA’s approach to prevention research includes a focus on how policies, the immediate social environments and individual characteristics impact youth substance use as well as other risk behaviors. Findings have documented the importance of polices directed at reducing access to addictive substances and providing treatment alternatives to incarceration for substance abuse. IPA research focusing on the immediate social environment have noted that crucial role of families, other responsible adults in mentoring roles, community collaborative and faith based organizations in prevention. On the individual level IPA research has shown that engaging youth in community service, personal religiosity/spirituality, and a strong achievement commitment is crucial to prevention of many types of risk behaviors.
The IPA views treatment as a type of tertiary prevention as it focuses on the prevention of further substance abuse and other risk behaviors. IPA treatment research has focused on examining the broad range of health care needs of substance users and the barriers to treatment access. IPA researchers have found that substance abusers have significantly higher rates of most types of health needs and enter the health care system through the emergency room. Conclusions focused on the need to integrate substance abuse treatment into general health care service delivery and the importance of insurance coverage for access to drug abuse treatment as well as general health services. IPA research has also focused on policies and practices to help ensure quality treatment services. This research has found that Medicaid policy as well as state certification and accreditation requirements can play a major role in treatment quality and access to treatment for the most at risk groups.
Education at the IPA is generally in the form of an annual workshop called the Summer School of Addictions. This has been held for over 20 years at Andrews University. The purpose of the Summer School of Addictions is to provide clinical, service and health-related students and professionals, as well as general education students, knowledge and skills about various topics of addiction. This course is designed to involve the student in learning through expert presentations, supplemented by in-class learning experiences and for many students the writing of a research paper on some aspect of addictions. In the recent past the workshop has covered the following addiction topics: families, spirituality, sex, food, media, teens, drug affected children, addiction ministries, and prescription drugs.
Multiple presenters from various backgrounds give about fifteen different presentations during the four day intensive that is usually held in May. Presenters have included researchers from major universities (including Harvard University, the University of Illinois, and the University of Michigan), health educators from the General Conference as well as the Michigan Conference, clinicians who provide addiction treatment services, policy makers, and recovering individuals who share their personal stories of recovery including a former winner from the Biggest Loser T.V. program. The vast majority of students give our speakers and programs an excellent evaluation. Students have said what they enjoyed most about the Summer School of Addiction is: “The interactions with the presenters, the speakers, the discussions, the personal recovery story, the knowledge, learning more about addictions and treatments, and the information was relevant to multiple fields.”