Jim Savage, LCDC

Substance abuse services:

* Counselor

* Author

* Speaker

* Treatment Consultant

Specializing in teens, young adults and parent support

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(214) 789-8456


What's The Problem?

Addressing Early Stage Substance Use With Teens And Young Adults

Pt. I: Introduction to Motivational Intervention

a. Motivational Enhancement: “How do you get someone to want to change?”

b. A person cannot make an educated decision about “where I am” versus “where I want to be” when they’re in denial about where they are.

c. The key to combatting denial is information and education.

Pt. II Drug Prevention: What Are We Preventing?

a. Q: "What causes addiction?"

    A: "Using drugs causes addiction!"

b. The neuroscience of addiction reveals addiction to be a chronic condition that occurs as a result of lifestyle choices, i.e. using drugs.

c.  Addiction leads to a conflict between one's values and behaviors.

Pt. III: What's The Problem?

a. Substance Use Disorder is the medical classification for a condition that ranges from Mild to Severe.

b. The first step in addressing denial when it comes to substance abuse is identifying the confusion that exists when it comes to the vast amount of terms used in connection with the issue.

c.  The “Matrix of Confusion”:

* Substance use, substance misuse, substance abuse

* Addiction, chemical dependency, physical dependence, and psychological addiction, alcoholism

* Social use, recreational use, experimental use

Pt. IV:  Getting Clear About Social Use

a. Examples are given of three different responses to chemical use.

b. Socializing: “My primary focus is my interaction with you.” Using for effect: “My primary focus is my interaction with myself.”

c.   Marijuana is simply the delivery vehicle for THC; in most cases, the main objective is to get as much THC into the brain as possible.

Pt. V:  Understanding Addiction

a. Symptoms of addiction: "Red flags."

b. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defines addiction is a medically diagnosable disease of the brain that is chronic, primary, results in loss of control, and can lead to premature death.

c.   Denial is part of addiction. Just because someone is in denial does not mean they can’t be helped.

d. The relationship between “primary illness”, “underlying issues”, and “co-occurring disorders.”

Pt. VI: Motivation For Change

a.  One will be more motivated to change when it’s their own idea.  

b. The Stages of Change Model is an effective tool to help clients become motivated and establish a solid foundation for behavioral change.

c.  The Contemplation stage is where motivation occurs. Examples of contemplation work are given.

Teen Substance Abuse

A Motivational Appoach to Prevention and Intervention

An important presentation that goes to the heart of drug prevention efforts with young people. Ideal for all youth professionals: school counselors, prevention specialists, criminal justice, therapists, etc.

The following 6-part audio program captures Jim Savage delivering the keynote address at the Dallas Area Drug Prevention Partnership's 2015 Ahead Of The Curve Conference. Hear how he uses Motivational Intervention in addresing substance abuse with young people through The PREVENT! Program.


Extensive experience in the addiction field, a passion for helping others and finding ways to improve treatment efforts, and a uniquely creative approach make Jim Savage a sought after presenter at conferences and seminars.