302. Motivation, Decision Making, and Transformation: Helping Parents of Adolescents with Behavior Disorders and Substance Abuse Issues

Addiction and Substance Abuse, Saturday, April 13th 8:00 – 9:30 AM ,, Workshops


Karl Benzio, M.D.

CE Credits


Professional CE Credit

Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, Licensed Clinical Social Workers, Chemical Dependency Counselors

IBCC Credit

Pastoral Counselors, Pastors, Teachers, Coaches,

CME/CEU Credit

Medical Doctors, Osteopathic Physicians, Physicians Assistants, Nurse Practitioners




Today’s children grow up in a society where truth, facts, and absolutes are replaced with lies, feelings, and vibes. Voltaire said, “When people believe in absurdities, they will commit atrocities,” and the most gullible, inexperienced, and uninformed minds are the easiest targets, which are youth. Sadly, unlike believing in Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, many absurdities can be psychologically, physiologically, and spiritually damaging or even deadly. This workshop equips psychologists, licensed mental health professionals, medical personnel, and ministry leaders to help parents of young people guide their children to identify and make decisions built on solid truth. In this workshop, key relationship, decision-making, and neuroplasticity principles will be discussed to help youth build a solid foundation of resilience, avoiding and/or overcoming psychological and addiction struggles. The presenter will also discuss basic triage and treatment principles to help youth and families receive necessary care. Included will be a discussion focusing on understanding the role, benefits, and drawbacks of psychiatric medication.

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

1. Describe the six elements of every decision and the order in which they occur.

2. Outline seven important needs each child has, utilizing the acronym SARCASM.

3. Explain how uncomfortable emotions can either hijack or facilitate healthy decision-making.

4. Identify key indicators to refer a teen for psychological assessment or treatment and the role, benefits, and drawbacks of psychiatric medications for teens.