Module 9: working with young people on AOD issues: learner's workbook

3.4 Applying the stages-of-change model to working with young people

Page last updated: 2004

Adolescence is a time of great change and risk-taking behaviour that can include some experimentation with drugs. Remember that there are different patterns of drug use (Schaeffer's model) and that young people for the most part fit within the experimental/recreational patterns of use. Although the Stages-of-Change model was developed using adult experiences, it is useful for understanding behaviour change in general. It is probably most relevant for work with young people with established patterns of AOD use.

The youth-focused systems model indicates that a young person's readiness to change may be influenced by other factors in the system. For example, peers may be pressuring a young person to keep using or a young person's family may have expressed their lack of confidence in a young person's ability to change. Keep this in mind when assessing readiness for change.