This workshop will examine the impact of exposure to psychoactive substances throughout the developmental years, which starts in the womb. After birth, the impact changes based on where the child is in the developmental scheme. Misuse and abuse of psychoactive substances in the home can have a profound impact on all aspects of a child’s life, and what is used makes a huge difference in prevention, intervention and treatment options. The “why” takes into consideration the unmet psychological needs of children and youth and how addictive drugs work.

Objectives: (for CEU’s)

Participants will be able to name/explain/use:

  • Role of substances throughout the brain’s development
  • Key differences in the young brain vs. the adult brain
  • Increase of risks for youth use/abuse/addiction
  • Key differences of psychoactive substances in young brains


  • National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  • National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
  • National Center on Child Traumatic Stress (NCCTS)
  • Harvard’s Center for the Developing Child

Format: PowerPoint, Facilitated Discussion, Interactive Activities, Videos


  • 1 to 1.5 hrs. (Conferences only)
  • 3 hr. Workshops