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Speaker Series: The Addiction Crisis: Understanding the Risks to Young People in Ho Chi Minh City



About this talk:

With a more than 25% global increase in illicit drug use in young people over the past decade, the conversation around addiction remains largely focused on substance abuse. While this aspect of addiction should be a primary concern for any parent, the actual risk of addiction extends far beyond the consumption of drugs and alcohol. As individuals living in a hyper-stimulating, hyper-connected global community, access to addictive experiences is greater than ever before. We are all at risk of addiction, irrespective of our lifestyle choices, and the risks of substance dependence often emerge long before addictive substances are ever encountered.


The purpose of this presentation is to share insights about what we now understand about addiction: what it is, why and how it develops, and where the risks really lie. The material presented will include findings from scientific research, as well as clinical experience from 15 years of working with young people in Saigon. The presentation will offer an overview of what parents need to know, and what can be done to minimize the risks.


Takeaways you’ll learn:

Addiction is a complex problem that extends beyond substance abuse. The talk will focus on the risks of addiction in a hyper-stimulating, hyper-connected world, where access to addictive experiences is greater than ever before. This means that we are all at risk of addiction, regardless of our lifestyle choices.

The risks of addiction often emerge long before addictive substances are ever encountered. The talk will explore the factors that contribute to addiction, such as childhood trauma, mental health conditions, and genetics. These factors can lead to a vulnerability to addiction that can manifest even before a person has ever used drugs or alcohol.

Parents can play a critical role in minimizing the risks of addiction for their children. The talk will offer parents insights into how to create a supportive and healthy environment for their children, and how to identify and address the early warning signs of addiction.


Speaker bio:

Tony Louw has spent over two decades working in the field of psychology across Europe, Asia, and North America. As founder and managing director of Learning Strategies, Tony has spent the last 15 years leading teams of professionals in the delivery of educational and psychological support services to the Saigon community in home, school, and clinical settings. Alongside his role in leadership, Tony’s experience includes work with children, adolescents, and adults, designing and delivering individual and group therapies, individualized educational interventions, professional development training, and inter-disciplinary case management. Tony has earned distinction in two master’s degrees through the universities of Glasgow and Liverpool in the UK and is board certified as a Qualified Behavior Analyst through the Qualified Applied Behavior Analysis Credentialing Board (QABA) in the USA.


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