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Goal Statement: This portfolio intends to educate children ages 9 to 11 about addiction and its effects in an effort to prevent future alcohol and drug experimentation.

Significant Findings: This paper explores the issue of early adolescent substance use in Bernalillo County, New Mexico also known as Albuquerque. According to the New Mexico Voices for Children (n.d.), in 2017, 9.6% of 12-17-year-olds within the county participated in binge drinking. Internal and external individual risk factors significantly influence a young person’s ambivalence, decision-making, and behaviors to use harmful substances such as alcohol and drugs. The Mexican-American population is a subgroup that was found within the middle childhood target population that revealed high prevalence rates for substances such as alcohol and marijuana (Delve et al., as cited in Jones et al., 2019). High family cohesion and low availability of substances within homes and convenience stores can reduce adolescent Mexican-American underage drinking. Culturally relevant treatments and interventions are substantial when working with clients, their families, and the community.

Objectives/Strategies/Interventions/Next Steps: It is essential that helping professionals build rapport with their clients to obtain their client’s trust to create an environment that feels safe and supportive. The client’s intersectionality of identities needs to be understood and considered particularly when probing for more information and broaching. Counselors can make a difference by exploring and participating in their communities to become aware of the desires of the client and the local population. Understanding the client’s socioecological factors, both positive and negative provides insight that can assist the counselor in locating and administering appropriate instruments and culturally relevant preventative programs. Research and evidence-based programs are available to those who put in the time and effort to delve into the wealth of accessible information. The Midwestern Prevention Project is a community-based prevention program geared to the target population of sixth and seventh graders to prevent substance use while in their early adolescents. Counselors can educate students and parents/guardians about the risks of addiction.