the blog Synergy

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Synergic views: The Terrific Program

In order to illustrate our view of what synergy is I´d like to offer you some cases taken from the real life. They will be representative of very different activities but they will have in common the importance of synergy to manage complex situations. We will start with Roger Noe and his Terrific Program.

1. Please Roger, tell us about your program, what is it about and who is it targeted to?

My program is called the TERRIFIC Program. It is a program designed for the prevention/intervention of substance abuse. The program is targeted for adolescents suffering from the effects of substance use/abuse or the ill effects of the drug culture. The ultimate goal of the program is to promote a healthy lifestyle free of the ill effects of substance abuse. We hope to accomplish this by providing comprehensive services for the youth and the family. The program is based on 11 principles. The first three are the goals we use use to help the youth and family achieve a substance free lifestyle. The goals are:

Personal Accountability
Helping Others.

We also have 8 standards of the program. They are:


The standards are where the name of the program comes from. The idea is to teach pro-social principles in life that can be used to overcome life problems and begin anew from this day forward.

2. What do you think are the main causes of the problem of drug abuse?

There are so many factors. There are a lot of social, emotional, and physical factors. There are certainly a number of environmental factors that have to be addressed. Drugs are permeating about every level of society. The availability of drugs is really alarming in todays society. Kids can get just about any drug on the market. they are becoming available to kids at the elemetary school level. I work with a number of kids that have an onset of drug use as early as age 8. The wide spread availability of drugs is a big problem that is growing everyday. the influence that is out there for kids is a big problem as well.

There are a lot of campaigns geared towards fighting drugs, however, kids are influenced by those closest to them and the attitudes and beliefs of those closest them. there are a growing number of kids that start to use drugs in an attempt to fit in or compensate for ego problems. The problem is that drugs are addictive and kids are often trapped in cycle of problems that gets way too big for them way too quickly.

There are so many variables that we could discuss this topic for quite some time. If I had to narrow it down to one thing I would say this, better than 90% of all drug users were introduced to drug use by someone they know and trust. Drugs are becoming more available and more potent. Those are 3 tough things to combat.

3. Do you think finding synergies among your clients help them tore-build their lives?

Absolutely! In my opinion, the most powerful force in the treatment process is the development of a therapeutic relationship. Working together is a must. Very few people have the sheer willpower to overcome the complexity of drug abuse alone. It takes a great deal of teamwork and support. It takes a great deal of effort to get to that special point of developing synergy, but it is vital.

4. Do you think it is necessary to foster synergies among different levels of the society in order to make drug abuse an exceptional case?

There is no doubt about that. As I stated earlier the social influence is huge. If we cannot make a meaningful impact on the social influence we will continue to fight a losing battle. I honestly believe that it is as important to be effective in eliminating the influencers of drug use as it is in dealing with the substance use itself. In fact, it is probably more important. If they are not influenced to use in the first place then there is no problem to deal with. Prevention is worth its weight in gold.


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