Substance Use and the Developing Brain

Sponsor: New Hampshire Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselors Association

One of the primary characteristics of substance misuse is its impact on a user’s brain. But what happens when that brain is still developing? How do drugs impact the structure and functions of the developing brain in childhood and adolescents? In this full day training, we explore the growth and development of the brain from infancy to late adolescence and examine the impact various substances in the trajectory of that development. Specifically, we will examine the impact of developmental shifts that occurs on learning & cognition, emotional regulation and behavioral control capacities of the children when subjected to nicotine, alcohol and cannabis as well as some stimulants since these are the substances most commonly misused during these developmental stages. Due to time constraints, we will not be able to cover prenatal substance use exposure and brain development. This training is especially important for educators and treatment professionals who work with children and adolescents.

Upon completion of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Summarize the four critical mechanisms by which the brain operates;
  • Describe how each of these mechanisms develop and evolve in early childhood to late adolescence; and
  • Identify the impact of substance use on the cognitive, emotional and behavioral manifestations of misused substances on the developing brain.

Dr. Afshar has been a professional psychotherapist, trainer and educator for over 35 years.  He received his Doctorate in Professional Psychology (Psy.D.) from California Coast University, his Masters in Counseling from Harvard University and his Bachelors in Psychology from U.Mass-Boston. He is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and School Psychologist. He is also a certified School Principle, and School Counselor.   Dr. Afshar has been a Director of Special Education & Guidance for SAU #37 & 50, Director of Guidance & Advising for Pinkerton Academy has taught courses in Psychology, Mental Health Counseling, Special Education, School Guidance and Psychology of Design at the graduate and undergraduate levels for the past 35 years. Dr. Afshar’s professional experience in addiction and recovery includes both clinical work as the Admissions Director of the Drug Addiction Rehabilitation Center (Later Dorchester Counseling Center) in Dorchester as well Associate Executive Director and Clinical Director of Noddle’s Island Multi-service Agency in East Boston, Massachusetts. He was the addictions consultant at the Massachusetts General Hospital—The Charlestown Clinic in Boston, and has consulted extensively with medical, legal, educational and business organization around the issues of addiction prevention, intervention and recovery He has taught courses on addiction at the graduate and undergraduate levels in topics such as Psychopharmacology of Addiction, History and Socio-Politics of Addiction, and treatment models.   With a wide range of professional expertise spanning nearly 4 decades, Dr. Afshar brings a considerable breadth and depth of understanding of addictions and mental health issues as applicable in a variety of settings, age spans and affected populations.  

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Event Details

December 11, 2023
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Remote via Zoom
see registration