Youth AOD practitioners can best prevent escalation of aggressive behaviour and violence by responding to warning signs at the earliest possible time. The longer a situation is allowed to escalate the greater the risk that aggressive behaviour and violence will result.

The primary goal for practitioners working with clients in the escalation phase is to de-escalate the situation and prevent the occurrence of an incident involving violence. This is not the time to be pursuing therapeutic goals and applying strategies aimed at long-term behaviour change.

The strategies that can be employed to prevent escalation of aggressive behaviour and violence are described below under the following categories:

a. Be intentional and prepared

b. Try to remain in control of your own actions

c. Use appropriate non-verbal communication and be aware of positioning

d. Employ diffusing techniques

In all cases, youth AOD practitioners should adhere to their organisation’s policy and procedures.