Clinical Guidelines for the Detection, Prevention, and Early Intervention of Adolescent Substance Use

ISSN: 2210-6774 (Online)
ISSN: 2210-6766 (Print)

Volume 6, 4 Issues, 2016

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Adolescent Psychiatry

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Lois T. Flaherty
Harvard University Medical School
Cambridge, MA

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Clinical Guidelines for the Detection, Prevention, and Early Intervention of Adolescent Substance Use

Adolescent Psychiatry, 3(2): 200-207.

Author(s): Viktoriya Magid and Regan Settles.

Affiliation: Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs, Medical University of South Carolina, 67 President Street, Charleston, SC 29425.


Objective: Mental health care providers are in a unique position to detect, prevent, and offer brief interventions for adolescents with substance use problems. While substance use and mental health disorders commonly co-occur, few pediatric mental health professionals possess the necessary training to identify and treat substance use issues. The goal of this paper is to provide guidance for mental health professionals working with adolescents on how to detect, intervene, and refer adolescents for substance use treatment.

Method: A series of clinical case examples and vignettes provide scenarios for helping educate providers in screening for substance use, preventing/delaying substance use initiation, delivering brief early interventions, and motivating adolescents for specialized substance use treatment when necessary.

Conclusions: The importance of discussing substance use with each adolescent, being attuned to common warning signs of substance use, taking caution in prescribing medications with abuse potential, importance of family involvement, and use of motivational interviewing techniques are discussed.


adolescents, guidelines, health care providers, prevention, screening, substance use, treatment.

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Article Details

Volume: 3
Issue Number: 2
First Page: 200
Last Page: 207
Page Count: 8
DOI: 10.2174/2210676611303020012
Price: $58

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