That being said, it is incredibly important that health professionals know how to approach the subject of alcohol and drug use with their young patients, develop the strategies and skills necessary to screen youth, and are able to effectively initiate a conversation about substance use and abuse with adolescents. Having a basic knowledge of the risk factors for substance use and addiction, protective factors that lead to resilience, and having some familiarity with the evidence-based treatment options and strategies to engage adolescents in preventative activities is also crucial. By having these skills and understanding, we may not only develop more trusted relationships with this patient population, but be better able to recognize substance use disorders, as well as better treat and support those with histories of substance use.
For some great resources to get you started, check out the links below:
A) Substance Use Disorders in Adolescents: Screening and Engagement in Primary Care Settings"
- This is an online module that provides a number of video clips to demonstrate how to approach the topic of substance use among youth of varying ages and chief complaints. It also provides DSM-V criteria for substance use disorders, and basic information including risk factors, protective factors, and how to refer for treatment.
- For another more detailed module about assessing substance use disorders particularly among adults, visit: http://webcampus.drexelmed.edu/nida/module_1/default_FrameSet.htm
B) Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research Based Guide
- This document provides information on evidence-based treatments for adolescent substance use disorders.
C) NIDAMED: Medical & Health Professionals
- Worth bookmarking! This site provides an abundance of resources for physicians and other healthcare professionals that can aid with screening, treating, and managing substance use disorders among all patients, not just adolescents.