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NIDA releases new guide on treating teen substance abuse

Only 10 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds who need substance abuse treatment receive services, according to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health (.pdf). To address this issue, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) released new resources today that assist substance abuse treatment specialists, health-care providers and parents in treating teens struggling with drug abuse and identifying those who might be at high risk.

As NIDA Director Nora Volkow, MD,  explained in a release, "These new resources are based on recent research that has greatly advanced our understanding of the unique treatment needs of the adolescent."

The online educational resource highlights both the patient and physician perspectives and provides videos demonstrating skills to use in screening adolescents at risk for or already struggling with substance use disorders. Although it was created with medical students and physician residents in mind, the curriculum is free and available for public access.

An online guide covering treatment approaches was also released. Highlights include:

  • Thirteen principles to consider in treating adolescent substance use disorders
  • Settings in which adolescent drug abuse treatment most often occurs
  • Evidence-based approaches to treating adolescent substance use disorders
  • The role of the family and medical professionals in identifying teen substance use and supporting treatment and recovery

Previously: Could better alcohol screening during doctor visits reduce underage drinking?, To reduce use, educate teens on the risks of marijuana and prescription drugs and How to prevent prescription-drug misuse among teens

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