Current State of Treatment for Alcohol and Other Drug Use Disorders in Adolescents

Deas, Deborah; Clark, Andrew
June 2009
Alcohol Research & Health;2009, Vol. 32 Issue 1, p76
Academic Journal
Over the past decade, treatment programs have been developed specifically for adolescents with alcohol and other drug (AOD) use disorders. The vast majority of these programs use psychosocial approaches, which can be further classified into family-based interventions and multisystemic therapy, motivational enhancement therapy, behavioral therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Outcome studies have evaluated the effectiveness of the different approaches. The results indicate that all of these strategies can improve an adolescent's outcome on a variety of measures. Pharmacotherapy rarely is used in the treatment of adolescents with AOD use disorders, and existing studies only have assessed the effectiveness of agents aimed at treating coexisting psychiatric conditions. Future studies should use more consistent, state-of-the-art assessment instruments developed specifically for adolescents and also pay greater attention to an adolescent's developmental status and its impact on treatment outcome.


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