Adolescent substance use disorders (SUDs) are a significant public health issue due to the associated morbidity, mortality, and societal cost. While effective for some adolescents, psychosocial interventions generally produce small-to-moderate reductions in substance use. Most youth relapse within 12 months of treatment. One approach to improve outcomes is through adjunctive pharmacotherapy. Medication assisted treatments have been shown to improve adult SUD treatment outcomes, and preliminary studies in adolescents suggest that combining medication with psychosocial interventions may also enhance SUD outcomes for youth. This article presents a comprehensive review and grading of the evidence from studies conducted in adolescents with SUDs.
Keywords: Addiction; Adolescence; Development; Medication; Pharmacotherapy; Substance use disorder.
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