The assessment of the identified substance-abusing adolescent

Pediatr Clin North Am. 1995 Apr;42(2):351-70. doi: 10.1016/s0031-3955(16)38951-9.


When an adolescent has been identified as abusing drugs, alcohol, or both, a complete assessment of this young person must be completed by qualified health professionals before the level of treatment is chosen. With our present state of knowledge of substance-abusing adolescents, this assessment must focus on every sphere of the child's life, not just the quantity and frequency of the drug use. Most substance-abusing young people have experienced deep psychological trauma that must be identified and eventually treated. A family evaluation and psychological testing are crucial to the evaluation of these adolescents. When choosing a treatment facility for a substance-abusing adolescent, it is best to select a treatment program that requires family involvement. An adolescent treatment program should include treatment of both the family and the child, and it must include the goal of abstinence from mood-altering substances as a major component of recovery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological / methods*
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Medical History Taking
  • Psychological Tests
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology