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Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: an Update on Evidence-Based Strategies

Abstract

Purpose of Review

To examine the most recent published evidence (2016–2019) regarding the treatment of adolescent substance use disorders and to provide an update on evidence-based strategies, adjunctive interventions, and methods to improve currently established treatment approaches.

Recent Findings

Recent evidence suggests that psychosocial treatments such as family-based therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and multicomponent approaches remain the most effective methods of treatment; however, innovative ways of improving these treatment strategies may include digital and culturally based interventions. New advances in adjunctive treatments such as pharmacotherapy, exercise, mindfulness, and recovery-oriented educational centers may have some clinical utility.

Summary

Well-established psychosocial interventions remain the primary modality of treatment. Promising new adjunctive treatments and improvements in our currently established treatments may yield significant improvements.

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Funding

This study was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse R25 DA020537 (Back and Brady), U01 DA041093 (Squeglia and Gray); and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism R01AA027399 (Gray and Squeglia), K23 AA025399 (Squeglia), and K12 HD055885 (Tomko).

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Correspondence to Matthew C. Fadus.

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Matthew C. Fadus, Lindsay M. Squeglia, Emilio A. Valadez, Rachel L. Tomko, and Brittany E. Bryant each declares no potential conflicts of interest.

Kevin M. Gray provided consultation on smoking cessation pharmacotherapy for Pfizer.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Child and Adolescent Disorders

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Fadus, M.C., Squeglia, L.M., Valadez, E.A. et al. Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: an Update on Evidence-Based Strategies. Curr Psychiatry Rep 21, 96 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-019-1086-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-019-1086-0

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Substance use disorder
  • Treatments
  • Interventions
  • Youth