AAPs Substance Use Screening and Intervention Implementation Guide
24 Aug 2017
Why Is It Important to Identify and Treat Adolescent Substance Use?
Substance use by adolescents has an enormous impact on their health and well-being. It impairs healthy growth and development, is associated with risky behaviors such as unprotected sex and dangerous driving, and contributes to the development of many other health problems. Pediatric care providers play a critical, ongoing role in the lives of their adoles-cent patients and therefore have a unique opportunity to educate them about the dangers of substance use and to influence their behaviors. Compared to people in other age groups, adolescents are at the highest risk for experiencing health problems related to substance use (Committee on Substance Abuse, 2015), and the potential benefits of identifying substance use and intervening
to reduce or prevent it are substantial.