Journal of Addiction Medicine

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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According to Journal of Addiction Medicine, drug, alcohol, and tobacco use is highly prevalent among high school student sin the United States, and adolescents, even those without a substance use disorder, are at high risk of morbidity and mortality related to those of these substances.

The primary care setting provides access to adolescents, and the health maintenance visit provides a private, confidential setting in which patients expect to discuss health-related behaviors and receive advice. Research has found that the adolescent brain goes through a period of neurodevelopmental vulnerability for developing addictions.

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The age at which someone first uses a drug is directly correlated with a lifetime of developing more and more addictions.

Screening is a procedure that is meant to identify diseases, conditions or symptoms in people. This is not a formal diagnosis, but instead a guide to help doctors make further decisions on what to do with a particular patient. Screening adolescents for substance use is created in a way that determines whether or not the adolescent consumed or used drugs or alcohol within the past 12 months, and if they had, to identify and point out the risk levels. A brief intervention is essentially when a screening outcome-responsive conversation occurs that is solely focused on the individual who is struggling with addiction issues.

Typically, they are surrounded by their friends and family who are concerned for their well-being and encourage this individual to take action for a healthier lifestyle. The term “brief intervention” refers to providing those who did not report any substance use with brief positive feedback about their personal ability to make positive, healthy lifestyle choices.

A low risk adolescent would be an individual who stated they never used tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs and selected “no” to the “car” question of the CRAFFT (Car, Relax, Alone, Forget, Friends, Trouble) screen are at a low risk of drug and alcohol abuse. The “car” question relates to the situation of driving under the influence—whether from drugs or alcohol. These adolescents either drove themselves while under the influence or had gotten into the car with someone else who was driving under the influence.

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Journal of Addiction Medicine. (2019, Jul 30). Retrieved from