Alcohol is the substance most frequently misused by children and adolescents in the United States, and approximately one in three high school students reported drinking alcohol (CDC.gov/ARDI). Drug and alcohol use are strongly associated with the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in adolescence (National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2014). Adolescent substance misuse has a great impact on your patient’s health and well-being. Alcohol misuse impairs adolescent growth and development and can be associated with risk taking behaviors, such as unprotected sex, intoxicated driving and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Primary care providers are uniquely positioned to impact adolescent substance misuse by providing their patients’ with anticipatory guidance and screening in the primary care setting. However, routine screening and intervention can be challenging to implement in a primary care setting given time constraints and other barriers. Illinois DocAssist can provide primary care providers with educational screening tools available on our website. Learn how to implement a screening protocol in your office, access tools for screening and assessment and learn how to utilize motivational interviewing through our webinar.