Improving Care of Adolescents with Substance Use Disorders: Effective Approaches for Assessing, Treating, and Engaging Teens


Adolescents who use alcohol and other drugs are at increased risk for a wide range of negative outcomes across family, peer, school, and legal domains. Substance use treatment can help improve adolescent outcomes but unfortunately, less than 1 in 10 teens with a substance use disorder (SUD) will receive treatment.  

Our regional annual adolescent conference is designed for treatment providers and health care professionals who are looking to improve the detection and care of adolescents affected by substance use and SUDs. This conference is relevant for professionals from a broad range of settings such as substance use treatment agencies, behavioral health care agencies, juvenile justice, schools, primary care, child welfare, hospitals, and other allied health settings. 

Conference Learning Objectives

Providers who attend our regional conference will be able to:

  • Discuss prior research documenting the prevalence and consequences of untreated or ineffectively treated SUDs in adolescents.
  • Choose appropriate screening tools and brief interventions to incorporate into their work with adolescents with or at risk of SUDs.
  • Apply at least one evidence-based approach to assessing, treating, or engaging adolescents with or at risk of SUDs.

Resources from 2016 Inaugural Conference:

View the conference sessions from the 2016 Adolescent Conference:

Plenary Sessions: http://www.dhslides2.org/general/SUD20160720Part1/f.htm

SBIRT: http://www.dhslides2.org/general/SUD20160720Part2/f.htm

Opiods Part 1: http://www.dhslides2.org/general/SUD20160720OpiodsPart1/f.htm

Opiods Part 2: http://http://www.dhslides2.org/general/SUD20160720OpiodsPart2/f.htm

Motivational Interviewing: http://www.dhslides2.org/general/SUD20160720Motivational/f.htm

Youth In Recovery: http://www.dhslides2.org/general/SUD20160720youthinrecovery/f.htm

Marijuana Part 1: http://www.dhslides2.org/general/SUD20160720marijuanap1/f.htm

Principles of Trauma-Focused Treatment: http://www.dhslides2.org/general/SUD20160720marijuanap2/f.htm

Resources from 2015 Inaugural Conference:

Download Power Point Presentations and PDF documents from the 2015 Adolescent Conference:

Adolescent Conference 2015 - SBIRT Panel Questions

Adolescents Hepatitis C Overview

An Overview of HIV and HCV in Adolescents and Young Adults

Assessment, Treatment & Continued Care of Adolescent SUD: Challenges & Opportunities

Substance Monitoring Procedure

Trauma-Informed Approaches to Assessing and Treating Teens

Using Motivational Interviewing with Adolescents

View additional information about the 2015 Adolescent Conference:

Adolescent Conference 2015 - Agenda

Expert Presenter Bios

NIDA Adolescent Publication: 

Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment: A Research-Based Guide

AIDS.gov Adolescent Publication:

Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Young Persons Who Inject Drugs