Risk Factors for Drug Dependence in Adolescents

You should routinely screen adolescents and young adults for substance use since they are at a high risk and since early intervention can significantly reduce health problems and costs associated with serious drug problems.

Look for these risk factors of substance abuse among adolescent patients

  • substance abuse by a parent
  • physical or sexual abuse
  • smoking tobacco
  • a dysfunctional family
  • peers involved with drugs or alcohol (SAMHSA, 1997)
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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). A Guide to Substance Abuse Services for Primary Care Clinicians. Rockville, Md: Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 2008. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64827/ Accessed on: 2013-10-08.
Related Resources: 
This is a brief list of risk and protective factors to look for when evaluating patients for substance abuse.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
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