Nicotine, alcohol and marijuana are the most widely used substances among adolescents. These substances, however, can have serious negative consequences for brain development, making substance use among adolescents a major public health issue.
New research, published in The Journal for Nurse Practitioners, looks at how practice nurses in primary care settings can address the issue of substance use among adolescents with evidence-based interventions.
Identifying and treating substance use in adolescence can reduce long term harm and risk of later life dependency.
The article describes the effects of Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) for low, medium and high-risk adolescent groups.
It concludes that prevention is the best way to address and reduce the risk of substance use among adolescents. In this way, it is critical that healthcare professionals implement strategies for early identification and intervention, using evidence-based practices such as SBIRT.