The preceding chapters have offered a grand tour of treatment science and related topics in the specialty of adolescent substance abuse. They provide evidence for the remarkable advances that have been made in understanding and treating adolescent substance abuse. These scientific and clinical developments reflect and have been propelled by changes in public perceptions about drug abuse generally, and that of youth in particular. More than ever before, in the USA and across Europe, adolescent substance abuse and related problems have come to be seen as enormous public health challenges that deserve increased attention and more informed policies from governments and jurisdictions (Burniston et al., 2002; European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, 2003; Krausz, 2000; McArdle et al., 2002; Plant & Miller, 2001; Rigter, 2004). This has resulted in no small part from the progressively more refined and comprehensive national and cross-national survey studies that have been carried out since the 1980s (McArdle et al., 2002 and Chs. 6 and 7). These studies have documented the prevalence and varying patterns of substance use, abuse, and associated problems among adolescents of various ages and backgrounds. This is precisely the kind of benchmark information that is needed to establish national drug treatment policies for youth, set research and funding priorities, and improve service delivery, day-to-day clinical practice, and client outcomes.
The amount and quality of basic research in the adolescent substance abuse specialty has increased exponentially (Clark, 2004).
ASJC Scopus subject areas