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Adolescent Drug Abuse

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Substance abuse is considered

a maladaptive pattern of substance use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress as manifested in a twelve month period by at least one of four criteria: (1) recurrent substance use resulting in failure to fulfill major obligations at work, school or home (e.g., poor performance at school or work, neglect of children or younger siblings); (2) recurrent substance use in hazardous situations (e.g., driving while intoxicated); (3) recurrent substance-related legal problems (e.g., DUIs); and (4) continued substance use despite having recurrent interpersonal problems related to substance abuse (e.g., arguments with family members about consequences of intoxication) (Sussman, Skara, Ames, 2008).

The most commonly abused substances include alcohol, tobacco, and illegal and prescription drugs. Often times, a user will develop an addiction to one of these substances. When an individual abuses a substance or develops an addiction, and require the use of a rehabilitation service, he or she may either be voluntarily or involuntarily admitted, such as through the Department of Corrections or drug courts. Substance abuse treatment has proven to be a successful rehabilitation tool.

Empirical evidence has shown that substance abuse treatment is a cost effective method for addressing substance abuse and that treatment is effective in limiting substance abuse, criminal activity, and improving quality of life outcomes for as many as five years after treatment (Brucker, 2010).

Research from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows an estimated 22.5 million persons over the age of twelve, 8.9% of the population, twelve years or older, were classified as having a substance abuse problem. Of those, 3.2 million were classified as abusing both alcohol and illicit drugs. 4.3 million people received treatment for substance…...

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