Challenges and opportunities in the treatment of adolescents with substance use disorder and suicidal behavior.
Many youth who present for substance abuse treatment report co-occurring suicidality. Therefore, it is important to learn about the characteristics of this population and effective treatment strategies. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of some of the key issues that arise when treating youth with substance abuse and co-occurring suicidality and to offer recommendations on how to approach these areas. Specifically, we discuss the potential utility of an integrated approach to treatment, and provide an overview of the characteristics of this treatment population, motivational and treatment engagement issues, the clinical management of suicidality in the context of treatment, and the effect of psychiatric comorbidity on treatment needs. We then discuss school, family, and peer issues that may arise as well as special considerations for the use of urine drug screens with this population. We conclude with recommendations for future treatment development research in this very important area.
Esposito-Smythers, C; Goldston, DB
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