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Levels of Care in Adolescents with Substance Use Disorders

Activity Type:

  • On Demand

Release Date: 1/1/2019

Expiration Date: 12/31/2021

  • AMA PRA Category 1: 0.5
  • Participation: 0.5

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The transition from childhood to adolescence and subsequently adulthood represents two unique developmental periods with significant changes in social networks and interactions. Increasing attention has been given to the possible disruptions and expected changes of cognitive and psychosocial transitions during these periods. Adolescence and early adulthood are the peak times for initiation of substance use disorders (SUD), particularly tobacco, marijuana, prescription drugs, and alcohol. The health care provider’s capacity to respond appropriately to substance use disorders in adolescents is limited at best. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the high risk for serious complications of illicit SUD, which include overdose, death, suicide, HIV, and hepatitis C. Both medication-assisted treatment and evidence-based SUD counseling are available, but underused in this vulnerable population. In addition, access to developmentally appropriate treatment strategies is restricted for adolescents and young adults, making effective treatment out of reach for this group. This presentation discusses considerations for determining the level of care for adolescents with substance use disorders and the use of behavioral approaches for the treatment of adolescents with or at risk for substance use disorders.

**This content was captured at the 2017 APA Annual Meeting and may reference information from various sources and terminology from previous editions of the DSM.


  • General Member - $6.25
  • Resident-Fellow Member - Free
  • Medical Student Member - $6.25
  • Non-Member - $12.50

This course is no longer free to APA members through the Course of the Month program. Promotional pricing ended January 31, 2019.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe various inpatient and outpatient community resources available for adolescents struggling with substance use disorders
  • Identify benefits, limitations, and nuances between various cognitive therapies studied in adolescents with substance use disorders 
  • Recognize the value of family-based approaches when treating adolescents with substance use disorders

Target Audience

Psychiatrists, Residents/Fellows

Estimated Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 30 minutes
Begin Date: January 1, 2019
End Date: December 31, 2021

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course including the evaluation. A multiple choice quiz is provided based on the content. A passing score of 100% must be achieved. Retakes are available for the test. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians) or certificate of participation (non-physicians) showing the completion date and hours earned. 

Continuing Education Credit

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The APA designates this enduring CME activity for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures


  • Lauren Teverbaugh, M.D., Tulane University School of Medicine. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Program Planners

  • Tristan Gorrindo, M.D., Director of Education, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Cassidy Cooper, D.O., University of Massachusetts Medical School. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Ricardo A. Juarez, M.S., Director, District Branch and International Relations, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Hardware/Software Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using Internet Explorer 8+, Mozilla Firefox 3+, Safari 4+. This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration:

  • Flash Player: Adobe Flash Player 10.3+ 
  • Browser: Firefox (latest version), Internet Explorer 8.0+, Safari 7.0+, Microsoft Edge (latest version) or Google Chrome (latest version)
  • Operating System: Windows XP+ or Mac OS X 10.4+ 
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements:

  • Windows PC: 500-MHz Pentium II; Windows XP or higher; 128 MB RAM; Video Card at least 64MB of video memory; Macromedia Flash Player 10.3 or higher; Sound Card at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content
  • Macintosh:Mac OS X 10.4+ or higher with latest updates installed; 1.83MHz Intel Core Duo or faster; RAM: 128MB or more; Video Card: at least 64MB of video memory; Sound Card: at least 16-bit; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content

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