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EPSY 549 Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Disorders

Published : 31-Aug,2021  |  Views : 10


Write a opinion paper on what treatment approach seems best suited for adolescent substance use disorders treatment and why.



There is a host of treatment approaches that can be used to treat adolescent substance use Disorder commonly referred to as SUD. Individual accessing treatment options may not need to access every of the treatment approach out there but has to choose one that plays a critical role. The following criteria are embedded in a broader community as well as the aid given by different parts of the society also plays a crucial role in supporting the recovery of persons with SUD.

Individual and group counseling

This approach aims to reduce/stop substance use and help in skills building and adherence to recovery program. Group counseling goes hand in hand with individual counseling to give social support for the recovery pursuit. In this approach, counselors provide a myriad of services to persons in treatment for SUD such as examinations, treatment planning as well as counseling (Damschroder & Hagedorn, 2011). The experts can use different therapies such as cognitive behavior therapy that helps an individual recognize plus stop negative ways of thinking behavior. Contingency management can also be applied to give incentives for positive behavior like abstaining from substance use. Jasen et al., (2011) holds that motivational enhancement can also be used to help people with SUD to create motivation as well as adhere to certain ways to engage in treatment as well as seek recovery.


In the medication-assisted treatment, a combination of counseling/behavioral therapies can be used alongside medication. Here, the medications help lower the cravings plus other symptoms linked with withdrawal from substance use by occupying receptors in the brain linked with the use of that drug, blocking the rewarding sensation that is involved with using drugs as well as reduce the bad feeling when a drug is taken (Monti et al., 2012). Ideally, medication-assisted treatment has been widely used to treat alcohol use disorders, opioid disorder, and other substance use.

Recovery support services (RSS)

There are non-clinical services used alongside treatment to help a person in his/her recovery process. The services are commonly provided by peers or other individuals who are in the recovery process.  Segal et al., (2014) holds that the recovery support in this aspect can include employment/sensitization support, parenting education, outreach plus engagement as well as sensitization regarding strategies to develop wellness plus recovery.

Peer supports

These are people in recovery who use their own experience to assist those working in their recovery. Peer support is a critical aspect of the SUD treatment approach.  A host of individuals who work in the treatment unit as counselors are essential when it comes to recovery support services (Tanner-smith et al., 2013). Peers also play a significant role as part of the mutual support group. Essentially, although this group does not work for everyone as part of the recovery process, it is a critical component of the SUD treatment system, despite the fact that it is not regarded as a formal treatment.


Although there is a myriad of approaches that can be used in the recovery process for people with substance use disorders, the approaches as mentioned above have been found to be the most effective ones when it comes to the recovery process for people with SUD. However, other strategies that have been used and deemed fit to help in the recovery process include, partial hospital program, inpatient/residential treatment, and care or care management to mention just a few.


Damschroder, L. J., & Hagedorn, H. J. (2011). A guiding framework and approach for implementation research in substance use disorders treatment. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 25(2), 194.

Jensen, C. D., Cushing, C. C., Aylward, B. S., Craig, J. T., Sorell, D. M., & Steele, R. G. (2011). Effectiveness of motivational interviewing interventions for adolescent substance use behavior change: a meta-analytic review.

Monti, P. M., Colby, S. M., & Tevyaw, T. A. L. (Eds.). (2012). Adolescents, alcohol, and substance abuse: Reaching teens through brief interventions. Guilford Press.

Segal, B., Morral, A. R., & Stevens, S. J. (2014). Adolescent substance abuse treatment in the United States: Exemplary models from a national evaluation study. Routledge.

Tanner-Smith, E. E., Wilson, S. J., & Lipsey, M. W. (2013). The comparative effectiveness of outpatient treatment for adolescent substance abuse: A meta-analysis. Journal of substance abuse treatment, 44(2), 145-158.

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