Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment (2 credit hours)

Program Summary:  This course explores adolescent substance use and the unique treatment needs of teens.  The course provides an overview of the developing adolescent brain and the vulnerabilities that teens face when confronting substance use.  The reading offers 13 Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Treatment and includes Frequently Asked Questions, a discussion of Treatment Settings, and Evidence-Based Approaches to treating adolescent substance use disorders.

This course is recommended for social workers, counselors, and therapists and is appropriate for beginning,  intermediate, and advanced levels of practice.  

Find the reading at:

Course Reading:  Principles of Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment:  A Research-Based Guide

Publisher:  National Institute on Drug Abuse

Course Objectives:  To enhance professional practice, values, skills, and knowledge by identifying key issues related to adolescent substance use disorder treatment.

Learning Objectives:  Describe factors that influence adolescent substance use.  Define the term neuroplasticity.  Describe how adolescent drug use can progress to addiction.  Identify evidence-based approaches to treating adolescent SUDs.  Describe various recovery support services.

Review our pre-reading study guide.

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1: Which of the following best describes the property known as neuroplasticity?
2: The prefrontal cortex is typically not mature until a person is in his or her
3: Different drugs affect the brain differently, but a common factor is that they all ___________ the level of the chemical dopamine in brain circuits that control reward and pleasure.
4: The majority of those who have a substance use disorder started using before age 18 and developed their disorder by age ______________,
5: Chronic marijuana use in adolescence has been shown to lead to a loss of IQ that is not recovered even if the individual quits using in adulthood.
6: When adolescents do drink alcohol, they are __________ likely than adults to binge drink.
7: By far, the largest proportion of adolescents who receive treatment are referred by
8: Relapse should be seen as
9: Adolescents can benefit from drug abuse intervention for
10: Research shows that treatment can work even if it is mandated or entered into unwillingly.
11: Treatment should
12: Treatment for mental health conditions should be ____________ the treatment for a substance use disorder.
13: Studies show outcomes are better when a person stays in treatment for ________ or more.
14: Which are the most commonly abused drugs by high school seniors?
15: When Vicodin is crushed and injected or snorted, it can affect the brain and body very much like
16: Prescription stimulants, such as Adderall, act in the brain similarly to
17: Effectively treating a substance use disorder requires addressing drug abuse and other mental health problems
18: The studies conducted so far suggest that treatment with ADHD medication ______________ an individual's risk for developing a substance use disorder.
19: Medical professionals have an important role to play in addressing substance abuse among adolescents, including which of the following?
20: Several medications are approved by the FDA to treat addiction to opioids, alcohol, and nicotine in individuals who are _____________.
21: Adolescent girls may present with higher rates of
22: Adolescents with more severe substance use disorders but who can still be safely managed in their home living environment may be referred to
23: Which behavioral approach provides adolescents an opportunity to earn low-cost incentives (such as prizes or cash vouchers) in exchange for participating in drug treatment, achieving important goals of treatment and not using drugs?
24: Which family-based approach combines behavioral contracting with contingency management to address not only substance abuse but other behavioral problems as well?
25: There are currently no FDA-approved medications to treat addiction to
26: Which of the following addiction medications inhibits an enzyme involved in the metabolism of alcohol, causing an unpleasant reaction if alcohol is consumed after taking the medication?

In order to purchase or take this course, you will need to log in. If you do not have an account, you will need to register for a free account.

After you log in, a link will appear here that will allow you to purchase this course.


Free State Social Work, LLC, provider #1235, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 9/6/2021 - 9/6/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 2 continuing education credits.

Free State Social Work has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP NO. 6605. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Free State Social Work is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

G.M. Rydberg-Cox, MSW, LSCSW is the Continuing Education Director at Free State Social Work and responsible for the development of this course.  She received her Masters of Social Work in 1996 from the Jane Addams School of Social Work at the University of Illinois-Chicago and she has over 20 years of experience.  She has lived and worked as a social worker in Chicago, Boston, and Kansas City.  She currently practices in the area of hospital/medical social work.  The reading materials for this course were developed by another organization.