U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

NCBI Bookshelf. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

Cover of Screening and Assessing Adolescents for Substance Use Disorders

Screening and Assessing Adolescents for Substance Use Disorders

Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 31


Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); .
Report No.: (SMA) 99-3282

This TIP, Screening and Assessing Adolescents for Substance Use Disorders, updates TIP 3, published in 1993, and presents information on identifying, screening, and assessing adolescents who use substances. Adolescents differ from adults both physiologically and emotionally as they make the transition from child to adult. Although experimentation with substances is common with this population, substance abuse can seriously impair development, leaving an adolescent unprepared for the demands of adulthood. Therefore, it is important for a wide range of professionals who come into regular contact with adolescents to recognize the signs of substance use. This TIP focuses on the most current procedures and instruments for detecting substance abuse among adolescents, conducting comprehensive assessments, and beginning treatment planning. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the document. Chapters 2 and 3 present appropriate strategies and guidelines for screening and assessment. An explanation of legal issues concerning Federal and State confidentiality laws appears in Chapter 4. Chapter 5 provides guidance for screening and assessing adolescents in juvenile justice settings. Appendix B summarizes instruments to screen and assess adolescents for substance abuse and general functioning domains, many of them updated since 1993. Appendix C excerpts a 1998 publication on drug testing juvenile detainees prepared under a grant from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the U.S. Department of Justice.


This publication is part of the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant technical assistance program. This publication was written under contract number 270-95-0013 with The CDM Group, Inc. (CDM). Sandra Clunies, MS, ICADC, served as the CSAT government project officer. Rose M Urban, MSW, JD, CSAC, served as the CDM TIPs project director. Other CDM TIPs personnel included Y-Lang Nguyen, production/copy editor, Raquel Ingraham, MS, project manager, Virginia Vitzthum, former managing editor, Mary Smolenski, EdD, CRNP, former project director, and MaryLou Leonard, former project manager.

The opinions expressed herein are the views of the Consensus Panel members and do not reflect the official position of CSAT, SAMHSA, or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). No official support or endorsement of CSAT, SAMHSA, or DHHS for these opinions or for particular instruments or software that may be described in this document is intended or should be inferred. The guidelines proffered in this document should not be considered as substitutes for individualized client care and treatment decisions.

Bookshelf ID: NBK64364PMID: 22514837


  • PubReader
  • Print View
  • Cite this Page
  • PDF version of this title (1.9M)

Related information

Similar articles in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...