Adolescent substance use and abuse prevention and treatment: Primary care strategies involving social networks and the geography of risk and protection

Leslie R. Walker, Michael Mason, Ivan Cheung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The use and abuse of licit and illicit substances in adolescence is a national public health concern. This behavior impairs healthy development for many adolescents in the United States. Although not every adolescent who becomes a regular user of licit and illicit substances will develop a substance abuse disorder, all adolescents using these substances can experience a life-threatening outcome. Understanding the epidemiology and social profile of adolescent substance use, namely the risk and protective factors and the environmental and genetic factors, is essential to the development of strategies for prevention. There are many methods that can be employed to better assess environments in which adolescents live. The method discussed in this paper is descriptive and utilizes Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. The primary goal of this paper is to illustrate and describe an analysis of substance using and non-substance using adolescents, their social networks, the risky and protective settings where they socialize, and the relationship of these variables to health outcomes such as substance use, depression, and stress. Published data from the researchers' recent investigation examine the effect of social network affiliations and geographical risk factors on drug involvement and illustrate how these factors may then be incorporated into prevention and intervention planning, especially in medical settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-134
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology

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