Adolescent Substance Use | Sharon Levy, MD, MPH

This lecture covers issues related to treating substance use in adolescents including, epidemiology, diagnosis, screening, treatment needs, ADHD, safe prescribing, and prevention


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PHYSICIANS: The California Society of Addiction Medicine (CSAM) is accredited by the Institute for Medical Quality/California Medical Association to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  CSAM takes responsibility for the content, quality and scientific integrity of this CME activity.

CSAM designates this live educational activity for a maximum of .75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. This credit may also be applied to the CMA Certification in Continuing Medical Education.

This course has been approved by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM). Physicians enrolled in the ABAM Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Program can apply a maximum of 0.75 AMA/PRA Category 1 Credits™ for completing the Review Course.

Continuing education credit is also available for nurses, psychologists, pharmacists, physician assistants, therapists, and drug abuse counselors. 

Target Audience

  • Addiction medicine specialists who want an overview of the latest developments in the field and their relevance to clinical practice
  • Primary care clinicians who want to get a better understanding of addiction and manage patients with addictions in their practice
  • Public health officials who want an understanding of the current state of addiction treatment
  • Non-physicians who are involved in the treatment of addiction

Learning Objectives

As a result of participating in this lecture learners should have a working knowledge of the following topics, essential to competency in addiction medicine and identify areas where more study may be needed:

  1. Evaluation of and treatment of ADHD in adolescents with substance use disorders (this topic was apparently heavily tested last cycle)
  2. Epidemiology of substance use disorders in teens and young adults including prescription drug use/abuse.
  3. Effect of age on risk for addiction of drugs of abuse
  4. Office-based screening (scales, if different from adults ideally including a copy in an appendix),
  5. Treatment needs of children and adolescents highlighting what is evidence-based from what is simply standard of care based on convention/consensus
  6. Safe prescribing practices as applied to teens and any detox or treatment issues that would be different than those for adults. 
  7. If time permits: needs of the children of addicts, adolescent relapse prevention
  8. Prevention to include primary/secondary/tertiary, environmental interventions, prevention programs with special populations such as high-risk, utilizing education/community, organizing/policy to reduce demand or limit supply. 
  9. Substance use in the schools (trends/definitions, pertaining to absenteeism, injury effect on healthcare utilization and school success)
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 0.75 AMA Category 1
  • 0.75 Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Sharon Levy, MD, MPH 
Dr. Levy is a board certified Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrician and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She is the Director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) in the Division of Developmental Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital, which is comprised of clinical, research, training and policy arms. She has evaluated and treated thousands of adolescents with substance use disorders, and has taught national curricula and published extensively on the outpatient management of substance use disorders in adolescents, including screening and brief advice in primary care, the use of drug testing and the outpatient management of opioid dependent adolescents. She is currently the co-PI of a SAMHSA-funded adolescent SBIRT project, an NIAAA-funded study validating the youth alcohol screening tool in a population of youth with chronic medical illness, and a Conrad N. Hilton funded study that aims to validate adolescent SBIRT measures and test a brief intervention for medically vulnerable youth.

Dr. Levy has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Available Credit

  • 0.75 AMA Category 1
  • 0.75 Attendance


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