Adolescents and Substance Use: Using Our Knowledge and Their Strengths to Find Recovery


Speakers: Dr. Kenneth Zoucha, Dr. Varun Sharma, Dr. Tianqi Luo, and Laura Schutte-Lundy
Location: Zoom
Instructional level: Intermediate
Date: Fri., Dec. 9

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No fee to attend this training.

Research has indisputably shown us that development of the prefrontal cortex area of the brain continues until the mid-twenties. The fact that nine out of ten people with a substance use disorder started to use substances before the age of 18 makes this information even more important. We will discuss important aspects of adolescent brain development as it relates to the impact that the use of substances can have on development.

As providers of care for youth, it helps to understand the prevalence and trends of substance use among adolescents and young adults (AYA). While use of most substances is decreasing in AYA over time, there continues to be a disturbing number of teens using alcohol, nicotine, and other drugs.

While our knowledge of adolescent neurobiology has blossomed, it is important to remember that substance use has far-reaching health and social consequences. Addiction impacts normal functioning in the family, among peers, in school and the workplace, and the broader community.

Because substance use and substance use disorders impact so many aspects of a person’s life, treatment is not simple. Effective treatment addresses many components of life, and to be effective, an individual treatment plan addresses particular aspects of the illness and its consequences. It is important that substance use disorders are seen as a chronic disease process that requires ongoing care to be effective. Resiliency factors will also be addressed.

This training will address epidemiology, neurobiology, effective screening and assessment, and evidence-based treatment.


For more information, view the event flyer here:

Sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Division of Behavioral Health and the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center.

This training is funded in whole or in part by funds from the SAMHSA Community Mental Health Block Grant, SAMHSA Substance Abuse Prevention & Treatment Block Grant, and state funds sub-granted from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Behavioral Health.