Substance abuse is, and has always been, an indisputable fact of life. People-especially young people-abuse various legal and illegal substances for any number of reasons: to intensify feelings, to achieve deeper consciousness, to escape reality, to self-medicate. And as substance-abusing teenagers mature, they pose particular challenges to the professionals charged with keeping them clean and sober and helping them maintain recovery into adulthood.
Reviewer:Michael S. Goldsby, PhD(Zeno Corporation)
Description:According to the editors, the desire of humankind has always been to intensify or alter perceptions, feelings, and understandings to achieve some futile understanding of the unpredictable events surrounding them. Every substance discussed in this book has at one time been legally used and at other times been prohibited. With this knowledge as a backdrop, this book identifies individual characteristics that appear to increase the susceptibility of some adolescents to misuse substances and the evidence-based approaches to treatment and prevention that are efficacious as well as those that are ineffective.
Purpose:The purpose is twofold: to identify and share those evidence-based treatments and prevention practices that appear to be most efficacious and to instill an appreciation in readers of the need to be persistent in youth-focused substance misuse prevention and treatment activities while being mindful of changing adolescent needs.
Audience:This book would clearly be most beneficial for individuals in the substance abuse counseling profession, as well as mental health clinicians and those in treatment intervention and prevention program development. Academic audiences might include graduate students in counseling and clinical psychology who are interested in better understanding the complex issues associated with adolescent substance abuse.
Features:The editors have solicited authoritative experts in the field of adolescent substance abuse to author each of the chapters that cover such topics as the history of gateway drugs, the biological/genetic perspective to addiction, social and family factors, as well as an entire array of proven, evidence-based approaches to prevention and treatment of adolescent substance abuse. An interesting feature of this book is the inclusion of treatment interventions that might work, as well as those that have been shown to be ineffective and potentially harmful, such as Boot Camp and Scared Straight. Research methods and outcomes are discussed in detail in chapter 11, and will be of great interest to professionals and graduate students wanting to conduct future research in this area.
Assessment:I agree with the editors' assessment that the talented group of authors they brought together for this project have accomplished their assignment of providing readers with the current state of knowledge on the biopsychosocial-environmental dimensions of adolescent substance abuse and evidence-based practices for treatment and prevention. This timely book is a comprehensive reference that is a must-have for all counseling professionals and clinicians who work with adolescents and their families on these issues. This is by far the premier book in the field of adolescent substance abuse and will most certainly be the clinical and research foundation for knowledge enhancement and advancement.