Substance Use Disorders Among Adolescents: Rethinking Addiction Interventions

(Pages: 47-53)

A. Christson A. Adedoyin1,* Kimberly Outlaw2 and Mary S. Jackson3

1Department of Social Work, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama.
2Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina.
3School of Social Work, College of Health and Human Performance, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina. 


Substance-use disorders (SUD) among adolescents have been problematic for many years. While some substance use may be considered developmentally predictable, an increasing number of adolescents meet criteria for SUD, and could greatly benefit from therapeutic interventions. If counselors are to be successful in helping adolescents cope with substance abuse problem situations by using the various resources available to them, then it is crucial that counselors know and understand the adolescent’s experiences as they enter into a therapeutic relationship. This article provides a panoramic view of how Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Narrative Therapies (NT) can be utilized to provide therapeutic interventions with adolescents of color struggling with SUD. Implications for social work practice as well as the directions for future research are delineated.


Substance-use disorders, adolescents, therapeutic relations, cognitive behavior therapy, narrative therapy, adolescents of color.