55.007 Adolescent Health and Substance Abuse


Adolescent Health and Substance Abuse:

Role of the physician. TMA encourages physicians treating adolescents to provide substance use education and screening to adolescents during routine clinical care and offer counseling and/or referral where appropriate. All physicians who treat adolescents should be prepared to address issues related to substance use, including educating adolescent patients and their families on the unique dangers of youth using alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other controlled substances, and the importance of avoiding drugs and other intoxicating substances that pose serious health risks when consumed. Physicians should be informed on developmentally appropriate screening for substance use, brief intervention, and/or referrals to treatment. Physicians should be knowledgeable about the prevalence of substance use trends and co-occurring psychiatric diagnoses so that assessments can include screening for any coexisting disorders.

Role of the Texas Medical Association. (1) Sponsor and promote education for physicians concerning adolescent health and substance use; (2) Encourage medical schools and residency programs to provide education on prevention and treatment of alcoholism and substance use in youth; (3) Work with relevant medical and specialty societies to inform physicians on adolescent alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use trends, emerging issues related to adolescent substance use, evidence-based community prevention and treatment programming, and developmentally appropriate, evidence-based tools to help physicians address substance use issues with their patients and families; (4) Encourage physicians to become advocates and resources in their communities; (5) Advocate funding for statewide resources that will increase substance use prevention services for youth and families; (6) Promote easily accessible behavioral health risk awareness training in communities and schools; (7)  Encourage uniform instruction and comprehensive health education for grades kindergarten through 12th grade on avoidance of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, controlled substances, and illegal drugs, including performance-enhancing drugs. Education should be age appropriate and taught by teachers who have specialized training in drug use prevention and health education; (8) Support school-based health clinics in their efforts to facilitate access to care for adolescents; (9) Encourage enforcement of laws related to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco and support evidence-based policies that will prevent youth access to alcohol and harmful substances, including those substances not currently labeled as a drug or alcohol product; (10) Support state efforts to rehabilitate addicted youth; and (11) Support efforts to restrict alcohol and other harmful substance marketing and advertising (Council on Public Health, p 100, A-93; reaffirmed CM-CAH Rep. 2-A-03; amended CM-CAH Rep. 4-A-10; amended CSPH and CM-CAH Report 1-A-15; amended CM-CAH Rep. 1-A-16).

Last Updated On

October 07, 2016