Adolescent substance use represents a major public health problem that results in significant negative outcomes and costs.
Adolescent substance use has been linked to serious problems including automobile accidents, increased rates of risky sexual behavior and thus increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, and relatively high rates of physical and sexual abuse.
Socially, adolescent substance use predicts school dropout, and hard drug use during adolescence predicts decreased college involvement. Further, adolescent substance use is linked with unemployment and job instability in young adulthood. In general, adolescents who abuse substances represent a greatly under-served population at high risk of presenting significant deleterious long-term outcomes and costs for themselves, their families, communities and society. Evidence-based treatments are needed to improve treatment outcomes and improve the lives of teens struggling with addiction.