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Help for Your Drug-Addicted Teen


This section deals specifically with the abuse of alcohol and drugs by teens and young adults from a family perspective. Therefore, this section is of particular interest to parents and their children. Although educators may find the information provided useful, the School Drug Abuse section is more appropriate when dealing with students in an academic setting.

Children (including adult children) of a parent who is struggling with drugs or alcohol is recommended to visit the Help for Families and Partners section.



General Reading on Teen Addiction

Adolescent Relationships and Drug Use (2000) provides an analysis of drug resistance in teens in their interactions with their peers. Michelle A. Miller, Jess K. Alberts, Michael L. Hecht, Melanie R. Trost, Robert L. Krizek.

Adolescent Substance Abuse and Addictions Manuel Schydlower, Peter D. Rogers.

Alcohol Problems in Adolescents and Young Adults: Epidemiology, Neurobiology, Prevention, and Treatment (2006) includes data on teen drinking in a developmental context. Marc Galanter.

Alcohol and Youth, A Comprehensive Bibliography (1982) includes nearly 5,000 citations directly related to alcohol use among youth. The citations refer to books, journal articles, theses, government reports, and popular literature. Grace M. Barnes.

Drugs 101: An Overview for Teens(2003) examines the effects of drugs on adolescent brain development, the societal impact of drug abuse, drug prevention and treatment, and the debate over legalization. Margaret O. Hyde, John F. Setaro.

Dying to Tell: The Hidden Meaning of Adolescent Substance Abuse (1992) David K. Lewis, Carly H. Dodd.

I Am Your Disease: The Many Faces of Addiction (2006) Sheryl Letzqus McGinnis and Heiko Ganzer

Substance Use among Children and Adolescents : Its Nature, Extent, and Effects from Conception to Adulthood (1996) Ann Marie Pagliaro and Louis A. Pagliaro

Teen Addiction(1995) is a guide to helping a teenager with a drug or alcohol addiction. Tells parents how to identify the signs of dependency, assist the process of recovery, and encourage a positive attitude. Marti Heuer.

Teen Addiction (2006) examines topics including contributing genetic factors, the effects of marketing, student drug testing, and drug prevention programs. Jill Karson.

Teen Addiction (2002) presents an examination of the causes of teen addiction and proposals to reduce or solve the problem. Includes personal testimonials of teens who struggled with addiction. Shasta Gaughen.

Teen Addiction(2003) identifies emotional problems and family backgrounds, among other factors, as causes of addiction. Linda Theresa Raczek.

A Teen’s Guide to Living Drug Free(2003) shares advice, commentary, and stories on dealing with drugs as an adolescent. Bettie B. Youngs, Jennifer Leigh Youngs.

Teens Under the Influence: The Truth About Kids, Alcohol, and Other Drugs – How to Recognize the Problem and What to Do About It (2003) Katherine Ketcham and Nicholas A. Pace

Young People and Substance Misuse (2004) provides an overview of the consequences of substance misuse, the interventions and services available and, most importantly, the way forward for improving treatment and services. Ilana Crome, Hamid Ghodse, E. Gilvarry, Paul McArdle.

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Printed Resources – Alcohol and Teen Addiction

Alcohol: What’s a Parent to Believe? (2003) helps parents sort through the latest facts, the known risks, and the divergent perspectives on alcohol use. Stephen G. Biddulph.

Printed Resources – Assessment for Teen Addiction

Adolescent Substance Abuse: New Frontiers in Assessment (2006) presents up to date research on the assessment, intervention, and treatment of alcohol and drug use behaviors in adolescents. Ken C. Winters

Screening and Assessing Adolescents for Substance Use Disorders (1999) Ken C. Winters, Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) 31, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Publication no. BKD306.

For more information on screening and assessment see the Addiction Screening Brief Intervention and Assessment Facts section.

Printed Resources – Crime and Teen Addiction

Criminal Conduct and Substance Abuse Treatment for Adolescents: Pathways to Self-Discovery and Change (2007) is a developmentally appropriate treatment model for adolescents who manifest co-occurring disturbances with substance abuse and criminal activity. Designed to interest and engage high-risk teenagers in a thoughtful array of cognitive-behavioral restructuring exercises that are geared to promote fulfilling and responsible life choices. Harvey B. Milkman, Kenneth W. Wanberg.

Criminal Conduct and Substance Abuse Treatment: Strategies for Self (2006) is the participant’s workbook designed for use alongside the Provider’s Guide. Kenneth W. Wanberg, Harvey B. Milkman.

Juvenile Drug Courts and Teen Substance Abuse (2004) Jeffrey A. Butts, John Roman.

For more information on crime and addiction see Offenders in the Special Populations section.

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Printed Resources – Dual Diagnosis and Teen Addiction

Adolescent Substance Abuse: Psychiatric Comorbidity and High Risk Behaviors (2008) Yifrah Kaminer, Oscar Gary Bukstein.

For more information on dual diagnosis see the Dual Diagnosis section.

Printed Resources – Family Therapy and Teen Addiction

Family Therapy Approaches with Adolescent Substance Abusers (1991) presents a diversity of approaches for the family counselor who is not a chemical dependency specialist but who seeks guidelines for successful intervention through family therapy. Thomas C. Todd, Matthew D. Selekman.

For more information on family therapy see the Help for Families & Partners section.

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Printed Resources – Marijuana and Teen Addiction

Marijuana Impaired Youths: A Clinical Handbook for Counselors, Mentors, Teachers and Parents (2004) Kay Wachuku

Marijuana – What’s a Parent to Believe? (2003) helps parents sort through the latest facts, the known risks, and the divergent perspectives on pot. Timmen L. Cermak

For more information on marijuana see the Marijuana section.

Printed Resources – Parenting and Teen Addiction

Adolescent Drug & Alcohol Abuse: How to Spot It, Stop It, and Get Help for Your Family (2000) offers parents clear information, support, and guidance based on the disease model of drug abuse. Nikki Babbit.

Before You Forget: The Wisdom of Writing Diaries for Your Children(2001) Kelly DuMar.

The Children’s Place: At the Heart of Recovery (1998) Jerry Moe, Ross Zeigler.

Choices and Consequences: What to Do When a Teenager Uses Alcohol/Drugs (1998) Dick Schaefer

Don’t Let Your Kids Kill You: A Guide for Parents of Drug and Alcohol Addicted Children (1996) Charles Rubin

Drug and Alcohol Abuse: The Authoritative Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Counselors(2003) is a basic reference guide for parents and professionals who work with teens. H. Thomas Milhorn, Jr.

Drugs and Your Kid: How to Tell If Your Child Has a Drug/ Alcohol Problem and What to Do about It (2002) Peter D. Rogers

Everything Parents Should Know about Drugs (1995) Sarah Lawson

The Family Context of Adolescent Drug Use (1988) summarizes the development features of adolescence and the powerful influence of the family on substance abuse. Robert H. Coombs.

Helping Your Chemically Dependent Teenager Recover: A Guide for Parents and Other Concerned Adults (1998) is written for the parent whose child has serious problems with alcohol or other drugs. Peter Cohen

Helping Your Troubled Teen: Learn to Recognize, Understand, and Address the Destructive Behavior of Today’s Teens and Preteens (2007) Cynthia Kaplan, Blaise Aguirre, and Michael Rater

How to Talk to Your Kids about Drugs (2007) Stephen Arterburn and Jim Burns

How to Tell if Your Kids Are Using Drugs (1992) Timothy Dimoff and Steve Carper

Just Say Know: Talking with Kids About Drugs and Alcohol (2002) teaches adults what they need to know about a wide range of drugs and suggests conversations that help lead children to choose freedom from drug abuse. Cynthia Kuhn, Scott Swartzwelder, Wilkie Wilson.

Kids, Alcohol and Drugs: a Parent’s Guide (1992) Ruth Maxwell

Kids, Drugs & Alcohol: A Parent’s Guide to Prevention & Intervention (1987) describes the effects of drugs and provides advice on how to help a child to avoid drug abuse and aid a child who is addicted. Anne Swany Harrity, Ann Brey Christensen.

Kids’ Power: Healing Games for Children of Alcoholics (1989) suggests games and activities designed to help children of alcoholics understand their parent’s problems, deal with their own emotions, and develop self-confidence. Jerry Moe, Don Pohlman

The Lowdown on Families Who Get high: Successful Parenting for Families Affected by Addiction (2004) is used in conjunction with the 12 steps of AA and shows that being a caregiver and being in recovery can be a win/win situation. Pat O’Gorman

Our Children Are Alcoholics: Coping With Children Who Have Addictions (1997)
Sally B. (Author), David B. (Author)

A Parent’s Guide to Alcoholism and Drub Abuse: Practical Advice for Recovery (1989) with down-to-earth advice, it offers hope for families already affected by the drug epidemic, and precautions for those who are trying to avoid it. Dennis C. Daley, Judy Miller.

A Parents Guide to Street Drugs (2001) Jefferson

Parents Guide to Young People & Drugs (1998) Kay, James

Parents Who Help Their Children Overcome Drugs (1990) Barbara Cottman Becnel

Positive Discipline (1996) asserts that the key to discipline is not punishment but mutual respect. Jane Nelsen.

Positive Discipline for Parenting in Recovery(1996) Jane Nelsen, Riki Intner, Lynn Lott.

Raising Drug-Free Kids: 100 Tips for Parents (2007) has tips organized by age group to show you how to help your children cope with stress, self-esteem, take healthy risks, etc. Aletha Solter.

Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World: Seven Building Blocks for Developing Capable Young People(1993)H. Stephen Glenn, Jane Nelsen

Sitting in the Bay Window: A Book for Parents of Young Alcoholics (1984) is a guidebook for parents of young alcoholics. Jack Mumey.

Slaying the Addiction Monster – An All-Inclusive Look at Drug Addiction in America Today (2008) Inside this book you will find interviews with leading addiction researchers and read advice from parents to other parents about living with an addicted child. You’ll learn how to stage an Intervention and read the scientific evidence of why the teen brain is different from the mature brain. There is a chapter about the wrongful incarceration of nonviolent drug users.

Sober Coaching Your Toxic Teen: An Interactive Guide for Teaching Parents and Primary Caregivers How to Manage a Drug Crisis (2007) Shelly Marshall and Michael J. Marshall

Tough Love: How Parents Can Deal with Drug Abuse (1996) Pauline Neff

Understanding Street Drugs: A Handbook of Substance Misuse for Parents, Teachers and Other Professionals (2006) is an overview of the facts and issues surrounding substance misuse. David Emmett, Graeme Nice

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Printed Resources – Recovery (Life after treatment) for Teens

Recovery From Drug Addiction (2000) discusses living a life of recovery from addiction from a teenage perspective. Seamus Cavan

For more information on recovery see the Addiction Recovery section.

Printed Resources – Relapse Prevention and Teen Addiction

Preventing Adolescent Relapse: A Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Counselors (1990) integrates the complex interactions between the symptoms of adolescent chemical addiction, the stages of normal adolescent development, and the presence of adolescent mental disorders in a number of clients.Tammy Bell.

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Printed Resources – Research and Teen Addiction

Adolescent Substance Abuse: Research and Clinical Advances (2006) covers a range of issues such as theoretical models of interventions, research innovations, research supporting assessment and treatment techniques, interventions with special populations, etc. Howard A. Liddle, Cynthia L. Rowe.

Etiology of Substance Use Disorder in Children and Adolescents: Emerging Findings from the Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research(2002) delivers research results that demonstrate how to identify youths who are at high risk for SUD so that prevention techniques tailored to their needs can be implemented. Ralph E. Tarter, Michael M. Vanyukov, Center for Education and Drug Abuse Research.

Recent Developments in Alcoholism: Alcohol Problems in Adolescents and Young Adults (2005) is the 17th volume in the series and focuses on alcohol consumption by adolescents and young adults. Marc Galanter (Ed.).

The Relationship between Family Structure & Adolescent Substance Use analyzes the distribution of substance use among adolescents aged 12-17 in the US according to family structure.

Substance Abuse and Dependence in Adolescence(2002) is a tool for advanced students, researchers, and other professionals working in the field of addiction. Cecilia Essau.

For more information on addiction research see the Addiction Research section.

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Printed Resources – Screening and Assessment for Teen Addiction

See the Assessment for Teen Addiction section above.

Printed Resources – Testimonials of Teen Addiction

The Addiction Monster and the Square Cat (2008) The book is a fictionalized version of her son Scott’s long battle with addiction and his ultimate death. The story is told with humor and pathos by the sassy but lovable family cat. The recommended reading age is 10 and up but some younger readers will also be able to read and understand it.

Chasing the High: A Firsthand Account of One Young Person’s Experience with Substance Abuse (2008) Kyle Keegan, Howard Moss, and Beryl Lieff Benderly

Clean: A New Generation in Recovery Speaks Out (2005) Chris Beckman

Dirty (2003) Meredith Maran

Fighting the Good Fight: One Family’s Struggle Against Adolescent Alcoholism (2002) Remi J. Cadoret and Victoria C G Greenleaf

From Binge to Blackout: A Mother and Son Struggle with Teen Drinking (2006) is the story of Toren, his mother Chris, and his struggle with alcohol that unfolds after graduation from college. Chris and Toren Volkmann, Edward A. Malloy

Hooked: Talking About Addiction (1995) are stories based on real-life situations to help children understand the different types of addiction. Elaine Landau.

Lost & Found: A Mother and Son Find Victory Over Teen Drug Addiction (2006) tells the story of Christy and her teenage son Ryan who becomes addicted to drugs and is convicted of armed robbery. Christy Crandell, Cindy Cutts.

My Son’s Drug Odyssey (2004) Traese Quiano Gold

Necessary Steps: A Family’s Journey: A Family Struggles with Adolescent Addiction (2004) Jane I. Barsumian

Young, Sober & Free: Experience, Strength, and Hope for Young Adults (2003) presents the real-life stories of young adults who have survived their early years despite addictions to alcohol and other drugs. Shelly Marshall.

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Printed Resources – Tobacco and Teen Addiction

Nicotine Addiction Among Adolescents (2000) presents current theories on adolescent smoking as a public health issue. Eric F. Wagner (Ed.).

For more information on tobacco see the Tobacco section.

Printed Resources – Treatment for Teen Addiction

Adolescent Substance Abuse: Assessment, Prevention, and Treatment (1995) includes theoretical models of drug abuse treatment, contributing biological and genetic factors, social pressures, etc. Oscar Gary Bukstein.

Adolescent Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Guide to Theory and Practice (1994) Yifrah Kaminer.

Adolescent Substance Abuse: An Empirical-Based Group Preventive Health Paradigm(1995) explores the multiple forces that impact adolescents and result in substance abuse. John S. Wodarski, Marvin D. Feit.

Adolescent Substance Abuse: Etiology, Treatment, Prevention (1992) covers treatment of adolescents, causes, issues, and related problems. Provides an etiological background for why adolescents use drugs. Gary Lawson, Ann W. Lawson.

Adolescent Substance Abuse: A Guide to Prevention and Treatment (1983) encourages exploration of teen addiction by presenting articles which lend a new perspective to the field of adolescent substance abuse. Richard Isralowitz, Mark Singer.

Adolescent Substance Abuse Intervention Workbook: Taking a First Step (2000) is intended for teenagers who use drugs and alcohol but for whom the amounts, frequency, and negative consequences are unrecognized. Helps teenagers become aware of the negative consequences of their alcohol and/or drug use. Corresponds to the first step of a twelve step program. Steven L. Jaffe, MD.
Note: also comes with the Staff Manual.

Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment in the United States: Exemplary Models from a National Evaluation Study (2003) is the first ever book published on exemplary models of adolescent drug treatment. Andrew R. Morral (Eds.)

Adolescent Substance Use: Risk and Protection (2003) focuses on the treatment of illicit substance use among young people, including abuse of amphetamines, opiates, depressants, hallucinogens, cocaine and cannabis. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Adolescents, Alcohol, and Substance Abuse: Reaching Teens Through Brief Interventions(2001) contains empirically supported approaches to adolescent substance use problems, particularly motivationally based brief intervention. Peter M. Monti, Suzanne M. Colby, Tracy O’Leary.

Childhood and Chemical Abuse: Prevention and Intervention (1986) provides current prevention and treatment strategies for fighting substance abuse among children and adolescents. Stephanie Griswold-Ezekoye, Karol Linda Kumpfer, William J. Bukoski.

Empowering Families, Helping Adolescents: Familty-Centred Treatment of Adolescents with Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Problems (1996) represents a Federal effort to assist treatment professionals and concerned others to increase their understanding and expertise in dealing with families impacted by addiction. Wendy Snyder, Theodora Ooms, Technical Assistance Publication (TAP) 6, DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 96-3096, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAHMSA).

Helping Chronically Addicted Adolescents: Problems, Perspectives and Strategies for Recovery (1993) Cardwell C Nuckols, A G Porcher, Doug Toft

Innovations in Adolescent Substance Abuse Interventions (2001) is a reference source for state-of-the-art, empirically-based approaches to assessing, preventing, and treating adolescent substance abuse problems. Eric F. Wagner, Holly B. Waldron

Manual of Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Todd Wilk Estroff

Practical Approaches in Treating Adolescent Chemical Dependency: A Guide to Clinical Assessment and Intervention (1989) provides strategies and information for individuals attempting to work with adolescents. Also provides an overview of addiction programs. Paul B. Henry (Ed.)

The Relative Effectiveness of 10 Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Programs (2006) reports results of outcomes studies of 11 adolescent programs that had shown some evidence of effectiveness. Andrew R. Morral, Daniel F. McCaffrey, Greg Ridgeway.

Treating Adolescent Substance Abuse: Understanding the Fundamental Elements (1994) provides an overview of 8 fundamental elements that make an adolescent treatment program successful. Presents a framework for addressing addiction, a list of defined goals and objectives for confronting it. George R. Ross.

Treatment of Adolescents with Substance Use Disorders (1999) aims to help treatment providers design and deliver better services to adolescent clients with addictions. Ken C. Winters, DHHS Publication No. 99-3345, Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) 32, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Treatment Services for Adolescent Substance Abusers (1985) highlights and integrates what is known about adolescent substance abuse and its treatment. Alfred S. Friedman, US Department of Health and Human Services.

Understanding and Treating Adolescent Substance Abuse (1994) integrates the complex elements that impact the initiation, maintenance, and treatment of adolescent substance abuse. Utilizes the Biopsychosocial model. Philip P. Muisener.

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Printed Resources – Twelve Steps and Teen Addiction

The Big Book Unplugged: A Young Person’s Guide to Alcoholics Anonymous by Anonymous (2003) Anonymous

For more information on the Twelve Steps see the 12 Step Support Groups section.


Websites Specific to Teen Addiction

Above the Influence

Drug Free World

Parents: The Anti-Drug

Rehab for Teens: Your Best Options

Online Resources – Dual Diagnosis and Teen Addiction

Blamed and Ashamed: The Treatment Experiences of Youth With Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders and Their Families (October 2000) presents the findings of a two-year project intended to document and summarize the experiences of youths and the families of youths with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse problems.Federation for Families for Children’s Mental Health and Keys for Networking, Inc.

Disclaimer: the materials and information offered on this site are intended for educational purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for needed medical, psychological or psychiatric treatment or counseling. If you have any questions, consult with your health professional before using these materials.

For more information on mental health and addiction see the Dual Diagnosis section.

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Online Resources – Inhalants and Teen Addiction

Tips for Teens: The Truth about Inhalants (2000) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), publication no. PHD631.

Online Resources – Marijuana and Teen Addiction

Tips for Teens: The Truth About Marijuana (2002) provides facts and dispels myths about substance use including short- and long-term effects, physical and psychological risks, impact on sexual performance, and legal implications. Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), Publication PHD641.

For more information on marijuana see the Marijuana section.

Online Resources – Parenting and Teen Addiction

5 Ways Parents Can Help Teens (2003) Buddy T.

Online Resources – Prescription Drug Abuse and Teen Addiction

Mis-Use, Abuse, and Addiction are drug facts for teens.

For more information see the Prescription Drugs section.

Online Resources – Research and Teen Addiction

Relationships Matter: Impact of Parental, Peer Factors on Teen, Young Adult Substance Abuse (August 2003) discusses positive influences such as family bonding and consistent rules and how they reduce the risk of drug addiction among adolescents. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIDA Notes Volume 18, Number 2.

For more information on research see the Addiction Research section.

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We are very pleased with Julian's progress and credit your program as well as to his own commitment. His greater self-awareness, deepening tolerance, and patience has come from a better understanding of himself and is really helping him to move forward constructively.

- Jill, Veterans Affairs Canada Case Worker

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