The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry applauds the 23.2 percent decline in drug use by young people reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), but calls for more research and education on the impact of youth drug abuse.
For Immediate Release
Washington, D.C., December 21, 2006 - "This illustrates that education is driving prevention," says Thomas F. Anders, M.D., President of AACAP. "Continued collaboration among parents, teachers, physicians, and mental health professionals is essential to show youth the long-term consequences of using drugs."
The AACAP emphasizes the need for the identification and treatment of mental illnesses that often are present in youth who use drugs and/or alcohol. "Many children and adolescents with ADHD or depression have co-occurring substance abuse disorder," says Dr. Anders. "We cannot treat one problem and ignore the other."
The study also showed the high incidence of youth who use prescription opioids like cough syrup. The AACAP advocates that physicians and health care providers be trained to identify youth who use all substances, including those obtained over-the-counter.
The shortage of mental health professionals, including child and adolescent psychiatrists and inequitable health care availability for substance abuse and mental illness create barriers to treatment. The AACAP supports legislation to increase the children's mental health workforce and to provide equitable healthcare for youth with substance abuse and mental illnesses.
The AACAP has partnered with NIDA since 1997 to increase the knowledge-base on substance abuse. The AACAP-NIDA K12 Physician Scientist Program in Substance Abuse has provided funding for selected child and adolescent psychiatrists to become substance abuse researchers.
For more information on teen substance abuse, see AACAP's Facts for Families.
The Monitoring the Future Study survey of 8th, 10th, and 12th graders shows an illicit drug use decline by 23.2 percent over a five-year period. It also showed that youth prescription drug, and over-the-counter medicine abuse remains high.
Representing over 7,500 child and adolescent psychiatrists nationwide, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is the leading authority on children’s mental health. AACAP members actively research, diagnose, and treat psychiatric disorders affecting children, adolescents, and their families.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is the leading authority on children’s mental health. AACAP members actively research, diagnose, and treat psychiatric disorders affecting children, adolescents, and their families.
Our Facts for Families, available free of charge on the AACAP website, provide concise and up-to-date information on a wide array of issues relating to children’s mental health. Written in a simple, straightforward manner, these 88 one-page fact sheets are valuable to anyone raising or working with children. In addition, the AACAP routinely refers the media to expert spokespeople on child and adolescent issues, and sponsors The Campaign for America’s Kids – an initiative designed to fund an Advocacy Institute for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, with the goal of mental health for all children.
AACAP Mission: The Mission of the AACAP is the promotion of mentally healthy children, adolescents and families through research, training, advocacy, prevention, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment, peer support and collaboration.