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National leadership in childhood and adolescent substance use disorders

The Adolescent Substance Use & Addiction Program (ASAP) at Boston Children’s Hospital provides national leadership in the evaluation and treatment of substance use problems and disorders in children and adolescents. 

As part of the Division of Addiction Medicine, ASAP is staffed by pediatricians, licensed independent social workers, and psychiatrists specially trained in addiction medicine. Our clinicians are uniquely qualified to evaluate and support adolescents and their families with a full range of substance use problems and disorders, from teens who have just begun using substances to those struggling with addiction.

Adolescence is a time of uncertainty, when young people are establishing their independence and discovering their place in the world. The developmental changes that mark adolescence make teens uniquely susceptible to substance use disorders, vaping, and associated problems. 

Treatment for adolescent substance use requires a distinctive approach that recognizes and respects the special vulnerabilities of this period of life. ASAP’s approach to substance use is built around our understanding of this important transitional period.

Substance use and addiction services for children and teens

ASAP is committed to reducing and preventing substance use disorders and related behaviors in children and adolescents. Our clinical program strives to create the right treatment plan for each patient and family. 

Our clinical services include:

  • comprehensive evaluation
  • individual counseling
  • group therapy
  • medication-supported recovery for opioid and alcohol dependence
  • drug testing as part of a treatment program (ASAP does not provide one-time drug tests for children or teens outside of the program)
  • psychopharmacology for dually diagnosed adolescents
  • parent guidance
  • case management
  • medical consult and follow-up for families who would like a substance use expert to join an existing mental health support team

Treatment plans typically include a combination of these clinical services. After a comprehensive evaluation and diagnostic assessment, your provider will discuss treatment options with you and your family.