Since 1960, the burden of adolescent illness has shifted from the traditional causes of disease to the more behavior-related problems, such as drinking, smoking and drug abuse (nearly half of American adolescents have used an illicit drug sometime during their life). Instilling in adolescents the knowledge, skills, and values that foster physical and mental health will require substantial changes in the way health professionals work and the way they connect with families, schools, and community organizations. At the same time, the major textbooks on addiction medicine and addiction psychiatry devote relatively little attention to the special problems of diagnosing and treating adolescent addicts. Similarly, the major textbooks on general and child and adolescent psychiatry direct relatively little attention to the issues surrounding adolescent addiction. The Clinical Handbook of Adolescent Addiction is one response to the challenge of meeting the mental health needs and behavior-related problems of addicted teenagers. The work has been edited as an independent project by members of the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry, the oldest professional organization of psychiatrists devoted solely to the mental health care and treatment of teenagers in the USA. The forensic psychiatry perspective permeates the entire book. It will help to produce health providers with a deep and sensitive understanding of the developmental needs and behavior-related problems of adolescents. The Clinical Handbook of Adolescent Addiction is a practical tool for all those who help adolescents: practitioners of family medicine, general psychiatrists, child/adolescent psychiatrists, adolescent psychiatrists, addiction psychiatrists, non-psychiatric physicians specializing in addiction medicine, forensic psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, mental health administrators, Court/Probation/ Parole/Correctional health workers. The book is organized in a user-friendly format so that readers can easily locate the chapters that provide the information that is required. In some instances, topics of special importance deliberately have been addressed in more than one chapter, to illuminate the topics from a variety of vantage points. One aim of the editors is to move the topic from being a specialist area to a generalist one by providing tools for generalist to use.
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