Adolescent Substance Abuse Program
From experimentation to addiction, we offer specialized support and treatment
"Involved parents are the first line of defense against substance abuse.“ –Sharon Levy, MD, MPH, director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) at Boston Children's Hospital
Who we are
The Adolescent Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) at Boston Children's Hospital provides national leadership in the identification, diagnosis and treatment of substance use and disorders in children and adolescents. ASAP is part of the Division of Developmental Medicine, and is staffed by developmental-behavioral trained pediatricians, licensed independent social workers and psychiatrists. ASAP clinicians are uniquely qualified to evaluate and support adolescents with a full range of substance use problems and disorders – from teens who have just begun using substances to those struggling with addiction.
Services we offer
- Comprehensive evaluation
- Individual counseling
- Group therapy: 3 separate tracks each with young adult and parent components
- Medication supported recovery for opioid and alcohol dependence
- Drug testing
- 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
A team approach to care
Regardless of the extent of your child’s substance use, we have experts who can help, from advice on how to manage a young adolescent who has begun experimenting with substances, to treatment for adolescents with addiction and everything in between. We can also connect you to a network of parents who are dealing with similar issues, and support you and your child in managing medical, school and legal problems associated with substance use.
To maintain confidentiality and build trust, adolescents and parents are assigned to different clinicians who work together to engage and support the entire family. Our team-based approach ensures that everyone who takes care of your child and family will understand the specific issues and challenges you face and give consistent advice. The multi-disciplinary approach is reflected in the treatment plan, which could include input from experts in pediatrics, child development, education, psychiatry and counseling.
Treatment for Opioid dependence
We have developed an entire program to support adolescents with opioid dependence and their families. Our program includes:
- Access to opioid replacement therapy or opioid blockers
- Parallel group therapy tracks for young adults and parents
- Specialized individual counseling.
Data from ASAP show that 67% of patients who stick with the program are opioid-free six to nine months after beginning the program and 26% are free from all substances.