The Adolescent Substance Use & Addiction Program (ASAP) at Boston Children’s Hospital provides national leadership in the identification, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use problems 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, and their families.
Adolescence is a time of uncertainty, when young people are establishing their independence and discovering their place in the world. Because of the particular challenges posed by the cognitive and developmental changes that mark adolescence, treatment for adolescent substance use requires a distinctive approach that recognizes and respects adolescents’ desire for independence while understanding the special vulnerabilities of this period of life. ASAP’s approach to substance use is built around our understanding of this important and transitional period in life.
By focusing on a combination of clinical services, research, training, and policy work, ASAP is committed to reducing and preventing substance use disorders and related behaviors in children and adolescents.