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ERIC Number: EJ1196566
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0164-775X
Integrated Mental Health and Substance Use Interventions in Secondary Schools
Fisher, Sycarah D.; Malone, Celeste; Sheehan, Chelsea
Communique, v45 n2 p24-26 Oct 2016
Adolescent drug abuse is a national concern with 22% to 35% of high school age individuals having used tobacco, alcohol, or marijuana (Kann et al., 2014). Additionally, approximately 5% of adolescents develop a substance use disorder each year (SAMHSA, 2014). However, only one in ten adolescents of the 1.3 million youth who need treatment will receive it (SAMHSA, 2013). The treatment gap widens for those with comorbid mental health and substance use problems (Merikangas et al., 2011). Issues related to treatment access, including insurance coverage and transportation to treatment, are just a few contributors to these disparities. Furthermore, many youth receiving community-based treatment are mandated to do so by the juvenile justice system; treatment options are limited for the estimated 10% to 15% of high school students who regularly use drugs or alcohol, but are not involved with the juvenile justice system. Schools are promising locations to provide evidence-based drug abuse interventions, as 70% of children who receive any type of mental health service receive them in schools (Greenberg et al., 2003). With consideration of the factors adversely affecting access to treatment, it is important for schools to consider providing integrated mental health and substance use treatment services in schools. Mental health issues and substance use not only impair academic functioning, but also lead to poor life outcomes such as involvement in the juvenile justice system, school dropout, and death. The shift from providing services through a medical "wait-to-fail" model to a model that allows for response to intervention offers an opportunity to provide preventive mental health and substance use services as well as selective and indicated treatment to youth who most likely would not receive community treatment. This article presents the reality of adolescent drug use and introduces integrated treatment methods and a multitiered system of supports model for substance abuse prevention and intervention. It also addresses the barriers of implementation the supports.
National Association of School Psychologists. 4340 East West Highway Suite 402, Bethesda, MD 20814. Tel: 301-657-0270; Fax: 301-657-0275; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A