Treatment of adolescent substance use disorders and co-occurring internalizing disorders: A critical review and proposed model

Leslie A. Hulvershorn, Patrick D. Quinn, Eric L. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Background: The past several decades have seen dramatic growth in empirically supported treatments for adolescent substance use disorders (SUDs), yet even the most well-established approaches struggle to produce large or long-lasting improvements. These difficulties may stem, in part, from the high rates of comorbidity between SUDs and other psychiatric disorders. Method: We critically reviewed the treatment outcome literature for adolescents with co-occurring SUDs and internalizing disorders. Results: Our review identified components of existing treatments that might be included in an integrated, evidence-based approach to the treatment of SUDs and internalizing disorders. An effective program may involve careful assessment, inclusion of parents or guardians, and tailoring of interventions via a modular strategy. Conclusions: The existing literature guides the development of a conceptual evidence-based, modular treatment model targeting adolescents with co-occurring internalizing and SUDs. With empirical study, such a model may better address treatment outcomes for both disorder types in adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Drug Abuse Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2015



  • Adolescent
  • Co-occurring psychiatric disorders
  • Evidence-based treatments
  • Substance use disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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