The United States Preventive Services published its final recommendation statement on primary care interventions to prevent or reduce illicit drug and nonmedical pharmaceutical use in children and adolescents in Annals of Internal Medicine.
The USPSTF conducted a systematic review of published evidence on interventions to help children and adolescents who have never used drugs to remain abstinent and interventions to help children and adolescents who are using drugs but do not meet the criteria for a substance use disorder to reduce or stop their use.
The Task Force concluded that there is not enough evidence to determine what primary care professionals can do to prevent or reduce drug use in children and adolescents under the age of 18.
Nearly one in 10 American adolescents use illegal drugs or prescription or over-the-counter drugs for nonmedical purposes, which can have serious health, educational, and social consequences.
An estimated 150,000 emergency room visits in 2011 were attributed to illicit or nonmedical pharmaceutical drug use among adolescents.
This recommendation does not apply to children or adolescents who have already been diagnosed with substance use disorder.
Before finalizing this recommendation, the Task Force posted a draft version for public comment in October 2013.