Substance Use in Adolescents and Transitional Age Youth: Justice Involvement and Homelessness
Unaccompanied homeless youth and young adults (YYA) present unique clinical and engagement challenges due to the factors that contributed to their homelessness, their lack of family support, and their many, unmet basic needs. Justice-involved youth face the unique challenge of transitioning from correctional facility to community while also transitioning from adolescence to adulthood. They are deprived of meaningful opportunities for education, future employment, and civic engagement, which are essential milestones to a successful transition to adulthood. In this session, we will discuss the epidemiology of YYA homelessness compounded by high rates of substance use and profound mental health needs and will offer a low-barrier model of care. We will also discuss ongoing disparate health outcomes for justice-involved youth and the ways in which practitioners can medically intervene, advocate, and ensure a successful adult life trajectory.
Presenters: (Bios available at https://amersa.org/resources/
- Aura M. Obando, MD
- Tamara Itzel Martinez, MD
The Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network (ATTC) is partnering with NORC, at the University of Chicago and the Association for Multidisciplinary Education and Research in Substance use and Addiction (AMERSA) to bring a series of virtual events examining special topics for working with adolescents and transitional age youth that relate to substance use and mental health conditions. The teen and young adult years are an important time for early intervention into substance use and mental health. There are many evidence-based practices and promising interventions that can be used effectively.