NASADAD Releases a State Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Practice Guide

The National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, Inc. (NASADAD) “…purpose is to foster and support the development of effective alcohol and other drug abuse prevention and treatment programs throughout every State.” NASADAD has recently achieved this purpose by the development of the State Adolescent Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery Practice Guide (see link below).

Developed in collaboration with State Youth Coordinators and other experts in adolescent substance use disorder treatment, the Practice Guide provides comprehensive information about overarching principles, service elements, and administrative considerations for adolescent substance use disorders (SUDs) treatment. Examples of topics include:

  • Developmental Appropriate Care
  • Culturally and Gender Competent Care
  • Systems Collaboration Among Youth-Serving Agencies
  • Screening, Assessment, and Planning
  • Medication-Assisted Withdrawal
  • Treatment Services
  • Designated Authority
  • Governance: Maintenance of Records and Documentation Requirements
  • Monitoring and Quality Improvements

The Practice Guide offers States with “draft guidance language that could be used in regulations, contracts, and guidelines to enhance the treatment and recovery system for adolescents with SUDs” (page 2).  While it was developed for States, it is aligned with Reclaiming Futures (RF) second goal of “Better Treatment” for youth and families and could be utilized as such.

Here are a few suggestions on how it might be useful for RF sites and other jurisdictions engaged in similar focused reform efforts:

  • Share a copy with your States Single State Agency (SSA) (see link below for the state contact information). Let them know that you have read the guidelines and are interested in sharing the commonalities between the RF approach and model and the Practice Guide.
  • Share a copy with your Fellows. Ask the Treatment Fellow if she/he knows how treatment agencies in the area are aligning with these guidelines. What are the strengths and where are the gaps?
  • Suggest to other Fellows to share with other Judges, judicial personnel, and community members (including family members) and ask how these might benefit juvenile justice and the community.
  • As a Leadership Team select one overarching principle, service element, or administrative consideration that you think could be improved and develop an action plan based on this guidance.
  • Similarly, select one overarching principle, service element or administrative consideration that you think your site does well and make sure you have data showing these successes.

Leave us a comment on other ways you think the NASADAD Practice Guide might be useful to your communities.

Link to NASADAD Practice Guide:

Directory of Single State Agencies:

Updated: March 21 2018