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Youth with Substance Use Disorders: Prevention, Risky Behaviors, and Treatment


Presented by Amy M. Yule, MD

Director of Adolescent Addiction Psychiatry, Boston Medical Center; Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine


Location: Virtually on Zoom

Childhood onset psychiatric disorders increase the risk for developing a later substance use disorder (SUD). Systematic screening for substance use among children and adolescents with a psychiatric disorder is crucial, and pharmacological treatment for psychiatric disorders may mitigate the development of a SUD. Prevention is important since SUDs are associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Once a SUD has developed in a youth with a psychiatric disorder both disorders need to be considered when developing a treatment plan. For example, psychiatric risk factors associated with drug overdose will be reviewed. Lastly, medication treatment for youth with co-occurring psychiatric and SUDs, including bipolar disorder will also be discussed.

Target Audience

Physicians (psychiatrists, pediatricians, child neurologists), psychologists, social workers, other mental health clinicians and researchers, and students and trainees.  

  1. Participants will be able to describe the existing literature on the effect of pharmacological treatment for psychiatric disorders during childhood on later risk for developing a substance use disorder.
  2. Participants will be able to identify risk factors associated with overdose in youth with substance use disorders.
  3. Participants will be able to describe the existing evidence for pharmacologic treatment of youth with co-occurring substance use disorders and bipolar disorder

Continuing Education (CE/CEU) Information


The Harvard Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The institution designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 


The Children's Hospital Boston Psychology Division is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. This institution maintains responsibility for this program and its content. 


The National Association of Social Workers has approved this series for continuing education credits for social workers.