| Mar 13, 2014
On March 10th, the Task Force published a final recommendation statement on primary care behavioral interventions to reduce illicit drug and nonmedical pharmaceutical use in children and adolescents. The statement claims that "the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of primary care–based behavioral interventions." To support the recommendations, the Task Force also posted an evidence report which summarizes the studies the Task Force reviewed. Along with the final recommendation statement and evidence report, the Task Force also released a fact sheet that explains the final recommendation in plain language.
ASAM submitted comments which expressed concerns about unintended consequences that may result from the Task Force’s recommendations. ASAM is concerned that the recommendation may dissuade willing primary care providers from screening for substance use disorders since there is “insufficient” data to support the benefits of brief intervention, which could include referral to treatment. For most children and teenagers, their only health care intervention may be an annual visit with their pediatrician or other primary care provider. A simple, one-question query about their use of licit or illicit substances can have its own positive effects on a patient’s self-awareness and the relation of health to their substance use.