Primary Care Behavioral Interventions to Reduce Illicit Drug and Nonmedical Pharmaceutical Use in Children and Adolescents: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation Statement

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Virginia A. Moyer, MD, MPH, on behalf of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force*
 2014 May 6;160(9):634-9. doi: 10.7326/M14-0334
Description: Update of the 2008 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation on screening for illicit drug use.

Methods: The USPSTF reviewed the evidence on interventions to help adolescents who have never used drugs to remain abstinent and interventions to help adolescents who are using drugs but do not meet criteria for a substance use disorder to reduce or stop their use.

Population: This recommendation applies to children and adolescents younger than age 18 years who have not been diagnosed with a substance use disorder.

Recommendation: The USPSTF concludes that the current evidence is insufficient to assess the balance of benefits and harms of primary care–based behavioral interventions to prevent or reduce illicit drug or nonmedical pharmaceutical use in children and adolescents. (I statement)

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) makes recommendations about the effectiveness of specific preventive care services for patients without related signs or symptoms.

It bases its recommendations on the evidence of both the benefits and harms of the service and an assessment of the balance. The USPSTF does not consider the costs of providing a service in this assessment.

The USPSTF recognizes that clinical decisions involve more considerations than evidence alone. Clinicians should understand the evidence but individualize decision making to the specific patient or situation. Similarly, the USPSTF notes that policy and coverage decisions involve considerations in addition to the evidence of clinical benefits and harms.