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Child & Teen Health

Pediatricians should ask teens about drug, alcohol use at every visit

November 1, 2011
  • By Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

About the Author

photo of Patrick J. Skerrett

Patrick J. Skerrett, Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

Pat Skerrett is the editor of STAT's First Opinion and host of the First Opinion podcast. He is the former editor of the Harvard Health blog and former Executive Editor of Harvard Health Publishing. Before that, he was editor of … See Full Bio
View all posts by Patrick J. Skerrett


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Sara Snow
February 13, 2012

Letting your child know that their conversation with their physician is confidential and ensuring they truly understand and believe that is a critical step towards increasing the odds they’ll feel comfortable sharing substance use/abuse issues or answering questions on the matter.

I recently published an article on dealing with teenage alcoholism that’s applicable to most any minor age bracket. Look for the signs, understand how to formulate an approach that won’t have an adverse reaction, and weigh all available treatment options.

baby cots
January 26, 2012

I totally agree.

Beating Addiction
January 13, 2012

Great,awesome and very informative.I have liked the way you have explained in details.Thanks.

Heather Smith
January 3, 2012

Informative post, CRAFFT Questionnaire is a good guidelines for doctors or any medical practitioners in asking teens about drugs and alcohol use.Thanks again for posting.

January 1, 2012

This good information.
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EP Registered Nurse
December 11, 2011

Good post. Very informative indeed.

November 29, 2011

Great post! As a nurse and aunt to several teenagers, I appreciate this a bunch!

– Anna, RN and Bloggger

November 4, 2011

Teenagers should always be reminded about the right perspectives on alcohol and drug use. Constant education to teenagers at home, in school, in hospitals or in any other place should be pushed through.
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November 2, 2011

Yes this is necessary for the health of youngsters because now a days lots of teenagers take alcohol, smoking and many kinds of drugs. It all are bad for their health so its doctor’s duty that aware to teens from these bad habits.

November 2, 2011

You made some clear points there. I did a search on the subject matter and found most people will agree with your blog. The conversation should also be confidential. “Once a child reaches adolescence, a parent should expect, even encourage, the pediatrician to have a private, one-on-one conversation with the teen. You wrote about many interesting points in this post. I really enjoyed this. It is great tips and helpful guideline for use. Thanks for sharing.
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