2020 PrairieCare Education Series

Thursday, February 13th• 9am to 12pm

“Adolescent Substance Use and Harm Reduction“

Sara Polley, MD

Description: Adolescent substance use is a growing concern in communities and among mental health professionals. We know that young people who start using substances before the age of 18 are at an increased risk of developing lifelong addiction when compared to their peers. In order to help teens make healthy decisions about use of substances, it is important to understand the risks associated with use as it relates to brain development, underlying mental health concerns, and physical health.  Time will be spent discussing trends in substance use among young people, with extra attention paid to cannabis and alcohol use. We will discuss how substances of abuse impact the teenage brain and why adolescence is considered a critical period for development of addictive disorders. In addition to reviewing diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders, we will discuss how principles taken from harm reduction can be applied to this treatment population to encourage young people to make healthier choices and minimize risk.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand trends in adolescent substance use with a focus on cannabis and alcohol
  • Learn about the impact of substances on the developing brain
  • Review how clinicians diagnose substance use disorders
  • Gain a basic understanding of the principles of harm reduction

Thank you for attending February’s PrairieCare Education Series!

Contact the Education Team with questions or concerns: education@prairie-care.com • 612.274.7428


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