Activity 3: Prevention for youth with concurrent disorders

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Topic Progress:


As we have learned in previous lessons, youth have a heightened risk for substance use disorders when they have a concurrent mental health disorder. The relatively new paper associated with this activity—Salvo et al. (2012)—was commissioned by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care through the Canadian Institutes for Health Research Evidence on Tap program.

Unfortunately, the study concludes that very little is known about how to prevent substance use disorders in youth who have a mental disorder. In part, this lack of knowledge may be due to fact that substance use research studies frequently systematically exclude youth with mental disorders from their studies. Obviously, research in this area is critical.


  1. Read: Salvo, N., Bennett, K., Cheung, A., Chen, Y., Rice, M., Rush, B., Bullock, H., Bowlby, A., & the Evidence on Tap Concurrent Disorders Collaborative Team. (2012). Prevention of substance use in children/adolescents with mental disorders: A systematic review. Journal of Canadian Academy Child Adolescence Psychiatry, 21(4) 245–252. (available through TRU Library)
  2. Consider what you know about risk and protective factors and substance use disorder prevention programs. What if anything do you think could be considered when planning for prevention programs for youth with concurrent disorders?
  3. Currently, British Columbia is in the early stages of developing programming for youth with concurrent disorders. In your province or community, which sectors would be important to include in the planning for youth concurrent prevention programs?