Assessing your child

Accurate assessments are an important first step in diagnosing substance use disorders as well as any psychiatric conditions.

Assessment of your child – some important facts to know: 

  1. Adolescents develop states of addiction much faster than an adult.
  2. Adolescents turn to alcohol or drugs because of peer pressure to conform to the norms of the group, bullying, etc. while adults develop addictions because of problems in the family relationship, loss of employment, etc.
  3. Emotions which are normal at one age can be abnormal in another.
  4. The incidence rate of concurrent mental illness is much higher in adolescents than in adults.
  5. Gender differences increase dramatically through the adolescent age span.
  6. Screening tools are often used and called assessment instruments.   A comprehensive assessment instrument should be tailored to the needs of adolescents (including histories in personal/social relationships, legal, psychiatric, medical, spiritual, and educational) and provide an introductory treatment plan.  

Compiled with the assistance of Glenn Barnes, MHA, LL B, Consultant, and former President & CEO, Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centres in the city of Ottawa.