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Youth Substance Use Disorder Programs


New users of alcohol start between ages 18 and 25. Most substance use disorders (SUD) begin before age 25. Studies show that for adolescents (ages 12-17) and young adults (ages 18-25), frequent marijuana use is associated with opioid misuse, heavy alcohol use, and depression. For many reasons, families can pass SUD down through generations.

The Oregon Health Authority is working to end this cycle. To promote prevention, best practices and cross-system collaboration throughout Oregon’s SUD treatment system, OHA works with a variety of partners, programs and systems. Providers must deliver developmentally focused, age-appropriate services using the Continuum of Care model (Institute of Medicine 2009):

  • Ensuring good family communication and other protective factors for resisting later drug use
  • Supporting self-esteem and teaching decision-making skills

  • Universal –​ Drug education with school-age children and youth; addressing trauma, which can heighten risk of later drug use. 
  • Selective – Drug education used to prevent specific drug abuse such as opioids. 
  • Indicated – Drug education in a treatment program specific to drugs which have been abused

Access to treatment and treatment modalities which support family involvement; matching a treatment facility with developmental needs.

  • Adolescents are most appropriately treated with their peers and not with adults.
  • Children under age 12 often need an individualized treatment plan. They should not be treated with older adolescents 13 to 17 years old.

Residential treatment facilities in Oregon:

The Oregon Youth Authority also provides substance use treatment within its facilities.

Support after treatment. This support teaches how to:

  • Live clean and sober and 
  • Have positive experiences which reinforce this knowledge.



Youth and Young Adult SUD Treatment and Recovery Report 2023 - English
Youth and Young Adult SUD Treatment, and Recovery Report, August 2023 - Spanish


Page Info

Bernardino De La Torre ​
Substance Use Disorder Youth Program Coordinator