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Adolescent Substance Use Disorder

Adolescent Substance Use Disorder, ASUD, defined as problematic and persistent substance use among adolescents aged 12 to 17, poses a severe physical and mental health hazard. It impairs their cognitive development and prevents them from learning critical social skills. Furthermore, ASUD harms their overall health, affects academic performance, and lowers their overall quality of life. This stresses the seriousness of the health issue and the urgent need for appropriate interventions and assistance for adolescents afflicted by ASUD.

Awareness of Bias and Confounding

According to (Brookhart, M et al.2013), treating Adolescent Substance Use Disorder patients requires knowledge of epidemiologic bias and confounding. Systematic study design, conduct, or analysis flaws can lead to false conclusions. Confounding occurs when a variable (e.g., socioeconomic status) related to both an exposure (e.g., substance use) and an outcome (e.g., unfavorable health impacts) distorts the association.

Effects of Bias and Confounding on Treatment

Bias and confounding can misinterpret study results on Adolescent Substance Use Disorder treatment. Biased or confounded research may overestimate or understate intervention effectiveness, leading to erroneous treatment recommendations, as mentioned (Skelly, A, 2012). For instance, if ASUD intervention studies only include affluent teenagers, the findings may not apply to a more varied community.

Strategies To Minimize Bias and Confounding

Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) help reduce confounding and selection bias by randomly assigning participants to treatment and control groups. This design ensures a balanced distribution of potential confounders, increasing the validity of reported treatment effects (Pack, A, 2020).

Confounder Adjustment by measuring and correcting for relevant variables in the analysis. Multivariable regression, for example, can compensate for potential confounders, allowing for a more accurate prediction of treatment effects.

Measurement Error and Addressing Practice Gaps

When interpreting study results on Adolescent Substance Use Disorder, measurement mistakes in epidemiologic literature can have significant ramifications. According to (Dyal, S, 2015), self-reported substance use data, for instance, is susceptible to mistakes that might either overestimate or underestimate the prevalence or severity of ASUD among teenagers. To thoroughly comprehend the results, it is essential to recognize and consider these measurement inaccuracies when evaluating the literature.

Strategies to Recognize Measurement Errors

Assess the validity and reliability of the measurement techniques employed in the research to assess substance use among teenagers. (Siste, K, 2021) Look for information on the instruments’ validity (if the tool measures what it claims to measure) and reliability (consistency of outcomes).

External validation: Whenever possible, seek external validation of self-reported substance use data. Compare self-reported data with objective measures such as biological tests or collateral reports from parents, teachers, or healthcare providers, for instance, to determine the level of agreement or discrepancy.

Implications of Strategies in Addressing ASUD

Researchers can design studies that provide more accurate and reliable data on Adolescent Substance Abuse Disorder by detecting measurement mistakes and using valid and reliable measuring instruments. (Geramian, N, 2014) This contributes to a better knowledge of the prevalence, risk factors, and effects of ASUD in adolescents.

Regarding (Sutton, J, 2015), being aware of measurement errors helps determine where existing interventions may fall short. By fixing measurement problems and making data collection more accurate, researchers can develop more effective and focused ways to help teens with ASUD. This can help close the practice gap by giving evidence-based ways to avoid, find, and treat the disease early on.

In conclusion, a comprehensive approach to addressing Adolescent Substance Use Disorder (ASUD) requires acknowledging and addressing bias, confounding, and measurement errors. Strategies like randomized controlled trials, adjusting for confounders, and recognizing measurement errors contribute to a better understanding of ASUD, more effective interventions, and improved outcomes for affected adolescents.


Das, J. K., Salam, R. A., Arshad, A., Finkelstein, Y., & Bhutta, Z. A. (2019). Interventions for Adolescent Substance Abuse: An Overview of Systematic Reviews. Journal of Adolescent Health59(4), S61–S75.

Lewis, Jordan. 2020. “What Can a Recovery Model for Alaska Natives Teach Us about Substance Use and Older Adults?” Generations Journal 44 (4): 1.

Geramian, N., Gharaat, L., Taheri, S. A., Mohebpour, F., Nahvizadeh, M., Farajzadegan, Z., & Heidari, K. (2014). Developing a Questionnaire to Assess Drug Abuse among High School Students of Isfahan Province, Iran: An Action Research. International Journal of Preventive Medicine5(Suppl 2), S146-53. Retrieved from

Ulysses Magalang, MD | Ohio State College of Medicine. https://

Skelly, A., Dettori, J., & Brodt, E. (2012). Assessing bias: the importance of considering confounding. Evidence-Based Spine-Care Journal3(1), 9–12. Retrieved from

Sutton, J., & Austin, Z. (2015). Qualitative Research: Data Collection, Analysis, and Management. The Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy68(3), 226–231. NCBI.

Frequently Asked Questions | EdInstruments.


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