information that is essential for improving treatment strategies (Kaminer and Bukstein, 1989).
It is crucial to the success of adolescent treatment that referral to service is coordinated within communities. Strategies that increase coordination among institutions in the community including schools, workplaces that employ teenagers, law enforcement, courts, faith-based institutions, and public and private treatment providers that may refer teens to treatment should be developed, disseminated, and evaluated. Training should be provided for key individuals all of these institutions about indicators of risk and procedures for referral.
Recommendation 10-5: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and states should expand the availability of effective clinical services for treating alcohol abuse among underage populations and for following up on treatment. The U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Justice should establish policies that facilitate diagnosing and referring underage alcohol abusers and those who are alcohol dependent for clinical treatment.
Adolescents often enter alcohol treatment through the criminal justice system. The Department of Justice should facilitate the development of a coordinated approach that encourages the use of effective approaches for dealing with adjudicated youth. In addition, these approaches should also be designed in a manner that will allow them to address alcohol use when it occurs in conjunction with other drug use. The criminal justice system should establish policies that ensure that referral to alcohol treatment is appropriate and accomplished systematically.
Schools do not yet systematically identify and refer students in need of diagnosis and treatment for alcohol problems. State agencies should encourage schools, health care providers, and other professionals to access state-of-the-art resources to help them identify youth who may need help and make referrals to appropriate agencies for diagnosis and treatment. In addition, policies and programs should support screening and referral that matches the needs of adolescent alcohol abusers with appropriate treatment options.