There are countless websites that contain information about teen substance use, but it is difficult to know which online resources are most appropriate and trustworthy. This website is designed to help parents, teens, and professionals find accurate and reliable information related to teen substance use prevention, education, treatment, and recovery. Our team of experts created a searchable database that can be used to access online resources that fit each individual's unique need. This website is accessible through computers as well as on smart phones and other hand-held devices.
This website contains resources for parents, teens, professionals, and community members. Resources that are helpful for parents provide information about how to talk to a child about drugs, how to support a child in need of help, and may also include facts and statistics related to teen substance use and the effects of particular drugs. Websites directed at teens contain youth-friendly content that is engaging, accurate and easy to read. In addition to reliable information about drugs and their effects, these resources provide online activities that are interactive and educational. Websites that will be useful to professionals and community members contain materials that are designed to assist with educating teens, supporting community substance use prevention and education programs, and intervening to provide help for an adolescent with a substance use problem.
This repository of selected resources reflects best practices in teen substance use, provides accurate information and advice, and offers free access to useful teaching and learning tools. Within the entry for each resource, you will find specific information about the website, as well as standardized information about the intended audience and the type of content covered (prevention, education, treatment, recovery).
"Prevention" resources focus on activities designed to help teens avoid substance use, and include materials related to education, public awareness, and early intervention. Websites pertaining to "treatment" will be useful for those who are concerned that they or someone they know is experiencing problems related to substance use, and would like more information on treatment options and referral. "Recovery" resources address the process through which individuals who have used or abused substances build a healthy life that does not include substance use.
Each entry indicates what kind of resources are available on the particular website, such as downloadable documents, online activities, and online assessments. "Downloadable resources" include a wide range of materials, from informational pamphlets to lesson plans and activities, which can be downloaded for free by individuals wanting more in-depth reading and those planning an educational session. "Online activities" are most abundant on websites aimed at teens, providing an interactive and fun way for teens to build their knowledge and skills. "Online assessments" refer to tools that allow individuals to screen themselves in order to find out whether they have a substance use problem, and are a good way to obtain immediate feedback and advice about a situation before consulting a professional. Many websites also provide telephone hotlines and assistance finding treatment services so that individuals can take the next step in seeking help if necessary.
In developing this website, our researchers conducted a comprehensive search for online resources pertaining to teen substance use, including informational sites, online treatment tools, and mobile apps. To identify possible resources, researchers used Google and Yahoo to search for combinations of terms, including: web-based, interactive, online, drug treatment, recovery, alcohol, substance use, substance abuse, teen, teenager, youth, adolescent, self guide, prevention, education, smoking, tobacco, inhalant, drinking, sms text, addiction, mobile, intervention. In addition, specific sites were reviewed (NREPP, HCI Bibliography) and databases searched (PubMed, Lexis Nexus, Health Games Research, Center on Media and Child Health, National Academy of Medicine's Grey Literature report).
The research was directed by Mathea Falco, President of Drug Strategies, and Dr. Lisa Marsch, Director of the Dartmouth Center for Technology and Behavioral Health. The research team reviewed the content of each website, determining which resources were most appropriate and relevant.
Between March-July, 2013, we reviewed a total of 86 websites and 12 apps. Of this group, we retained 43 websites and 4 apps. Duplicate websites, dead links and websites that had not been updated in two years were eliminated. Sites that required a registration fee or were created primarily to sell services or other products were not included, nor were mobile apps that required purchase. We also eliminated resources that did not pertain to teen substance use, or were limited to a specific geographic area. In addition, websites that did not appear to the research team to reflect the current state of knowledge about effective substance use education, prevention, treatment and recovery, or were of unknown origin, were omitted.
Although every attempt was made to be comprehensive in our search, we may have missed some relevant websites. Creators of websites not on our list may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request review and addition to this centralized resource.