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Book Review   |    
Lisa R. Fortuna
Psychiatric Services 2009; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.60.1.128
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by Yifrah Kaminer and Oscar G. Bukstein; New York, Routledge, 2008, 501 pages, $59.95

Dr. Fortuna is professor of psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester.

The book Adolescent Substance Abuse by Yifrah Kaminer and Oscar G. Bukstein is a must-have for anyone interested in the most up-to-date knowledge in adolescent substance abuse. Both authors of this text have their main interest and expertise in clinical research, particularly in the assessment and treatment of adolescents with comorbid substance use disorders and psychiatric disorders and other high-risk behaviors. Based on their many years of experience in treatment research on adolescent substance use problems, they have written this highly informative book.

This is likely one of the most comprehensive texts to cover the knowledge base on adolescent dual diagnosis. This book has brought all the critical pieces together, providing an overall picture of the most important comorbid diagnoses associated with adolescent substance abuse. The book is organized into several sections and starts with etiology, course, assessment, and treatment interventions. The middle section addresses the specific comorbid psychiatric disorders (depression, bipolar disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, posttraumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and eating disorders) as well as other high-risk behaviors (gambling and suicidal or nonsuicidal self-harm behaviors). Finally, the last section talks about the integration of services for adolescent substance use disorders and mental health problems, as well as ethical, legal, and policy issues in the treatment of dual diagnoses among adolescents.

Adolescence is the developmental period during which experimental use of substances is considered normative in today's society. However, substance use puts millions of adolescents at risk, and for some it results in impairment in daily functioning while interfering with the achievement of developmental tasks. This book gives the reader A-to-Z information, from statistics to interventions. Several chapters include tables, graphs, figures, and flowcharts that clearly display the data and enable the reader to understand the material easily and clearly. The language used in this book is understandable without any extensive knowledge of technical terminology. This book can therefore be read by a diverse readership with clinical, research, and public health interests.

This book will also interest the person who has just stepped into the amazing field of adolescent clinical research. It has a rich bibliography and extensive references to published studies. Ninety percent of the studies referenced are from within the past seven years. It also introduces the reader to current ongoing research projects in the field. At the end of every chapter there is a section called "Future Directions for Research" that stimulates ideas for new research protocols.

Accurate assessment directs physicians toward the best treatment planning and intervention. This book provides an in-depth review of the latest screening measures and treatment interventions. The treatment interventions discussed include both pharmacological and psychological approaches, and those with strong evidence or promise are identified. One more thing that sets this book apart from others of its genre is its insightful coverage of integrated treatment models and how to deal with the complex ethical, legal, and policy issues that arise in the treatment of co-occurring substance use and mental health problems among adolescents.

In summary, adolescent substance use disorders continue to present a challenging public health problem worldwide. The main objective of this book is to address theory and practice pertaining to understanding and improving treatment of psychiatric comorbidity among adolescents with substance use disorders. That objective is 100% achieved.

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