Special Issue "Early Intervention and Treatment of Adolescents and Young Adults with Substance Use Disorder"

A special issue of Medicina (ISSN 1648-9144). This special issue belongs to the section "Psychiatry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Kenneth Dürsteler-MacFarland
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Substance Use and Addictive Disorders, Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Interests: https://www.scopus.com/authid/detail.uri?authorId=6506026046
Dr. Marc Vogel
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Substance Use and Addictive Disorders, Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Interests: addiction psychiatry; public health; heroin dependence; opioid agonist treatment; dual diagnosis
Dr. Maximilian Meyer
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Substance Use and Addictive Disorders, Psychiatric University Clinics Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Interests: addictive behaviors; cannabinoid research; heroin-assisted treatment; opioid use disorder; addiction medicine

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Substance use among youths (age group of 15–24) is common. The prevalence of substance use increases during adolescence and peaks in early adulthood. While the majority of youths who engage in substance use do not develop problematic use patterns, about 5% of adolescents and 15% of young adults meet the criteria for substance use disorder (SUD). Young substance users experience a range of specific problems, including a more rapid progression from first use to SUD, a shorter time from first to second SUD, and a higher rate of co-occurring mental health conditions. Additionally, the brain undergoes extensive neuromaturation until the mid-20s. This heightens concerns about the neurobiological vulnerability of youths to the adverse effects of regular substance use on cognitive–emotional development. Despite the serious consequences of youth SUD, only a small proportion of adolescents and young adults with SUD receive treatment. Moreover, data indicate that more than half of those who receive treatment drop out or terminate with unsatisfactory outcomes. This stresses the importance of effective early intervention and treatment for SUD during adolescence and emerging adulthood. Decreasing or eliminating substance use at this early stage could have significant long-term implications. However, there is still a lack of expert knowledge and specialized treatment services for this population. In addition, evidence-based interventions for youth SUD are almost exclusively psychosocial and modestly effective.

Given the importance of effective early intervention and treatment strategies in youth SUD, the journal Medicina is launching this Special Issue. Early diagnosis, early intervention, and treatment of SUD should be paramount in this population; therapeutic investment in this stage of life is essential to address the fact that treatment delay leads to a worse prognosis. We encourage you and your co-workers to submit your articles reporting on this topic. Original research, reviews, and case reports dealing with innovative therapeutic strategies and challenges in the early diagnosis and intervention of youth SUD are particularly welcome.

Dr. Kenneth M. Dürsteler
Dr. Marc Vogel
Dr. Maximilian Meyer
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Medicina is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • adolescence
  • early adulthood
  • substance use
  • substance use disorder
  • diagnosis
  • comorbidity
  • psychosocial interventions
  • pharmacotherapy
  • outcome
  • health

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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