Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences

PSYCHIAT 766 - Youth Addiction and Co-existing Problems

15 Points

Semester 2



An overview of key principles required to manage alcohol and drug problems within a Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) context. Includes a range of topics including aspects of screening, assessment and brief interventions, harm reduction, an introduction to motivational interviewing, and CBT in addiction treatment.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

Objectives of the course: 

  • To provide clinicians working in CAMHS and related settings with practical clinical knowledge about addiction in youth and its relationship to development and adolescent mental health disorders
  • To support clinicians to apply this knowledge and transfer established clinical skills towards management of addiction in young people.

Learning Objectives

  1. Describe common substances associated with addictive disorders in adolescents, their effects and harms.

  2. Understand the principles and practicalities of harm reduction as it applies to this age group.

  3. Understand the importance of, and demonstrate aptitude in, screening and brief interventions and the promotion of these in primary and secondary care.

  4. Apply motivational interviewing spirit and skills in practice with young people and their families.

  5. Demonstrate awareness of the application of CBT in youth addiction.

  6. Understand issues related to the managment of co-existing problems in young people including awareness of developmental and of cultural considerations.

  7. Experience specific aspects of addiction treatment less commonly seen in CAMHS settings (e.g., Opiate Substitution Treatment, Detoxification service, Residential rehabilitation, 12 step programmes, Needle exchange, Pain team). (If necessary, this experience to be gained via visits or discussions with service providers)


Assessment component



A student presentation delivered online to the group via Zoom


10 min brief CEP case presentation and discussion around integrated treatment (6 ppt slides max)

MCQ’s online


4 x 24 item (8% each) tests covering blocks of course work/ reading

Online reflections relating course reading to clinical work


3 reflections (8% each) on how topic and course reading applies to clinical work (500 words)

Online report - discussion detailing specific required clinical experiences / discussions


3 entries (10% each) summarising clinical experience / case and reflections around learning and application to CAMHS (1000 words each)

Contact hours

This is a distance/online course.

The workload will be:

  • Weekly readings
  • Eight lectures/tutorials
  • Three clinical experiences
  • Two days face to face teaching
  • Motivational interviewing course


Course Director

Teaching Staff