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Youth Mental Health Matters

We're for the developing brain -- our world's most valuable natural resource

Welcome.

Simply put, this website offers information about child and adolescent mental health — particularly as it relates to substance use and addiction.

Contributors to DrThurstone.com are big believers in evidence-based medicine that has practical, real-world applications — meaning science that has been subjected to the rigorous review of reputable scholars and can be used at home and throughout a community.

We do not have all the answers — but we are confident the information you find here is trustworthy enough to guide your search for them responsibly.

— Dr. Christian Thurstone, M.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado

Featured

Dr. Christian Thurstone is featured in this video produced by Smart Colorado, a nonprofit organization focused on protecting youth from the harms of marijuana use and legalization.

Study: Little to no evidence cannabis alleviates chronic pain

A new review of nearly 14,000 research articles and studies has found there is little to no evidence that cannabis alleviates chronic pain in adults. The full report, funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Quality Enhancement Research Initiative and...

Ultra Potent Pot: Growing risks and impacts

Smart Colorado, a nonprofit organization focused on protecting youth from the harmful effects of marijuana use and legalization, has produced a video featuring perspectives that often don't make it into news coverage. In Colorado, marijuana use among adolescents has...

Meet the Natural High 2017 Video and Essay winner, finalists

We're big fans of Natural High, a California-based nonprofit organization that is rooted in sound prevention science and provides free resources to help guide youth "to reach their fullest potential and say no to drugs." Through the powerful and personal storytelling...

Patrick Kennedy: ‘Mental health the Civil Right issue of our time’

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy knows well the damage that can come from harboring family secrets about mental illness and addiction. Son of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy and his first wife, Joan; nephew of President John F. Kennedy and former U.S. Sen. Robert Kennedy,...

Prevention and Treatment for Families

Help and hope for families wanting to avoid and address problems associated with substance use and addiction.

How parents can help their adolescents not use drugs

The most important thing parents can do for their adolescent with a substance problem is to maintain a positive, warm and loving relationship with him or her because this is the most important tool parents have to shape their child's values and future directions. This...

Parents don’t have to accept youth substance use

These are common questions: If so many teens are using addictive substances such as alcohol, tobacco and marijuana, what's the big deal? Isn't it normal to experiment like this? After all, teens will be teens -- and a lot of parents had their own flings with smokes...

Read the book

Clearing the Haze is a guide designed to help parents determine whether their child may have a substance problem and, if so, how to begin to address it. This book includes the voices and insight of experts in substance abuse counseling, young people in recovery, and parents who have lived the nightmare of adolescent addiction.

Hot Topics, Great Resources

Marijuana

Many parents describe it as “just pot” until they experience firsthand a child addicted to the drug.

Opiates

Whether misused as prescribed or bought on the black market, opioids harm at record rates.

Brain Development

Anyone who has made it through adolescence knows this is a time of important development.

Find a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

Remember: Adolescent mental health extends to age 25. A great way to find a physician who understands the unique mental health needs of children and adolescents is searching the online member directory of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

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