Mapping the Gaps Between Expert, Practitioner, and Public Understandings of Adolescent Substance Use

April 28, 2022

This report is the first in the series of studies by the FrameWorks Institute intended to map the communications landscape and develop an evidence-based strategy for demonstrating the importance of understanding and effectively communicating about adolescent substance use, including prevention and early intervention approaches. This study compares experts’ shared understanding of adolescent substance use with that of the public and practitioners and identifies the places where public and practitioner understandings hinder productive thinking about adolescent substance use. The report includes findings that inform a set of strategies that can be used to best address the challenges in communicating about adolescent substance use. The authors also argue that effectively reframing adolescent substance use will require the development of additional communication tools and strategies and leave readers with a “to-do” list for future research on productive communication strategies that can ultimately reframe the narrative around adolescent substance use.

Andrew Volmert, Marissa Fond, Abigail Haydon, Moira O’Neil & Marisa Gerstein Pineau, FrameWorks Institute