Matrix Model for Teens and Young Adults

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. This program has been reviewed by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:

About This Program

Target Population: Adolescents with substance abuse disorders

For children/adolescents ages: 12 – 17

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 12 – 17

Brief Description

The Matrix Model for Teens and Young Adults is an intensive outpatient treatment approach for substance abuse and dependence. The program uses research-based techniques in an approach comprised of relapse-prevention groups, separate parent and adolescent substance education groups, individual sessions for parents and adolescents, family sessions, social-support groups, and urine and breath testing delivered over a 16-week period. New alternative drug-free recreational activities are reinforced. Patients learn about addiction and relapse, and receive direction and support from a trained therapist. The program uses a cognitive/behavioral approach imbued with a motivational interviewing style and supplemented with contingency management.

Program Goals:

The overall goals of the Matrix Model for Teens and Young Adults are:

  • Abstain from or decrease alcohol or other drug use
  • Understand addiction and relapse
  • Learn relapse prevention skills
  • Develop pro-social behaviors

Essential Components

The essential components of the Matrix Model for Teens and Young Adults include:

  • Using manualized Matrix Model materials
  • Providing 2 Relapse Prevention groups with 8-12 participants and 2 Family Education (client and parent) per week
  • Providing 2 Early Recovery Skills groups per week in first month
  • Requiring weekly urine/breath testing
  • Using cognitive/behavioral references
  • Reading and discussing a topic in each group

Child/Adolescent Services

Matrix Model for Teens and Young Adults directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Substance abuse

Parent/Caregiver Services

Matrix Model for Teens and Young Adults directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Being the family of a substance user

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Outpatient Clinic


Matrix Model for Teens and Young Adults includes a homework component:

Adhering to scheduled activities


Matrix Model for Teens and Young Adults does not have materials available in a language other than English.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • One full-time counselor per 25 clients.
  • Adequate space for group of 12
  • One room large enough to accommodate clients and families for family/education (25-30 people)
  • DVD or VHS player

Minimum Provider Qualifications

Receive initial 2-day training followed by 2-day "key supervisor" training.

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program, and there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training is obtained:

Both onsite and at the Los Angeles clinics.

Number of days/hours:

2 days standard training plus 2 days Key Supervisor training.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for Matrix Model for Teens and Young Adults.


McCann, M. J. & Stimson, J. (2008). The Matrix Model for Teens and Young Adults: Teen-ASI outcomes. Presented at the Joint Meeting on Adolescent Treatment Effectiveness, Washington, D.C.

Contact Information

Jeremy Martinez, MD
Agency/Affiliation: Matrix Institute on Addictions
Phone: (310) 478-6006
Fax: (310) 478-6117

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: June 2014

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: March 2016

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: April 2010