Phoenix House Academy

Scientific Rating:
3
Promising Research Evidence
See scale of 1-5
Child Welfare System Relevance Level:
Medium
See descriptions of 3 levels

About This Program

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. Phoenix House Academy has been rated by the CEBC in the areas of: Higher Levels of Placement and Substance Abuse Treatment (Adolescent).

Target Population: Adolescents (13-18) and their families.

For children/adolescents ages: 13 – 18

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 13 – 18

Brief Description

The Phoenix House Academy is a residential treatment program for adolescents ages 13-18 with substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders. It employs a modified therapeutic community specifically geared to the developmental and treatment needs of adolescents. Residents attend school full-time and have a variety of activities geared to improving their well-being in the following domains: mental and medical health, family, social, educational/vocational, legal, and recreational.

Program Goals:

The program representative did not provide information about the program’s goals.

Essential Components

The essential components of the Phoenix House Academy are:

  • Biopyschosocial assessment, screening, and referral
  • Treatment planning and documentation
  • Case management
  • Individual and group counseling with a recommended size of 8-10 participants per group
  • Family counseling and education
  • Motivational enhancement
  • Medication management
  • Psychoeducation
  • Milieu therapy
  • Emotional literacy and management
  • Contingency Management
  • Trauma-specific treatment; trauma-informed approach
  • Cognitive Behavioral Treatment including Relapse Prevention and Anger Management
  • Middle and Secondary Education
  • Medical and Dental Services
  • Coordination of services with collaterals, including criminal justice, family court, and child welfare agencies
  • Recreation
  • Vocational assessment and referral
  • Continuing care

Child/Adolescent Services

Phoenix House Academy directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Drug and alcohol abuse, mental health and/or behavioral problems, school achievement and attendance issues, family problems, criminal behavior.

Parent/Caregiver Services

Phoenix House Academy directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Child/parenting problems, communication, drug and alcohol abuse, mental health issues, child welfare issues.

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Residential Care Facility

Homework

This program does not include a homework component.

Languages

Phoenix House Academy has materials available in a language other than English:

Spanish

For information on which materials are available in this language, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • Residence appropriate for the living needs of adolescents
  • School and recreational facilities
  • Staff office space
  • Communal areas
  • Group rooms

Minimum Provider Qualifications

  • Minimum for Supervisors – Master's degree preferred but Counselor certification and relevant level of clinical and management experience accepted.
  • Minimum for Counselors – Bachelor's degree preferred but Counselor certification and relevant level of training or experience accepted.
  • Minimum for Community Support Staff – Training or experience mental health and or substance abuse field.

Education and Training Resources

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

Training is obtained:

Training will be customized and can be provided on-site.

Number of days/hours:

3-5 full days, depending on need - follow-up support and consultation available and recommended

Implementation Information

Since Phoenix House Academy is rated on the Scientific Rating Scale, information was requested from the program representative on available pre-implementation assessments, implementation tools, and/or fidelity measures.

Show implementation information...

Pre-Implementation Materials

The program representative did not provide information about pre-implementation materials.

Formal Support for Implementation

The program representative did not provide information about formal support for implementation of Phoenix House Academy.

Fidelity Measures

The program representative did not provide information about fidelity measures of Phoenix House Academy.

Implementation Guides or Manuals

The program representative did not provide information about implementation guides or manuals for Phoenix House Academy.

Research on How to Implement the Program

The program representative did not provide information about research conducted on how to implement Phoenix House Academy.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program is rated a "3 - Promising Research Evidence" on the Scientific Rating Scale based on the published, peer-reviewed research available. The practice must have at least one study utilizing some form of control (e.g., untreated group, placebo group, matched wait list study) establishing the practice's benefit over the placebo, or found it to be comparable to or better than an appropriate comparison practice. Please see the Scientific Rating Scale for more information.

Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being

Show relevant research...

Morral, A.R., McCaffrey, D.F., & Ridgeway, G. (2004). Effectiveness of community-based treatment for substance-abusing adolescents: 12-month outcomes of youths entering Phoenix Academy or alternative probation dispositions. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 18(3), 257-268.

Type of Study: Non-randomized controlled trial using case-mix adjustment
Number of Participants: 449

Population:

  • Age — 13-17 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 15% African American, 56% Latino/Hispanic, 16% White, 12% Unspecified
  • Gender — 12% female, 78% male
  • Status — Participants were all legally wards of the Los Angeles Superior Courts, and were recruited from the Phoenix Academy or six other comparable group homes to which they had been referred by probation.

Location/Institution: Los Angeles, CA

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study compared 12-month outcomes of adolescent probationers who were enrolled in either Phoenix Academy (PA), a therapeutic community for adolescents that uses the Phoenix House treatment model, or received an alternative probation disposition at one of six residential group homes (comparison group). Substance use, crime, and psychological distress outcomes were assessed using scales from the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) structured clinical interview. Overall, PA youths had significantly better outcomes than the comparison group for most substance use and psychological functioning outcomes. Adolescents who received PA treatment reported significantly greater reductions in psychological symptoms during Months 3-12. However, whereas PA initially appeared effective at reducing smoking relative to the comparison condition, these gains were lost during the subsequent 9 months as more youths left the program. This increase in tobacco smoking recency among PA youths contrasted the relative reductions in other substance use. Limitations of the study include the use of a case-mix adjustment approach, rather than a random assignment to conditions, as well as the lack of a no-treatment control group and the nature of self-report data used in most the analyses.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 3, 6, & 12 months post-intake. The length of treatment varied by subject (mean intervention treatment length was 161.9 days (SD= 131.0)).

Edelen, M. O., Slaughter, M. E., McCaffrey, D. F., Becker, K., & Morral, A. R. (2010). Long-term effect of community-based treatment: evidence from the Adolescent Outcomes Project. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 107(1), 62-68.

Type of Study: Non-randomized controlled trial using case-mix adjustment.
Number of Participants: 412 (37 cases lost to long-term follow-up from original 449 in previous study, Morral et al. 2004)

Population:

  • Age — 13-17 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 54% Hispanic/Latino, 17% White, 15% African American, 14% Mixed/Other
  • Gender — 86% male, 14% female
  • Status — Participants were all legally wards of the Los Angeles Superior Courts, and had been originally sent to Phoenix Academy (PA) or six other comparable group homes from February 1999 to January 2000.

Location/Institution: Los Angeles, CA

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This study evaluates the effects 72-102 months after intake to a widely disseminated community-based treatment model, Phoenix House (PH), or Phoenix Academy (PA), using data from RAND’s Adolescent Outcomes Project (Morral et al. 2004). This project compared outcomes of adolescent probationers who received either Phoenix Academy (PA), a therapeutic community for adolescents that uses the Phoenix House (PH) treatment model, or received an alternative probation disposition at one of six residential group homes (comparison group). Substance use, crime, and psychological distress outcomes were assessed using scales from the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) structured clinical interview. Although PA therapeutic community treatment had positive effects on substance use and psychological functioning during the first 12 months following intake, there was no evidence found of positive long-term effects on 16 outcomes measuring substance use and problems, criminal activity, institutionalization, psychological functioning, and general functioning. Early gains following disposition to PA eroded relative to the comparison condition as youth became less likely to be abstinent following either disposition, but the change was faster for the PA condition. Long-term follow-up outcomes for the two groups were largely similar. Limitations of the study include the use of a case-mix adjustment approach, rather than a random assignment to conditions, as well as the lack of a no-treatment control group and the nature of self-report data used in most of the analyses.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 72-102 months after intake. The average length of treatment in the index placement did not differ significantly between the two groups (PA = 156.61 days, Comparison Group = 160.65 days)

References

Jaycox, L. H., Marshall, G. N., & Morral, A. R. (2002). Phoenix Academy at Lake View Terrace, California: Clinical manual and program description of an adolescent therapeutic community. Bloomington, IL: Chestnut Health Systems.

Morral, A. R., Jaycox, L.H., Smith, W., Becker, K., & Ebener, P. (2003). An evaluation of substance abuse treatment services for juvenile probationers at Phoenix Academy of Los Angeles. In S. J. Stevens & A. R. Morral (Eds.), Adolescent substance abuse treatment in the United States: Exemplary models from a national evaluation study (pp. 213-233). Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press.

Phoenix House Foundation, Inc. (1998). Therapeutic communities for adolescents: A clinical manual. New York: Author.

Contact Information

Name: Maja Trochimczyk, PhD
Title: Sr. Director of Planning
Agency/Affiliation: Phoenix House Academy
Website: www.phoenixhouse.org
Email:
Phone: (818) 686-3112

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: May 2016

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: July 2016

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: April 2010