Topic: Substance Abuse Treatment (Adolescent)
Definition for Substance Abuse Treatment (Adolescent):
Substance Abuse Treatment (Adolescent) is defined by the CEBC as the treatment of adolescents (ages 12-17) with active substance use issues, including alcohol, marijuana, and/or other drugs. The CEBC has evaluated only replicable programs that do not use medication as a component of treatment and focuses on treatment programs, as opposed to programs designed to prevent the onset of substance use. Treatment can occur in a variety of settings, including outpatient, day treatment, residential, or inpatient, and may involve detoxification, counseling, education, relapse prevention training, life skills training, and self-help groups. Although many of these treatment programs may also be used in adults, the CEBC review and rating examines the research base for these treatments in adolescents only. Substance Abuse Treatment (Adult) is a separate topic area on the CEBC.
- Target population: Adolescents with active substance use issues
- Services/types that fit: Outpatient, day treatment, and residential services in individual or group formats
- Delivered by: Mental health professionals or trained paraprofessionals
- In order to be included: Program must specifically target adolescent substance use as a goal
- In order to be rated: There must be research evidence (as specified by the Scientific Rating Scale) that examines outcomes related to substance abuse, such changes in symptom levels, behaviors, and/or functioning
Programs in this Topic Area
The programs listed below have been reviewed by the CEBC and, if appropriate, been rated using the Scientific Rating Scale.
Two Programs with a Scientific Rating of 1 - Well-Supported by Research Evidence:
- Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT)Adolescents 11 to 18 with the following symptoms or problems: substance use or at risk, delinquent/conduct disorder, school and other behavioral ...
- Multisystemic Therapy (MST)Youth, 12 to 17 years old, with possible substance abuse issues who are at risk of out-of-home placement due to antisocial or ...
Four Programs with a Scientific Rating of 2 - Supported by Research Evidence:
- Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA)Adolescents aged 12 to 25 with substance abuse issues
- Adolescent-Focused Family Behavior Therapy (Adolescent FBT)Youth (11-17) with drug abuse and dependence, as well as other co-existing problems
- Ecologically Based Family Therapy (EBFT)Substance-abusing runaway adolescents (12-17) and their family members who are willing to have the adolescents live in their homes
- Functional Family Therapy (FFT)11-18 year olds with very serious problems such as conduct disorder, violent acting-out, and substance abuse
Five Programs with a Scientific Rating of 3 - Promising Research Evidence:
- Brief Strategic Family Therapy® (BSFT®)Families with maladaptive interactions resulting in at least one youth aged 6-18 years with externalizing (e.g., substance abuse, delinquency, ...
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - 5 Sessions (MET/CBT5) – non-responderAdolescents with cannabis use disorders
- Residential Student Assistance Program (RSAP)Adolescents (12-18 year olds) with multiple problems who have been placed voluntarily or involuntarily in a residential child care facility (...
- Seeking Safety (Adolescent version)Adolescents with a history of trauma and/or substance abuse
- Seven Challenges®, TheThe Seven Challenges®Adolescents and young adults who have drug problems, co-occurring mental health issues, trauma, and family issues
Three Programs with a Scientific Rating of NR - Not able to be Rated:
- Matrix Model for Teens and Young AdultsAdolescents with substance abuse disorders
- Voices: A Program of Self-Discovery and Empowerment for GirlsFemales 12 - 24 years old with substance abuse and/or trauma
- Woman’s Way through The Twelve Steps, AA Woman’s Way through The Twelve StepsWomen and teenage girls with addictive disorders
Why was this topic chosen by the Advisory Committee?
The Substance Abuse Treatment (Adolescent) topic area is relevant to child welfare because substance abuse may be a result of an adolescent experiencing child abuse/neglect, parental substance abuse and not having the necessary coping skills to address these traumatic experiences. Providing information about substance abuse treatment programs for adolescents on the CEBC gives child welfare departments additional resources for intervening with adolescents in an effort to help them with substance abuse recovery and develop healthier life skills. Without effective treatment, these adolescents are at higher risk for AWOLs, multiple placements, poor academic performance, and delinquency and they have a poor chance at the successful and safe future that they deserve.
Renee Smylie, MSW
Former CEBC Advisory Committee member
John D. Clapp, PhD
Associate Dean, Ohio State University College of Social Work