Objective. The purpose of this symposium is to describe four approaches for the treatment of adolescent drug abuse. Although adolescent drug use and abuse continues to be problematic in this country, many have questioned the effectiveness of treatment. In this symposium, we plan to present an overview of evidence based treatment approaches, and then will describe four specific intervention approaches which parallel the social work ecological perspective.
Method. Dr. Hall will present an overview of adolescent drug treatment and identify key issues for both treatment providers and researchers. Dr. Noel will describe case management as an approach for use with individual adolescents. Dr. Mason will describe his adaptation of the MET/CBT-5 approach for treating adolescents in groups. Mr. Smith will describe Strengths-Based Family Therapy (SOFT) which is currently being evaluated in a SAMHSA/CSAT sponsored study. And finally, Dr. Richardson will describe how procedures to strengthen communities can be used to improve outcomes for adolescent drug abuse treatment.
Results. Although Dr. Hall will provide an overview of adolescent drug abuse strategies, each presenter will describe both an intervention and research results evaluating that intervention. Dr. Noelís research was conducted in a NIDA-sponsored study in San Diego. Dr. Masonís study is funded by SAMHSA/CSAT and is being conducted at Georgetown University Medical Center. Mr. Smithís study is funded by SAMHSA/CSAT and is being conducted in Iowa City. And Dr. Richardsonís study is based on previous work with network analysis but also is part of the Iowa City project with Mr. Smith.
Conclusion. Various treatment approaches work with various kinds of adolescents. We will provide profiles of adolescents who seem to improve the best with each type of treatment. For example, by measuring parent-teen conflict, we can recommend family treatment for those teens who have reasonably low conflict relationships with their parents. For teens and parents in high conflict relationships, individual or teen-only group treatment may be the way to start. Additional recommendations will be given for treatment providers an researchers.