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What works: Advances in Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment and Research Michael Dennis, Ph.D. Chestnut Health Systems, Bloomington, IL Presentation for.

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Presentation on theme: "What works: Advances in Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment and Research Michael Dennis, Ph.D. Chestnut Health Systems, Bloomington, IL Presentation for."— Presentation transcript:

1 What works: Advances in Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment and Research Michael Dennis, Ph.D. Chestnut Health Systems, Bloomington, IL Presentation for the SAMHSA National Policy Academy on Co-Occurring Mental and Substance Abuse Disorders, April 14-16, 2004, Baltimore, MD. The opinions are those of the author sdo not reflect official positions of the consortium or government. Available on line at

2 Examine the prevalence, course, and consequences of adolescent substance use Summarize major trends in the adolescent treatment system Review the current knowledge base on treatment effectiveness Examine how characteristics and outcomes vary by level of care. Goals of this Presentation

3 Change in Past Month Substance Use by Age Source: Dennis (2002) and 1998 NHSDA.

4 Consequences of Substance Use Source: Dennis, Godley and Titus (1999) and 1997 NHSDA.

5 Importance of Perceived Risk Source: Office of Applied Studies. (2000) NHSDA Marijuana Use Risk & Availability

6 The Adolescent Treatment System Less than 1/10th of adolescents with substance dependence problems receive treatment Under 50% stay 6 weeks, 75% stay less than the 3 months recommended by NIDA From 1992 to 1998, admissions to treatment increased 53% (96,787 to 147,899), but then leveled off in 1999 to 2002 From 1992 to 1998, admissions for treatment of primary, secondary or tertiary marijuana use disorders increased 115% (51,081 to 109,875) Source: Dennis, Dwaud-Noursi, Muck, & McDermeit, 2003; Hser et al., 2001; OAS, 2000

7 Change in Adolescent Admissions ( ) Source: Dennis, Dawud-Noursi, Muck & McDermeit, 2003 and Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS)

8 Patterns of Substance Use Problems Source: Dennis, Dawud-Noursi, Muck & McDermeit, 2003 and 1998 Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS)

9 Sources of Adolescent Referrals Source: Dennis, Dawud-Noursi, Muck & McDermeit, 2003 and 1998 Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS)

10 Level of Care at Admission Source: Dennis, Dawud-Noursi, Muck & McDermeit, 2003 and 1998 Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS)

11 Severity Varies by Level of Care Source: Dennis, Dawud-Noursi, Muck & McDermeit, 2003 and 1998 Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS)

12 Relatively Small And New Literature With over 65% of the studies first published in the past 5 years and over 3 dozen more currently in the field, we are entering a “renaissance of knowledge” in this area. Source: Dennis &, White (2003) at

13 Key Lessons Effectiveness was associated with therapies that: – were manual-guided and had developmentally appropriate materials – involved more quality assurance and clinical supervision – achieved therapeutic alliance and early positive outcomes – successfully engaged adolescents in aftercare, support groups, positive peer reference groups, more supportive recovery environments Interventions that are associated with no or minimal change in substance use or symptoms: – Passive referrals – Educational units alone – Probation services as usual – Unstandardized outpatient services as usual Interventions associated with deterioration: – treatment of adolescents in “groups including one or more highly deviant individuals” or that were mismanaged (but NOT all groups) – treatment of adolescents in adult units and/or with adult models/materials (particularly outpatient)

14 Limitations of the Literature Small sample sizes (most under 50) High rates (30-50%) of refusals by eligible people Unstandardized measures, no measures of abuse or dependence, no measures of comorbidity Unstandardized and minimally-supervised therapies (making replication very difficult) Minimal information on services received High rates (20-50%) of treatment dropout High rates of attrition from follow-up (25-54%) leading to potentially large (unknown) bias

15 NIAAA/NIDA Other Grantees CSAT/ NEW Adolescent Treatment Program OtherGrantees and Collaborators (80+ sites) CSAT Cannabis Youth Treatment (CYT) Adolescent Treatment Model (ATM) Strengthening Communities for Youth (SCY) Adolescent Residential Treatment (ART) Effective Adolescent Treatment (EAT) Other CSAT Grantees Other Collaborators RWJF Reclaiming Futures Program RWJF Other RWJF Grantees Other Grants/Contracts Source:

16 Key Features Pooled data over 3,500 and growing at over 1000/year Diverse samples with low (under 15%) refusal and attrition Use a common standardized measure – Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) with explicit measures of abuse, dependence, comorbidity, ASAM criteria and services received Manualized interventions, including several experiments and replications of the same intervention across states (publicly available at ) High treatment completion and follow-up rates (generally 80-90%) Over 3 dozen people doing research on scales, case mix, matching rules, continuing care, and other topics.

17 Multiple Co-occurring Problems Are the Norm and Increase with Level of Care Source: CSAT’s Cannabis Youth Treatment (CYT), Adolescent Treatment Model (ATM), and Persistent Effects of Treatment Study of Adolescents (PETS-A) studies

18 Severity is Related to Other Problems * p<.05 Source: Tims et al 2002

19 High Rates of Victimization Source: Dennis (2004)

20 Victimization is Related to Severity Source: Titus, Dennis, et al., 2003

21 PrePost OP - No/Low VictimizationOP - Acute Victimization Resid - No/LowResid- Acute Victimization Interaction of Victimization and Treatment Setting on Days of Marijuana Use Source: Funk, et al., 2003 Traumatized groups have higher severity Both groups respond to residential treatment High trauma group does not respond to OP

22 Illegal Activity (not just possession) Source: Adolescent Treatment Model (ATM) data

23 Change in Substance Frequency Index by Level of Care\a \a Source: Adolescent Treatment Model (ATM) data; Level of cares coded as Long Term Residential (LTR, n=390), Short Term Residential (STR, n=594), Outpatient/Intensive and Outpatient (OP/IOP, n=560);. T scores are normalized on the ATM outpatient intake mean and standard deviation. Significance (p<.05) marked as \t for time effect, \s for site effect, and \ts for time x site effect.

24 Change in Substance Problem Index by Level of Care\a \a Source: Adolescent Treatment Model (ATM) data; Level of cares coded as Long Term Residential (LTR, n=390), Short Term Residential (STR, n=594), Outpatient/Intensive and Outpatient (OP/IOP, n=560);. T scores are normalized on the ATM outpatient intake mean and standard deviation. Significance (p<.05) marked as \t for time effect, \s for site effect, and \ts for time x site effect.

25 Percent in Recovery (no past month use or problems while living in the community) \a Source: Adolescent Treatment Model (ATM) data; Level of cares coded as Long Term Residential (LTR, n=390), Short Term Residential (STR, n=594), Outpatient/Intensive and Outpatient (OP/IOP, n=560);. T scores are normalized on the ATM outpatient intake mean and standard deviation. Significance (p<.05) marked as \t for time effect, \s for site effect, and \ts for time x site effect.

26 Change in Emotional Problem Index by Level of Care\a \a Source: Adolescent Treatment Model (ATM) data; Level of cares coded as Long Term Residential (LTR, n=390), Short Term Residential (STR, n=594), Outpatient/Intensive and Outpatient (OP/IOP, n=560);. T scores are normalized on the ATM outpatient intake mean and standard deviation. Significance (p<.05) marked as \t for time effect, \s for site effect, and \ts for time x site effect.

27 Change in Illegal Activity Index by Level of Care\a \a Source: Adolescent Treatment Model (ATM) data; Level of cares coded as Long Term Residential (LTR, n=390), Short Term Residential (STR, n=594), Outpatient/Intensive and Outpatient (OP/IOP, n=560);. T scores are normalized on the ATM outpatient intake mean and standard deviation. Significance (p<.05) marked as \t for time effect, \s for site effect, and \ts for time x site effect.

28 Reducing Relapse After Residential Treatment Source: Godley et al 2002 Days to First Marijuana Use (p<.05) Percent Remaining Abstinent Usual Continuing Care Assertive Continuing Care

29 Concluding Comments We are entering a renaissance of new knowledge in this area, but are only reaching 1 of 10 in need Several interventions work, but 2/3 of the adolescents are still having problems 12 months later We need to move beyond focusing on minor variations in therapy (behavioral brand names) and acute episodes of care to focus on continuing care and a recovery management paradigm It is very difficult to predict exactly who will relapse so it is essential to conduct aftercare monitoring with all adolescents

30 Resources Copy of these slides and handouts – Assessment Instruments – CSAT TIP 3 at – NIAAA Assessment Handbook,http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/instable.htm Adolescent Treatment Manuals – NCADI at or – CSAT CYT, ATM and other manuals at Adolescent Treatment Programs and Studies – List of programs by state and summary of pre-2002 studies at – Cannabis Youth Treatment (CYT) : – Persistent Effects of Treatment Study of Adolescents (PETSA): (then select PETS from program resources) – Adolescent Program Support Site (APSS): Society for Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Effectiveness (SASATE) – Website at with bibliography – Darren Fulmore to be added to list server – Next conference is June 18, 2004, See website or Joan Unsicker for information about about meeting

31 References Bukstein, O.G., & Kithas, J. (2002) Pharmacologic treatment of substance abuse disorders. In Rosenberg, D., Davanzo, P., Gershon, S. (Eds.), Pharmacotherapy for Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Disorders, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded. NY, NY: Marcel Dekker, Inc. Dennis, M.L., (2002). Treatment Research on Adolescents Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Despite Progress, Many Challenges Remain. Connections, May, 1-2,7, and Data from the OAS 1999 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse Dennis, M.L. (2004). Traumatic victimization among adolescents in substance abuse treatment: Time to stop ignoring the elephant in our counseling rooms. Counselor, April, Dennis, M.L., & Adams, L. (2001). Bloomington Junior High School (BJHS) 2000 Youth Survey: Main Findings. Bloomington, IL: Chestnut Health Systems Dennis, M.L., Dawud-Noursi, S., Muck, R., & McDermeit, M. (2003). The need for developing and evaluating adolescent treatment models. In S.J. Stevens & A.R. Morral (Eds.), Adolescent substance abuse treatment in the United States: Exemplary Models from a National Evaluation Study (pp. 3-34). Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press and 1998 NHSDA. Dennis, M. L., Godley, S. H., Diamond, G., Tims, F. M., Babor, T., Donaldson, J., Liddle, H., Titus, J. C., Kaminer, Y., Webb, C., Hamilton, N., & Funk, R. (in press). The Cannabis Youth Treatment (CYT) Study: Main Findings from Two Randomized Trials. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. Dennis, M. L., Godley, S. and Titus, J. (1999). Co-occurring psychiatric problems among adolescents: Variations by treatment, level of care and gender. TIE Communiqué (pp. 5-8 and 16). Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Dennis, M. L., Perl, H. I., Huebner, R. B., & McLellan, A. T. (2000). Twenty-five strategies for improving the design, implementation and analysis of health services research related to alcohol and other drug abuse treatment. Addiction, 95, S281- S308. Dennis, M. L. and McGeary, K. A. (1999). Adolescent alcohol and marijuana treatment: Kids need it now. TIE Communiqué (pp ). Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Dennis, M. L., Titus, J. C., Diamond, G., Donaldson, J., Godley, S. H., Tims, F., Webb, C., Kaminer, Y., Babor, T., Roebeck, M. C., Godley, M. D., Hamilton, N., Liddle, H., Scott, C., & CYT Steering Committee. (in press). The Cannabis Youth Treatment (CYT) experiment Rationale, study design, and analysis plans. Addiction, 97, Dennis, M.L., & White, M.K. (2003). The effectiveness of adolescent substance abuse treatment: a brief summary of studies through 2001, (prepared for Drug Strategies adolescent treatment handbook). Bloomington, IL: Chestnut Health Systems. [On line] Available at

32 References Dennis, M.L. & White,M.A. (2003). The effectiveness of adolescent substance abuse treatment: a brief summary of studies through Washington, DC: Drug Strategies. Retrived from Funk, R. R., McDermeit, M., Godley, S. H., & Adams, L. (2003). Maltreatment issues by level of adolescent substance abuse treatment The extent of the problem at intake and relationship to early outcomes. Journal of Child Maltreatment, 8, Godley, M. D., Godley, S. H., Dennis, M. L., Funk, R., & Passetti, L. (2002). Preliminary outcomes from the assertive continuing care experiment for adolescents discharged from residential treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 23, Godley, M., Godley, S., Dennis, M., Funk, R. & Passetti, L. (2002). Findings from the Assertive Continuing Care Experiment. Presentation at the American Public Health Association annual conference, Philadelphia, PA November 11, Hser, Y., Grella, C. E., Hubbard, R. L., Hsieh, S. C., Fletcher, B. W., Brown, B. S., & Anglin, M. D. (2001). An evaluation of drug treatments for adolescents in four U.S. cities. Archives of General Psychiatry, 58, Lewinsohn, P.M., Hops, H., Roberts, R.E., Seeley, J.R., Andrews, J.A. (1993). Adolescent psychopathology, I: prevalence and incidence of depression and other DSM-III-R disorders in high school students. J Abn Psychol, 102, National Academy of Sciences (1994). Reducing risks for mental disorders: Frontiers for preventive intervention research. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. Office of Applied Studies. (2000). National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Main Findings Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved, from Office of Applied Studies (OAS) (1999). Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) : National admissions to substance abuse treatment services. Rockville, MD: Author. [Available online at.] Office of Applied Studies (OAS) (2000). Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) : National admissions to substance abuse treatment services. Rockville, MD: Author. [Available on line at.] Office of Applied Studies. (2000). National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Main Findings Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Retrieved, from Tims, F. M., Dennis, M. L., Hamilton, N., Buchan, B. J., Diamond, G. S., Funk, R., & Brantley, L. B. (2002). Characteristics and problems of 600 adolescent cannabis abusers in outpatient treatment. Addiction, 97, Titus, J. C., Dennis, M. L., White, W. L., Scott, C. K., & Funk, R. R. (2003). Gender differences in victimization severity and outcomes among adolescents treated for substance abuse. Journal of Child Maltreatment, 8,

33 Contact Information Michael L. Dennis, Ph.D., Senior Research Psychologist Lighthouse Institute, Chestnut Health Systems 720 West Chestnut, Bloomington, IL Phone: (309) , Fax: (309)


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