School-based group treatment for adolescent substance abuse

Abstract: The extant empirical literature indicates that treatment for adolescent alcohol and other drug (AOD) abuse (a) can succeed for adolescents with AOD use problems, (b) produces treatment outcomes comparable to those found among adults with AOD use problems, (c) yields varied improvement across different domains of functioning (e.g., school performance, emotional distress, family relations), and (d) does not differ substantially among treatments in the probability of success, with the possible exception of outpatient family therapy, which might lead to better outcomes in outpatient populations (Brown et al., 1996; Catalano et al., 1990–1991; Wagner, Myers, & Mclninch, 1999a; Williams et al., 2000). The literature also indicates that half of teenagers treated for substance use problems will relapse within 3 months of the completion of treatment, and two-thirds will relapse within 6 months (Brown, Mott, & Myers, 1990; Brown, Vik, & Creamer, 1989). Therefore, treatment can be effective for teenagers with AOD use problems, but relapse rates remain high, with most treated adolescents returning to substance use between 3 and 6 months after the completion of treatment.

Wagner, E.F., & Macgowan, M.J. (2006). School-based group treatment for adolescent substance abuse. In H. A. Liddle & C.L. Rowe (Eds.), Adolescent Substance Abuse: Research and Clinical Advances (pp. 333-356). New York, NY, US: Cambridge University Press. doi.:10.1017/CBO9780511543968.017