September 2000

Grant Results

SUMMARY

From 1998 to 1998, staff at the Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Providence, R.I., planned and convened a national conference, "Adolescents, Alcohol, and Substance Abuse: Reaching Teens Through Brief Interventions."

This was the first conference ever devoted to brief interventions for adolescent substance abuse.

The conference goals were to:

  • Identify unique considerations for tailoring treatment and clinical trials for adolescents.
  • Derive a set of consensus guidelines for addressing these considerations.

Key Results

  • Approximately 150 researchers and clinicians attended the conference, held October 23–24, 1998, in Newport, R.I. Ten invited experts in the field gave presentations. Three workshops offered specific applications of brief interventions:
    • "Motivational Interviewing for Teen Drinking."
    • "Motivational Interviewing for Teen Smoking."
    • "New Frontiers: Applying Information Technology to Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment."
  • Conference planners and presenters developed a set of recommendations for future research, which they expect to publish at a later date. These include:
    • Research that can inform policy and lead to exporting innovative interventions into settings that need them.
    • Assessment methodologies that provide a comprehensive, multicomponent, state-of-the art battery of standard measures to be used across research groups.
    • Methods of measuring and increasing population-based reach, recruitment, retention, and relapse prevention.
  • A book based in part on conference presentations has been published: Adolescents, Alcohol, and Substance Abuse: Reaching Teens through Brief Interventions, Monti PM, Colby SM, O'Leary TA (eds.). New York: Guilford Press, 2001.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported the conference with a grant of $47,649 between May 1998 and February 1999.

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THE PROJECT

Recent studies suggest that when adapting substance abuse treatment approaches to adolescents, developmental stage should be considered. A previous study at Brown University funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) — "Motivational Interviewing for Teen Drinking and Driving" — found differences between younger and older adolescents in their degree of responsiveness to brief interventions for substance abuse.

This grant from RWJF supported a national conference to further explore these treatment issues. The goals were: (1) to identify unique considerations for tailoring treatment and clinical trials with adolescents and (2) to derive a set of consensus guidelines for addressing these considerations.

Approximately 150 researchers and clinicians in the field of alcohol and substance abuse attended the conference, which was entitled "Adolescents, Alcohol, and Substance Abuse: Reaching Teens Through Brief Interventions." The first conference ever to be devoted to this topic, it was held October 23–24, 1998, in Newport, R.I. Ten experts in brief interventions and/or adolescent substance abuse gave presentations. See the Bibliography for a list of presenters and titles of presentations. Topics included:

  • Public policy, treatment implications, and future research agenda (two open forums).
  • Brief interventions for preventing HIV-risk behaviors among adolescent psychiatric patients.
  • The harm reduction approach to the prevention and treatment of addictive behaviors.
  • The influence of age and substance of abuse.
  • Motivation as part of prevention and treatment.
  • Developmental transitions and concepts in understanding and intervening in adolescent substance abuse.
  • Engaging adolescents using computer-assisted technology.
  • Personality and learning factors that create risk.
  • Assessing alcohol and substance use problems in adolescence.

Three workshops presented empirically validated assessments and clinical applications of brief interventions for adolescent substance abuse:

  1. "Motivational Interviewing for Teen Drinking"
  2. "Motivational Interviewing for Teen Smoking"
  3. "New Frontiers: Applying Information Technology to Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment."

Recommendations

The conference planners and presenters met on October 24th and developed "future research recommendations" for clinical treatment trials for adolescent alcohol and substance abuse. These recommendations included the following:

  • Plan research that can inform policy and lead to exporting innovative interventions into settings that need them. In addition, adolescent treatment research should focus on long-term programmatic approaches to treatment development and testing, based on studies designed to maximize the information that can be derived from them.
  • Develop assessment methodologies that provide a comprehensive, multicomponent state-of-the-art battery of standard measures to be used across research groups. Other assessment priorities included improved measures of treatment outcomes for adolescents, maximizing the accuracy of self-report data, and minimizing reactivity to assessments.
  • Develop methods of reaching a high proportion of adolescents needing treatment — not systematically excluding certain segments for the adolescent population for whom there may be higher barriers to receiving treatment or lower access to treatment. Similarly, develop methods of improved retention and relapse prevention among adolescents. In all cases, it is necessary to develop methods of measuring these variables.
  • Examine specific priority areas with respect to treatment development and testing. These include:
    1. random assignment to different treatment approaches (e.g., multicomponent vs. single-component interventions), with follow-up over time to compare outcomes
    2. testing different theoretical models of why adolescents abuse/misuse substances (e.g., poor coping skills or deviant peer pressure) and the different treatments that are based on these models (e.g., coping skills training or positive mentoring and social skills training)
    3. how the counselor and client interact (e.g., in person, by telephone, via computer, through the mail, in a group, or one-on-one).

    The relative absence of interventions developed specifically for the unique developmental considerations of adolescents was noted.
  • Design treatments to meet individual needs. They could entail a range of variations from culturally tailored interventions to interventions that address comorbidities (i.e., complicating conditions and circumstances) among some adolescents in treatment.

A grant from CSAT, administered through the Addiction Technology Transfer Center of New England at Brown University, covered the cost of brochures, mailings, and related personnel costs. CSAT, part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services, works to expand the availability of effective treatment and recovery services for alcohol and drug problems. The RWJF grant paid the balance of conference expenses not covered by a $75 registration fee.

Communications

Dissemination activities beyond the conference include a book, Adolescents and Substance Abuse: Reaching Teens Through Brief Interventions, based largely on conference presentations. The book is divided into two sections. The first section covers theoretical issues and conceptual underpinnings of substance abuse, brief interventions, and developmental issues affecting the responses of adolescents to assessment and intervention. The second section presents step-by-step guidelines for the clinical application of brief interventions for adolescent substance abuse. Conference planners and presenters also plan publication of the "future research recommendations." See the Bibliography for a complete listing of communications activities.

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Conference on the Development of Interventions for Adolescent Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Grantee

Brown University Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies (Providence,  RI)

  • Amount: $ 47,649
    Dates: May 1998 to February 1999
    ID#:  034435

Contact

Peter M. Monti, Ph.D.
(401) 444-1849
peter_monti@brown.edu

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)

Books and Reports

Monti PM, Colby SM, and O'Leary TA (eds.). Adolescents, Alcohol, and Substance Abuse: Reaching Teens through Brief Interventions. New York: Guilford Press, 2001.

Book Chapters

  • "Future Directions: Transdisciplinary Research to Improve Brief Interventions for Addictive Behaviors," DB Abrams and R Clayton.
  • "Motivational Interviewing and the Prevention of HIV Among Adolescents," L Brown and K Lourie.
  • "Toward Brief Interventions for Adolescents with Substance Abuse and Comorbid Psychiatric Problems," M Myers, S Brown, S Tate, A Abrantes, and K Tomlinson.
  • "The Harm Reduction Approach to the Secondary Prevention of Alcohol Problems in Adolescents and Young Adults: Considerations Across a Developmental Spectrum,." ET Miller, AP Turner, and GA Marlatt.
  • "Alcohol Skills Training for College Students," ET Miller, JR Kilmer, EL Kim EL, KR Weingardt, and GA Marlatt.
  • "Motivational Enhancement for Alcohol-Involved Adolescents," PM Monti, NP Barnett, TA O'Leary, and SM Colby.
  • "Development Matters: Taking the Long View on Substance Abuse Etiology and Intervention During Adolescence," JE Schulenberg, JL Maggs, KJ Steinman, and RA Zucker.
  • "New Frontiers: Using the Internet to Engage Teens in Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment," H Skinner, O Maley, L Smith, and M Morrison.
  • "Personality and Learning Factors Combine to Create Risk for Adolescent Problem Drinking: A Model and Suggestions for Intervention," G Smith and KG Anderson.
  • "Integrative Behavioral and Family Therapy for Adolescent Substance Abuse," HB Waldron, JI Brody, and N Slesnick.
  • "Assessing Adolescent Substance Use Problems and Other Areas of Functioning: State of the Art," K Winters.

Sponsored Conferences

"Adolescents, Alcohol, and Substance Abuse: Reaching Teens through Brief Interventions," October 23–24, 1998, Newport, R.I. Attended by 150 individuals from a variety of organizations including Brown University, Missouri Department of Corrections, Medical University of South Carolina, Addiction Research Foundation, Boston University School of Medicine, Rhode Island school departments, state-supported community mental health centers, Department of Children and Families (Connecticut and Rhode Island), state-supported Employee Assistance Programs, state-supported substance abuse prevention task forces, Butler Hospital of Providence, R.I., State University of New York at Albany, and the University of Great Falls in Great Falls, Mont. Ten invited presentations and three workshops.

Presentations

  • David B. Abrams, Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University, and Director, Center for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, The Miriam Hospital, and WR Miller, Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and Director, Research Division, Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions, University of New Mexico (discussants), "Open Forum on Public Policy, Treatment Implications, and Future Research Agenda."
  • Larry K. Brown, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University School of Medicine and Director of Consultation-Liaison, Department of Child & Family Psychiatry, Rhode Island Hospital, "Brief Interventions for Preventing HIV-Risk Behaviors Among Adolescent Psychiatric Patients."
  • G. Alan Marlatt, Professor of Psychology and Director, Addictive Behaviors Research Center, University of Washington, "The Harm Reduction Approach to the Prevention and Treatment of Addictive Behaviors."
  • Peter M. Monti, Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Director, Clinical Psychology Training Consortium, and Associate Director of the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, and Suzanne M. Colby, Assistant Professor (Research), Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University. "Brief Interventions with Adolescents: Influence of Age and Substance of Abuse."
  • James O. Prochaska, Professor of Clinical Health Psychology, and Director, Cancer Prevention Research Consortium, University of Rhode Island. "The Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change: Addressing Motivation as Part of Prevention and Treatment."
  • John E. Schulenberg, Senior Associate Research Scientist, Survey Research Center, and Associate Professor (Adjunct) of Psychology, University of Michigan, "Developmental Transitions and Concepts in Understanding and Intervening in Adolescent Substance Abuse."
  • Harvey A. Skinner, Professor and Chair, Department of Public Health Sciences and Graduate Department of Community Health, University of Toronto, "Engaging Adolescents Using Computer-Assisted Technology." Also appears online.
  • Gregory T. Smith, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, "Personality and Learning Factors Combine to Create Risk for Adolescent Alcohol Abuse: A Model and Suggestions for Intervention."
  • Ken C. Winters, Professor of Psychology, University of Minnesota, "Assessing Alcohol and Substance Use Problems in Adolescence: State of the Art."

Workshops

  • Nancy P. Barnett, NIAAA Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University, and Peter M. Monti, Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Associate Director of the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University, "Motivational Interviewing for Teen Drinking."
  • Tracy A. O'Leary, NIAAA Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University, and Louis Ruffolo, Treatment Provider, Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Brown University, "Motivational Interviewing for Teen Smoking."
  • Harvey A. Skinner, Professor and Chair, Department of Public Health Sciences and Graduate Department of Community Health, University of Toronto, "New Frontiers: Applying Information Technology to Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment."

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Report prepared by: Kelsey Menehan
Reviewed by: Robert Crum
Reviewed by: Robert Narus
Program Officer: Tracy C. Orleans

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