April 2007

Grant Results

SUMMARY

In January 2003, the nonprofit research institute Drug Strategies published a national guide to drug treatment programs for teens. The institute also established a companion Web site to the guide.

Key Results

  • The guide, entitled Treating Teens: A Guide to Adolescent Drug Programs, provides parents and caregivers with concrete ways to assess treatment programs. It also includes:
    • A detailed description of the nine key elements that contribute to treatment effectiveness.
    • Summary profiles of 144 adolescent treatment programs with elements of effective treatment, and an in-depth look at seven promising programs.
    • Hotline numbers and Web site addresses for teen substance abuse treatment centers in each state.
    • Definitions of frequently used treatment terms.
  • The companion Web site includes:
    • A searchable database with detailed profiles of the treatment programs summarized in the guide.
    • Research articles on adolescent substance abuse.

Funding
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided a two-year grant of $451,090 in 2001 to fund development of the guide and Web site.

 See Grant Detail & Contact Information
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THE PROBLEM

The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse found that one million youth from ages 12 to 17 were drug dependent in 1998; however, only 175,000 received treatment that year. Only a few dozen of the more than 6,700 publicly funded treatment programs nationwide are designed exclusively for adolescents, according to the federal Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Very little information was available on adolescent treatment choices or on which approaches to treatment were most promising, according to Drug Strategies.

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RWJF STRATEGY

RWJF began putting greater emphasis on expanding substance abuse treatment opportunities around 2000. Staff of Join Together, an RWJF-funded resource center for community substance abuse initiatives, recognized that communities did not have enough treatment slots and launched a new initiative to help increase the number of people getting into treatment programs. The national program Reclaiming Futures®: Communities Helping Teens Overcome Drugs, Alcohol & Crime, established in 2001, supports efforts to integrate substance abuse treatment programs into juvenile justice systems. In 2003, RWJF's drug and alcohol team formally shifted its primary focus from prevention to treatment.

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THE PROJECT

Drug Strategies convened an advisory panel of experts in drug treatment and adolescent health. (See the Appendix for a list of panel members.) The panel identified key elements of effective treatment for adolescents. Project staff surveyed national organizations and state officials to identify exemplary treatment programs. Drug Strategies interviewed officials at the 144 recommended programs and drafted profiles of each program. Staff also conducted site visits to six highly regarded programs.

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RESULTS

A Drug Strategies' report to RWJF included the following results of the project:

  • Drug Strategies produced Treating Teens: A Guide to Adolescent Drug Programs, a 60-page guide designed to provide parents and caregivers with concrete ways to assess treatment programs. The guide includes a detailed description of nine key elements that contribute to treatment effectiveness:
    • Assessment and treatment matching.
    • A comprehensive, integrated treatment approach.
    • Family involvement in treatment.
    • A developmentally appropriate program.
    • Engaging and retaining teens in treatment.
    • Qualified staff.
    • Gender and cultural competence.
    • Continuing care.
    • Treatment outcomes.

    The guide contains summary profiles of 144 adolescent treatment programs that feature elements of effective treatment, and an in-depth look at seven promising programs. It also lists 10 important questions to ask a treatment program, hotline numbers and Web site addresses for teen substance abuse treatment centers in each state and includes definitions of frequently used treatment terms.

  • Drug Strategies created a companion Web site, which includes a searchable database with detailed profiles of the treatment programs summarized in the guide, research articles on adolescent substance abuse and the survey instruments used to create the treatment program profiles.

Communications

Drug Strategies released Treating Teens: A Guide to Adolescent Drug Programs at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington on January 14, 2003. ABC's "Good Morning America" did a segment on the guide that day. Other coverage included the Associated Press, Reuters, Newsweek, Parade and National Public Radio. Drug Strategies has disseminated 7,000 to 10,000 copies of Treating Teens; it sent copies to governor's offices, state organizations, treatment providers and professional associations. The guide is available for purchase online. Project staff has made presentations to national meetings of state legislators, judges and alcohol and drug abuse officials, and will make a presentation about the guide at the national meeting of the American Public Health Association in November 2003. For details, see the Bibliography.

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AFTER THE GRANT

RWJF has awarded Drug Strategies two grants (see Grant Results on ID#s 048000 and 052014) totaling $330,005. The first grant provided additional support to prepare the guide to target physicians, juvenile judges, and state alcohol and drug abuse directors.

The second grant was for the resurvey of the 144 programs covered in the guide to determine if their treatment quality has improved since the publication of the Guide. The outcome of this project will be a report outlining how many more of the 9 elements have been incorporated into the original programs.

According an interview with the program officer, Constance M. Pechura, Ph.D., in June 2007, "the Teen Treatment Guide is still widely cited and in demand [as of June 2007. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America has been actively seeking out Drug Strategies to use this report on their new Parent Resource Center because it is the only thing around and parents are struggling to get more information."

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GRANT DETAILS & CONTACT INFORMATION

Project

Developing a Guide to Treatment Programs for Adolescent Substance Abusers

Grantee

Drug Strategies (Washington,  DC)

  • Amount: $ 451,090
    Dates: February 2001 to January 2003
    ID#:  039051

Contact

Mathea Falco, J.D.
(202) 289-9070
mfalcot@aol.com

Web Site

http://www.drugstrategies.org/teens

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APPENDICES


Appendix 1

(Current as of the time of the grant; provided by the grantee organization; not verified by RWJF.)

Teen Treatment Advisory Panel

Robert Millman, M.D. (Panel Chair)
Saul P. Steinberg Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry
Chief, Division of Community and Public Health Programs
Weill Medical College
Cornell University
New York, N.Y.

Mady Chalk, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Managed Care
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Rockville, Md.

H. Westley Clark, M.D., J.D., M.P.H., C.A.S.
Director, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Rockville, Md.

Stephanie Covington, M.D.
Co-Director
Institute for Relational Development
La Jolla, Calif.

Michael L. Dennis, Ph.D.
Senior Research Psychologist
Chestnut Health Systems
Bloomington, Ill.

Susan Merle Gordon, Ph.D.
Director, Research and Professional Training
Caron Foundation
Wernersville, Pa.

Nancy Jainchill, Ph.D.
Deputy Director
Center for Therapeutic Community Research
New York, N.Y.

John Knight, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Children's Hospital
Harvard Medical School
Cambridge, Mass.

David C. Lewis, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Brown University
Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies
Providence, R.I.

Howard Liddle, Ed.D.
Director, Center for Treatment Research on Adolescent Drug Abuse
University of Miami School of Medicine
Miami, Fla.

A. Thomas McLellan, M.D.
Professor of Psychiatry
Treatment Research Institute
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pa.

Andrew Morral, Ph.D.
Behavioral Scientist
Drug Policy Research Center
RAND
Santa Monica, Calif.

Randolph Muck
Project Officer, Practice and Systems Development
Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Rockville, Md.

Elizabeth Rahdert, Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate
NOVA Research Company
Bethesda, Md.

Richard A. Rawson, Ph.D.
Associate Director
UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs
Los Angeles, Calif.

Mitchell S. Rosenthal, Ph.D.
President
Phoenix House Foundation
New York, N.Y.

John Schwarzlose
President
Betty Ford Center
Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Howard Jeffrey Shaffer, Ph.D.
Director, Division on Addictions
Harvard Medical School
Cambridge, Mass.

Deborah Risher Simkin, M.D.
Former Chair, Adolescent Substance Abuse Committee
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Washington, D.C.

James Steinhagen
Director
Hazelden Center for Youth and Families
North Plymouth, Minn.

Holly B. Waldron, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, N.M.

Ken C. Winters, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minn.

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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.)

Reports

Treating Teens: A Guide to Adolescent Drug Programs. Washington: Drug Strategies, 2003. Available for purchase online.

Survey Instruments

"Adolescent Treatment Provider Mail/Fax Survey." Drug Strategies, fielded 2001–2002. Available online.

"Adolescent Treatment Provider Telephone Survey." Drug Strategies, fielded 2001–2002. Available online.

World Wide Web Sites

www.drugstrategies.org/teens is the companion Web site to the printed report, Treating Teens: A Guide to Adolescent Drug Programs. Washington: Drug Strategies, 2002.

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Report prepared by: Jamie Hannay
Reviewed by: Robert Crum
Reviewed by: Robert Narus
Reviewed by: Molly McKaughan
Program Officer: Constance M. Pechura