Blog: Adolescent Mental Health

Adjusting to Parity: NIATx Accelerating Reform Initiative December 2009–July 2010

What is the Accelerating Reform Initiative?

In a pilot project supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the NIATx Accelerating Reform Initiative (ARI), 23 organizations in 12 states are working to accelerate their reform efforts.
What's the Purpose of Initiative?

The purpose of ARI is to give behavioral health care organizations the tools and peer supports needed to respond to the sweeping changes that parity, health care integration and decreased grant funding may bring. These include:

Roundup: "Culture of Violence" in NY's juvenile prisons; Cost-Benefit Analysis in the Juvenile Justice System; Parity Legislation May Change Business of Addiction Treatment; and More

juvenile-justice-reform-adolescent-substance-abuse-treatment-news_old-TVJuvenile Justice Reform News

  • The New York Times published a strong editorial arguing for immediate and decisive action on the part of the federal government to address shockingly high rates of sexual abuse in juvenile detention centers and prisons around the country. (Last week, the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) published the first-ever report of its kind on the sexual victimization of teens behind bars.)
  • James Bell of the W. Haywood Burns Institute seized on the BJA's report to deliver another eloquent, blistering column on the state of the juvenile justice system this week: "Captured by the Clueless." If you're interested in Bell's work on disproportionate minority contact, you should also check out his interview with John Kelly of Youth Today.
  • Gotham Gazette published an excellent look at New York state's struggle to get rid of the "culture of violence" in its juvenile justice system. (Hat tip to @policy4results.) Staff-vs.-youth violence has been documented in reports by the U.S. Department of Justice, a task force set up by the governor of New York, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Human Rights Watch. The Gotham Gazette piece does a good job of explaining the frustrations of reformers as well as the counter-arguments of union representatives. But what resonated most strongly with me was this quote:

The 17-year-old who spent time in the state's facilities said the workers' attitudes varied. "Some staff was like, 'Let them be kids'; other staff was like, 'They did a crime.' Others were like, 'I just don't care 'cause I still get paid.' There was some staff that really helped me and there were others that didn't care," she recalled.

CSAT Travel Awards for 2010 College on Problems of Drug Dependence Conference

The following is reprinted from the State of Oregon's Mental Health and Addiction Services email digest. I made a few minor edits and added an image by Marxchivist.

adolescent-substance-abuse-treatment-CSAT_rocket-shipEvery year, CSAT sends a small number of addiction counselors, supervisors, educators and community agency administrators to the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD), one of the bst week-long conferences on the latest drug treatment research in the world. The 2010 CPDD will be held June 12-17 in Scottsdale, Arizona. All expenses are covered for those selected. Please note the January 10 deadline for applications. 
CSAT Travel Awards

The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) will sponsor up to 30 Travel Awards for substance abuse treatment practitioners to attend the 2010 CPDD meeting. All expenses will be covered: i.e., conference registration, airfare, travel to and from the airport, and hotel accommodation. To be eligible, candidates must hold full-time employment as a director or clinical supervisor in a substance abuse treatment program and not be an employee of the federal government. Further, your direct supervisor will need to agree to allow you to attend if you are selected. Only one award will be given to any specific program. Previous CSAT travel award recipients are not eligible to apply. Applicants will be sent e-mails by the end of March indicating award status. 

Roundup: Celebration of OJJDP at 35; Only Half of U.S. Youth with Mental Disorders Are Treated; Little Progress for African-American Youth in Justice System; and More

juvenile-justice-adolescent-mental-health-news_old-TVJuvenile Justice: OJJDP at 35

  • Almost all of the past administrators of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) gathered at a historic forum in Washington, D.C. to celebrate OJJDP's 35th birthday and reflect on their successes and challenges. The forum, held in November, was organized by Youth Today.


Introducing an Evidence-Based, Time- and Cost-Efficient Assessment for Adolescents: CHAT

To help organizations seeking a time- and cost-efficient assessment for adolescents, Inflexxion developed the Comprehensive Health Assessment for Teens, or CHAT, which has been found to be both valid and reliable in research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
The CHAT format is based on the ASI-MV Connect, a self-administered, multimedia version of the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) developed by Dr. A. Thomas McLellan. A number of treatment centers, such as the Center for Drug-Free Living in Orlando, Florida, are using the ASI-MV Connect as part of the NIATx campaign to streamline their assessment procedures [PDF].

Reality TV Rehab Shows and Health Care Reform

substance-abuse-treatment_newspaper-headline_ehab-for-CamillaIf it is true that dollars drive decisions and the media shape attitudes on spending for public policy, we better all get off our couches, get involved, and mobilize to make sure policy makers understand how important it is to support youth and families in recovery.
Our family has suffered for years with generations of the disease of addiction. Two of our kids have made it; two have not. But when I was channel surfing last night, I saw enough images of  “rehab” to know there’s no hope that anyone would fund youth and family recovery services, given the current public will and culture.
Sensationalistic depictions of addiction are sold by the media business to get ratings, the media impacts public opinion and government, and the government impacts recovery spending on our health prospects and the future.

Roundup: Introducing "At-Promise" Teens; Girls in the Justice System Often Poly-Victimized; SAMHSA Data on Teen Behavioral Health

adolescent-substance-abuse-juvenile-justice-system-news-old-TVJuvenile Justice System News (Mostly)

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Issues in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act - Recommendations - Part 2 of 2

This report on adolescent substance abuse and mental health issues in the federal legislation governing the juvenile justice system is reprinted, with permission, from the Spring/Summer 2009 issue of The Link: Connecting Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare, published by the Child Welfare League of America. The final fact sheet, suitable for printing, can be found on the Act-4-JJ website.

The second part, below, contains recommendations for strengthening the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act; the first part lays out the justification and the key issues.

Recommendations for Strengthening JJDPA Mental Health and Substance Abuse Provisions

  • Call for and provide federal funding for collaboration between state and local agencies, programs, and organizations that serve children, including schools, mental health and substance abuse agencies, law enforcement and probation personnel, juvenile courts, departments of corrections, child welfare, and other public health agencies. Juvenile justice agencies should involve families whenever appropriate.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Issues in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act - Key Issues - Part 1 of 2

adolescent-substance-abuse-and-mental-health-The-Link-logoThis report on adolescent substance abuse and mental health issues in the federal legislation governing the juvenile justice system is reprinted, with permission, from the Spring/Summer 2009 issue of The Link: Connecting Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare, published by the Child Welfare League of America. The final fact sheet, suitable for printing, can be found on the Act-4-JJ website. 

The first part, below, describes the justification and the key issues; the second part contains recommendations for strengthening the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act.

When Congress considers legislation later this year to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), mental health and substance abuse issues will be a top priority.
Available data from single site and multisite studies indicate that 70% or more of youth who are securely detained in a juvenile justice facility may suffer with mental health and related disorders; rates of mental health and substance abuse disorders appear to be somewhat higher for girls than boys; and more than 20% of such youth suffer disorders so severe that their ability to function is significantly impaired (Abram, Teplin, McClelland, & Dulcan, 2003; Skowyra & Cocozza, 2007; Teplin, Abram, McClelland, Dulcan, & Mericle, 2002).
Among youth under nonresidential court supervision (e.g., on probation), the rate of diagnosable mental health and substance abuse disorders is approximately 50%.
By comparison, in the general youth population, approximately 20% of youth suffer with mental health and substance abuse disorders. In addition, justice system involved youth may experience behavioral/emotional disorders for the first time because of contact with the juvenile justice system.

Adolescent Substance Abuse: GAIN-Related Publications Using Practice-Based Evidence

One of the great advantages of using the Global Appraisal of Individual Needs (GAIN) to assess individuals for substance abuse and mental health issues is the amount of high-quality data it collects that can be used to improve services and tailor treatment -- in this case, for adolescents. 
Before the GAIN, there wasn't a lot of reliable data available about adolescent needs. Now there is. By June 30, 2009 there were over 1,127 state, county, agencies and grantees (including 271 from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment [CSAT]) using the GAIN.  This includes 271 CSAT grantees that have pooled their data and made it available for secondary analysis by local evaluators, researchers and students to help move the field forward with "practice-based evidence".  Close to 50 different scientists from over three dozen agencies are using the data. 

Roundup: Hospitals May Be Required to Deal with Addictions; Teens Say Easier to Get Pot than Cigarettes; and More

Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Providers - Free Technical Assistance

adolescent-substance-abuse-treatment-NIATx-logoThis is huge. If you represent an adolescent substance abuse treatment provider, then you should run, not walk, over to the NIATx ACTION Campaign II site to take part in a free 18-month initiative to help you reduce costs, improve services, and increase revenue.
Even if you don't represent a treatment provider, you should email this post to providers in your area right away -- to both adult and teen providers, substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment -- it doesn't matter. They'll bless you for it.

Roundup: Calls for Juvenile Justice Reform to Stop New York Abuses; ADHD Drug Abuse Up 76%

60% of Juvenile Justice System Youth Have Three or More Mental Health Disorders

juvenile-justice-system-adolescent-mental-health-NCMJJ-logoOver 60% of youth in the juvenile justice system meet criteria for three or more mental health disorders, per a 2006 multi-state study by the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice. And 60.8% of youth who meet criteria for a mental health disorder also meet criteria for a substance abuse disorder. (Thanks to Paul Savery of the North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services for the tip.)

Roundup: Juvenile Justice System Teens in D.C. Mow Lawns for Elderly; Juvenile Court Privacy Disappearing; and More

juvenile-justice-adolescent-treatment-roundup-oldTVWhen it comes to the juvenile justice system and adolescent substance abuse, there's always something cooking. Check out this week's bonanza of resources and new stories:

Roundup: Juvenile Justice Reform Supported by The New York Times; Addiction Parity Law May be Thwarted; and More

Juvenile Delinquency Report Card Underscores Need for Reclaiming Futures and Early Intervention

[This post was written by Ashley Edwards, Kelly Graves, and Claretta Witherspoon, of the Reclaiming Futures site in Guilford County, NC.]
juvenile-justice-reform-North-Carolina_Old-report-cardNorth Carolina’s Action for Children recently released the 2009 Youth Delinquency Prevention Report Card.  The release of these data will inform service delivery and outreach to adolescents throughout the state, and can be instrumental in helping us advocate for continued investment and expansion of the Reclaiming Futures program. 

Effective Mental Health Screening in Juvenile Justice - 10 Key Steps: a Webinar

juvenile-mental-health-screenings-self-portrait-of-teen.jpgYouth Today tipped me off to an upcoming one-hour webinar on conducting mental health screenings and assessments in the juvenile justice system.
It's sponsored by The Council of State Governments' Justice Center and will be held June 30, from 3pm - 4pm EST. Among other things, the webinar will "showcase '10 steps' that have proven to be necessary for effective implementation of mental health screening in juvenile justice settings."
Follow the links to register.

*Photo copyright Adam Foster | Codefor; reposted under Creative Commons license.

Roundup: Juvenile Life-Without-Parole Cases to be Reviewed by Supreme Court; Racism May Hurt Kids' Mental Health; and More

  • juvenile-justice-adolescent-treatment-news-newspaperBiggest news of the week: according to The New York Times, the U.S. Supreme Court is taking up the question of whether it's appropriate to sentence juveniles to life without parole, given its 2005 decision that execution for crimes committed as a juvenile is inappropriate given what we now know about their developing brains.