Even though it was a holiday week, I ran across a number of interesting stories and resources.
Several years ago, I had the pleasure of conducting focus groups with youth who were in various stages of recovery following treatment. The consistency of responses among the groups of youth I spoke with was overwhelming and pushed me to think about what we need to do for youth following treatment that might be different than for adults.
A major theme that came out of each group was that they felt abandoned after they completed treatment. They were told things like:
Anyone in the field of juvenile justice or teen treatment knows that youth who return to the community after a period in a secure residential setting are in for a rough ride. Many return to drugs and crime -- even when aftercare is available.
According Dr. David Altschuler (see photo), it's not surprising that so many youth fail in aftercare, since the skills they must learn in order to succeed in residential care are not the same skills they need to succeed in the community.
What works in juvenile justice? That's always a big question. After every youth violence tragedy, government officials are asked what they intend to do about teen crime. Academics and experts are asked how to reduce delinquency, how to lower recidivism, and which programs and policies are most effective?
A few quick links that crossed our desk today:
- Many of you probably saw this on Join Together, but it's worth repeating: according to a new national survey, 19% of teens surveyed say that it's easier for them to buy prescription drugs than beer, cigarettes, or marijuana. More info on the survey from the Center for Substance Abuse Research (CESAR) at the University of Maryland here.
Researchers investigating the prevalence of substance abuse problems among youthful offenders find that the rate of abuse varies according to where they look.
If you don't live in Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, or Washington, I can't actually tell you how your state measures up with regard to clients initiating and engaging in treatment.
But that's the point: only a few states in the nation can answer that question, and that needs to change.
Which is at least partly why
Need to make the case that teen alcohol and drug use must be addressed in the community or in the justice system?
- Curious about what works in teen drug treatment, or are you looking for a database of evidence-based adolescent substance abuse treatment programs?
- Want to learn more about the research behind a particular treatment model?
- Need a refresher on what's out there, or need a citation for a grant proposal?
Here's a handy list of five public registries of evidence-based treatment programs, including those targeting adolescent substance abuse:
- State of Oregon Addictions and Mental Health Division's List of Approved Practices
- SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs & Practices
- Community Guide from Helping America's Youth
- University of Washington’s EBP Database
- Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Model Programs Guide
I found this list in an excellent guide on adolescent treatment put together by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the State of North Carolina, with funding from SAMHSA and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). On page six of the guide, you'll find two more online resources on evidence-based practices: your bonus for checking it out!
Go here for help implementing your evidence-based practice; and if you know of other registries that track evidence-based adolescent substance abuse treatment models, please leave a comment!
When you've assembled all the players in your Reclaiming Futures initiative for the first time, can you tell if the collaborative will be successful? Are there ways to help it along?
Are girls becoming more violent? Evidently not.