Blog: Research Updates

Cocaine Still a Problem - Especially for White Teens

graphed data through a magnifying glassCharles M. Blow, in an Op-Ed in the January 9th New York Times, reported some scary data from the annual Monitoring the Future study:
...[T]he percentage of both black and white 12th graders who confessed to using cocaine in the past 30 days has essentially stayed flat since 2001. The major difference is that white usage outweighs black usage 4 to 1.
He goes on to add:

Round-up: State Budget Gaps, Research on Alcohol and Kids, Vulnerable Populations in Juvenile Justice

Even though it was a holiday week, I ran across a number of interesting stories and resources.

Models for Youth Aftercare: Finding Out What Works

Headshot of Randy Muck
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:

When Teens Leave Residential Care: What's Next?

Picture of David AltschulerAnyone 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. 

Brief News: Teens and Prescription Drugs; Bristol County Gets Noticed; "Two Reforms" Story Stirs Controversy

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.

Treatment Initiation and Engagment: Does Your State Measure Up?

PowerPointslide - thumbnailIf 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

Handy Reference List for Evidence-Based Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Models

  • 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:

  1. State of Oregon Addictions and Mental Health Division's List of Approved Practices
  2. SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs & Practices
  3. Community Guide from Helping America's Youth 
  4. University of Washington’s EBP Database
  5. 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!

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