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Am J Addict. 2001 Spring;10(2):178-89.

An overview of controlled studies of adolescent substance abuse treatment.

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Alcohol Research Center, Institute of Psychiatry, 67 President St., Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.


Although several treatments for adolescents with substance use disorders are available, there are few well-controlled studies in the extant literature that compare these treatments for efficacy. This paper provides an overview of controlled treatment studies for adolescents with substance use disorders. It focuses specifically on five main treatment modalities: family-based and multi-systemic interventions, behavioral therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, pharmacotherapy, and twelve step approaches. Examples of adolescent-specific standardized assessment instruments are also provided, the inclusion of which may improve future treatment comparison studies. While the results look especially promising for cognitive behavioral therapy and family-based/multi-systemic therapies for adolescents with SUDs, most of the relevant studies fail to utilize validated outcome measures, making it difficult to conclude that one treatment approach is more effective than another.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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