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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2002 Jul;23(1):21-32.

Preliminary outcomes from the assertive continuing care experiment for adolescents discharged from residential treatment.

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Chestnut Health Systems, 720 W. Chestnut Street, Bloomington, IL 61701, USA.


In many treatment systems, adolescents referred to residential treatment have the most serious alcohol or other substance use disorders and are at high risk of relapse. Upon discharge, these adolescents are typically referred to continuing care services, however, linkage to these services is often problematic. In this study, 114 adolescents (76% male) who stayed at least 7 days in residential treatment were randomly assigned to receive either usual continuing care (UCC) or UCC plus an assertive continuing care protocol (ACC) involving case management and the adolescent community reinforcement approach. ACC participants were significantly more likely to initiate and receive more continuing care services, to be abstinent from marijuana at 3 months postdischarge, and to reduce their 3-month postdischarge days of alcohol use. Preliminary findings demonstrate an ACC approach designed for adolescents can increase linkage and retention in continuing care and improve short-term substance use outcomes.

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