Brief Family-Based Therapy for Adolescent Drug Abuse

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): In the last decade, great strides have been made in the development of empirically supported treatments for adolescent drug abuse. Much less progress has been made in adapting and transporting these treatments to non-research practice settings, in large part because the treatment models and methods are not community-friendly. They are too complex, too costly, and too long to be implemented and sustained under the current programmatic and financial realities of community practice. In response to RFA DA-02-006, we are proposing a 3-year treatment development study in which we will develop and evaluate through an iterative process a brief, prescriptive, 8-session, family-based therapy for adolescent drug abusers that is specifically intended to be community-friendly. This treatment will be brief therapy adaptation of an existing, manual-based treatment, Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT; Liddle, 2002) that has been shown efficacious. As part of the proposed project, a therapy manual for this brief version of the treatment (MDFT-B) and associated training materials, suitable for use with community-based drug counselors will be produced. Therapist adherence and competence measures also will be developed. This will be followed by a randomized, controlled pilot study of 70 adolescent drug abusers and their families, in which we will test the acceptability and efficacy of MDFT-B versus Community Treatment As Usual (CTAU), and examine predictors of outcome in both. The study will be carried out in a local community treatment agency, using existing clinic staff to deliver the treatments. Drug use outcomes and changes in prosocial functioning will be assessed during treatment, at termination, and at 3 and 6 months post-intake. The study could produce one of the first brief, family-based therapies for adolescent drug abusers and yield findings that would have significant implications for technology transfer efforts.
Effective start/end date9/25/027/31/07


  • National Institutes of Health: $298,365.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $294,245.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $299,138.00


  • Medicine(all)


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