Multidimensional family therapy: A science-based treatment system for adolescent drug abuse

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8 Scopus citations


Background: Multidimensional family therapy is the most researched family based intervention for adolescent substance abuse. Research and coverage: Funded continuously since 1985 in a series of controlled trials, process studies, economic analyses, and implementation studies, MDFT has achieved positive outcomes at post treatment and at various follow-up periods at one year and beyond when compared to a variety of active treatments, including cognitive behavior therapy, group counseling, multifamily groups, as well as in comparisons against services as usual. MDFT is a treatment system rather than a one size fits all model, having been adapted for testing and implementation in a variety of U. S. locations and in a multinational controlled trial in Europe over the past 5 years (Berlin, Paris, Brussels, The Hague, and Geneva). Studies have tested MDFT in juvenile justice settings such as drug courts, detention centers, residential treatment, as well as in outpatient treatment offered in drug and juvenile justice outpatient settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


  • Adolescent substance abuse
  • Family-based treatment
  • Multidimensional family therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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