A Critical Review of Adolescent Substance Abuse Group Treatments

  title={A Critical Review of Adolescent Substance Abuse Group Treatments},
  author={Brett Engle and Mark J. Macgowan},
  journal={Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work},
  pages={217 - 243}
Objective: Evidence-based social work requires the use of interventions that are supported by good research evidence. This article reviews the empirical research on adolescent alcohol and other drug (AOD) abuse group treatments. Despite the popularity of group work, searches of the academic literature yielded only 13 adolescent group treatments for which AOD use outcomes have been reported. These treatments and the studies that evaluated them are systematically reviewed. Method: Methodological… 

Group Versus Individual Therapy in Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment: Finding Interventions that Work

Clients receiving individual therapy only in both The Seven Challenges program and the eclectic counseling category had greater decreases in substance use and had more successful discharges in fewer overall treatment sessions.

Group Treatment Effectiveness for Substance Use Disorders: Abstinence vs. Harm Reduction

It was hypothesized that group treatment will remain an effective intervention to treat substance use disorders between treatment philosophies and that no significant differences exist between-group comparisons, and meta-analysis indicated that there was not a statistically significant difference between outcomes of substance use by treatment philosophy.

Listening to youth: Adolescents' reasons for substance use as a unique predictor of treatment response and outcome.

  • Sarah J. DowJ. Kelly
  • Psychology
    Psychology of addictive behaviors : journal of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors
  • 2013
Adolescents' primary reason for substance use may provide unique clinical information that could inform treatment planning and patient-treatment matching, and uniquely predicted treatment response and outcome independent of a variety of other predictors, including abstinence motivation, self-efficacy, coping, and prior treatment.

Markers of Marijuana Use Outcomes Within Adolescent Substance Abuse Group Treatment

Objectives: Despite their popularity, little is known about what distinguishes effective from ineffective or even iatrogenic adolescent group interventions. Methods: Audio recordings and transcripts

A group therapy program for opioid-dependent adolescents and their parents.

Completion rates and self-report of outcomes from this group program indicate promise and warrant further testing.

A randomized trial of culturally accommodated versus standard group treatment for Latina/o adolescents with substance use disorders: Posttreatment through 12-month outcomes.

This is one of the first studies to demonstrate that a culturally accommodated treatment differentially improved outcomes compared with that of its standard equivalent for a sample of Latina/o adolescents with SUDs.

A family-oriented therapy program for youths with substance abuse: long-term outcomes related to relapse and academic or social status

It is revealed that a family-oriented treatment approach may be a more effective option for preventing youths’ relapsing into substance abuse and school attendance or social outcome over the follow-up period.

Utilizing Mutual Aid in Reducing Adolescent Substance Use and Developing Group Engagement

Objective: This study assessed the effectiveness of mutual aid groups for high school students. Methods: A quasi-experimental design was applied to 242 adolescents, where every other adolescent was

Psychosocial Interventions for Women with HIV/AIDS

This study critically reviews the treatment features, methodological quality, and efficacy of these interventions addressing the well-being of women with HIV/AIDS and identified the Teaching, Raising and Communicating with Kids and the Maternal HIV Self-Care Symptom Management programs as promising treatments.



The effectiveness of the Minnesota Model approach in the treatment of adolescent drug abusers.

Favorable treatment outcome for drug abuse was about two to three times more likely if treatment was completed, and there were no outcome differences between residential and outpatient groups.

Evaluating the effectiveness of child and adolescent group treatment: a meta-analytic review.

A meta-analysis of 56 outcome studies published between 1974 and 1997 indicates that group treatment was significantly more effective for children than wait-list and placebo control groups.


Results support the efficacy of MDFT, a relatively short-term, multicomponent, multitarget, family-based intervention in significantly reducing adolescent drug abuse and facilitating adaptive and protective developmental processes.

Youth Drug Abuse Treatment: A Controlled Outcome Study

Improved functioning of youths in the behavioral program was evidenced by significantly greater school/work attendance, improved youth- and partent-relationship satisfaction ratings, improved conduct ratings, decreased depression, and decreased frequency of alcohol use as compared to youth in the supportiv...

Psychotherapies for adolescent substance abusers: a pilot study.

CBT appears to be a promising short-term psychosocial intervention for adolescents, and school function, peer-social relationships, legal problems, and psychiatric severity all showed a consistent nonsignificant direction in favor of CBT over IT.

The Cannabis Youth Treatment (CYT) Study: main findings from two randomized trials.

Measuring treatment process in cognitive-behavioral and interactional group therapies for adolescent substance abusers.

The Group Sessions Rating Scale (GSRS), a group-therapy process measure, was studied and was found to be effective in the measurement of treatment process in adolescents with SUD.

The differential effectiveness of group psychotherapy: A meta-analytic perspective.

The differential effectiveness of group psychotherapy was estimated in a meta-analysis of 111 experimental and quasi-experimental studies published over the past 20 years. A number of client,


Replication of these findings, continued exploration of potential matching effects of conduct disorder, age, and gender to singular or integrative treatment modalities, and exploration of aftercare programs for the maintenance or enhancement of treatment gains are warranted.