Effective Family Treatments for Adolescent Substance Use Disorders

Join the sixth webinar in this series on new approaches in evidence-based prevention and substance use disorder treatment for youth.  Click to register for the April 25, 2017 webinar. 

This presentation will describe the strong evidence base supporting family therapy for treating adolescent substance use disorders. It will first review the evidence for and content of empirically supported manualized family therapy models, including brief strategic family therapy (BSFT), functional family therapy (FFT), multidimensional family therapy (MDFT), and multisystemic therapy (MST). Although these “brand-name” models differ from one another along several dimensions of intervention focus and sequencing, they are common members of the broader FT approach. The presentation will delineate these “core elements” of FT, including signature interventions such as embracing developmentally calibrated parenting strategies, intervening directly with family members to repair intrafamilial relationships, and addressing challenges encountered by adolescents and caregivers in key extrafamilial systems. Second, the presentation will describe an innovative empirical method for distilling the core elements of FT that can also serve as a template for rigorous distillation of other treatment approaches. Finally, we will present data on the fidelity and effectiveness of core family therapy implemented in community settings during routine care for adolescent problems behaviors.