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Brief Substance Use Intervention for Youth in Teen Court

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
RAND Identifier:
First received: July 20, 2011
Last updated: May 6, 2015
Last verified: May 2015
Youth involved in the juvenile justice system have multiple problems, including an earlier onset of alcohol and drug use and higher rates of alcohol and drug use than their peers in the general population. This 4.5 year study will develop and evaluate a new group intervention for youth who have committed a first time alcohol or drug offense. Teens will be randomized to receive either usual care or the new group intervention. Teens will complete a baseline, post-test (when they complete the intervention, which could vary for each teen but is typically around 6-8 weeks), and a 3-month follow-up survey upon completion of the intervention. The investigators will examine outcomes for a variety of behaviors, including alcohol and drug use and assess whether there are differences between the teens who received usual care and the teens who received the new group intervention.

Condition Intervention Phase
Alcohol or Other Drugs Use
Behavioral: Usual care
Behavioral: Project Free Talk
Phase 1
Phase 2

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Brief Substance Use Intervention for Youth in Teen Court

Further study details as provided by RAND:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • frequency of alcohol and drug use [ Time Frame: three month follow up ]
    this will include the frequency of drinking and the frequency of marijuana use

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • frequency of other risk behaviors [ Time Frame: 3 month follow up ]
    this will include sexual behavior and delinquent behavior

Enrollment: 193
Study Start Date: January 2009
Study Completion Date: August 2014
Primary Completion Date: November 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Usual Care
Teens will receive six sessions of an alcohol and drug education group
Behavioral: Usual care
alcohol and drug education
Other Name: ADAG
Experimental: Project Free Talk
Teens will receive six sessions of and evidenced based motivational interviewing alcohol and drug program
Behavioral: Project Free Talk
motivational interviewing alcohol and drug program

Detailed Description:
It is well known that youth involved in the juvenile justice system have multiple problems, including an earlier onset of alcohol and drug use and higher rates of alcohol and drug use than their peers in the general population. Several recent innovative treatment approaches have been developed to address substance use and the multiple problems that these at-risk youth experience. What is less well documented, however, are innovative approaches to treat youth who are first time alcohol or drug offenders and who may just be beginning to experience problems due to their substance use. The investigators propose a 4.5 year study to adapt and test an efficacious group intervention among teens who have committed a first time alcohol or other drug misdemeanor offense. These teens have been referred by the juvenile Probation Department to a Teen Court program because they have not been found to need more serious intervention such as treatment or detention. The objectives of the proposed research are to: Aim 1. Design a developmentally sensitive intervention curriculum in which the investigators (a) utilize our previous work and components from relevant existing approaches targeting at-risk adolescents, (b) establish participant acceptance, and (c) establish feasibility of intervention delivery with the participants, providers and the proposed setting; Aim 2. Implement a pilot test of the revised intervention with an adolescent population of first time offenders in which the investigators (a) demonstrate our ability to retain sufficient numbers of this population; (b) ensure intervention fidelity throughout the course of the study and (c) evaluate participant satisfaction, group engagement, and group climate; Aim 3. Examine the impact of the intervention on cognitive and behavioral outcomes to determine (a) whether clinically significant changes in expectancies, perceived prevalence of peer use, self-change efforts, alcohol consumption, marijuana and other drug use, and related consequences occur; (b) if reductions occur, estimate the likely effect sizes, and (c) explore the mechanism of change for decreases in substance use and consequences through mediation analyses. Our study seeks to narrow the gap between research and practice and builds upon recommendations by NIDA's Blue Ribbon Task Force by conducting research in a nonacademic setting with a population at high risk for alcohol and drug abuse. This study will extend selective intervention research for at-risk youth, as it will be one of the first to examine the impact of a theoretically based selective intervention for first time juvenile Alcohol or Other Drug (AOD) offenders.

Ages Eligible for Study:   14 Years to 18 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 14-18 years old;
  • English speaking

Exclusion Criteria:

  • has medical marijuana card;
  • is older or younger than 14-18 years old,
  • does not speak English
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01464554

United States, California
The Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Santa Barbara, California, United States, 93101
Sponsors and Collaborators
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth J. D'Amico, Ph.D. RAND
  More Information

Responsible Party: RAND Identifier: NCT01464554     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R01DA019938-01 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: July 20, 2011
Last Updated: May 6, 2015

Keywords provided by RAND:

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Anti-Infective Agents, Local
Anti-Infective Agents
Central Nervous System Depressants
Physiological Effects of Drugs processed this record on April 28, 2017