The cannabis youth treatment (CYT) study: Main findings from two randomized trials

TitleThe cannabis youth treatment (CYT) study: Main findings from two randomized trials
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsDennis, M, Godley, SH, Diamond, G, Tims, FM, Babor, T, Donaldson, J, Liddle, H, Titus, JC, Kaminer, Y, Webb, C, Hamilton, N, Funk, R
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Date PublishedOct
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number0740-5472 (Print)0740-5472 (Linking)
Accession Number15501373
KeywordsAdolescent, Alcoholism/economics/rehabilitation, Ambulatory Care/*economics, Cognitive Therapy/economics, Combined Modality Therapy, Family Therapy/economics, Female, Health Care Costs/*statistics & numerical data, Humans, Length of Stay/economics, Male, Marijuana Abuse/economics/*rehabilitation, Motivation, Outcome and Process Assessment (Health Care)/statistics & numerical data, Psychotherapy, Brief/*economics, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Reinforcement (Psychology), Reinforcement, Social, United States

This article presents the main outcome findings from two inter-related randomized trials conducted at four sites to evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of five short-term outpatient interventions for adolescents with cannabis use disorders. Trial 1 compared five sessions of Motivational Enhancement Therapy plus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MET/CBT) with a 12-session regimen of MET and CBT (MET/CBT12) and another that included family education and therapy components (Family Support Network [FSN]). Trial II compared the five-session MET/CBT with the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (ACRA) and Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT). The 600 cannabis users were predominately white males, aged 15-16. All five CYT interventions demonstrated significant pre-post treatment during the 12 months after random assignment to a treatment intervention in the two main outcomes: days of abstinence and the percent of adolescents in recovery (no use or abuse/dependence problems and living in the community). Overall, the clinical outcomes were very similar across sites and conditions; however, after controlling for initial severity, the most cost-effective interventions were MET/CBT5 and MET/CBT12 in Trial 1 and ACRA and MET/CBT5 in Trial 2. It is possible that the similar results occurred because outcomes were driven more by general factors beyond the treatment approaches tested in this study; or because of shared, general helping factors across therapies that help these teens attend to and decrease their connection to cannabis and alcohol.

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