Tech-assisted intervention for teens in drug rehab works, study says

tech assisted intervention teens drug rehab

Researchers adapted and evaluated technology-assisted interventions for parents of teenagers in drug rehab, and according to their 2017 study, the results have the potential to bring progress to the field of substance use treatment.

Teens in residential substance use disorder (SUD) rehabilitation treatment were “extremely” vulnerable, had a high risk of relapse and experienced poor results after they are discharged. Follow-up studies also revealed that 60 percent of teens failed to stay sober past 90 days.

Parenting practices also impacted SUD results in the teens. The researchers noted that parents of children with SUD were challenging to engage in traditional behavioral treatments.

Recent statistics from the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Service showed that there were 3,450 residential drug rehab facilities in the U.S. and just over 10 percent of all teens who pursue help with SUD will obtain treatment in this environment. Teens suffering from SUD and need residential treatment typically exhibit the most serious side effects and had the highest probabilities of behavioral, environmental, motivational, vocational and psychological problems.

The researchers augmented an existing computer-based intervention with four face-to-face coaching discussions, an online parent message board regulated by an expert, and personalized text messages. They hypothesized that parents who received the augmented tech-assisted intervention would find it adequate and beneficial, and teens would also have an increased likelihood of successful outcomes after discharge than those who only obtained standard care.

The study also suggested that technology-assisted interventions may better suit the requirement of both the clinical personnel and parents in various ways: Tech-assisted programs have the leverage of flexibility with accuracy — via tailored content that meets an individual’s specific requirements — while retaining essential elements of the content. Also, tech-assisted interventions can be performed at a low cost and require less time from staff. Finally, online-based programs through computers or smart devices with easy access are very encouraging.

Data aggregated to the study found that 87 percent of American adults reported using the internet, which included 77 percent of adults residing in a household that earned under $30,000 annually.

The study was approached in a two-phase method used to evaluate and adapt the augmented intervention. The first phase consisted of… (continue reading)