Project CHAT

A Brief Motivational Substance Abuse Intervention for Teens in Primary Care

Published in: Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, v. 32, no. 2, Mar. 2007, p. 153-165

Posted on RAND.org on March 01, 2007

by Stefanie Howard, Lisa S. Meredith, Jessica Gholson, Paul Gore, Elizabeth J. D'Amico

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Many adolescents use alcohol and drugs (AODs); however, most do not seek help because of stigma or confidentiality concerns. Providing services in settings that teens frequent may decrease barriers. We examined the feasibility of adapting a brief motivational intervention (MI) for high-risk adolescents (age 12-18 years) in a primary care (PC) setting by conducting small feedback sessions with adolescents, parents, and clinic staff, and pilot testing the MI with adolescents. Findings from feedback sessions indicated that clinic staff thought teens would not talk about AOD use. In contrast, adolescents reported that they would talk about their AOD use; however, they were afraid of being judged. Parents were also concerned that the PC provider might be judgmental. Feedback from the MI pilot indicated that teens were willing to talk about their AOD use and indicated readiness to change. Findings suggest that providing a brief MI in a PC setting is a viable approach for working with high-risk youth.

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