Clinical Outcomes of Traumatized Youth in Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment: A Longitudinal Multisite Study

Julie K. Williams, Douglas C. Smith, Hyonggin An, James A. Hall

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of outpatient substance abuse treatment for youth with high traumatic stress compared to youth without high traumatic stress in substance abuse treatment centers across the United States. The data for this study were gathered using a longitudinal survey design with purposive sampling from nine drug treatment delivery systems across the United States participating in the cooperative grant Strengthening Communities for Youth (SCY) awarded by SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) between September 2002 and June 2006. Follow-up assessments were conducted with the youth at three, six, and 12 months following intake. Traumatized youth responded to outpatient treatment in a similar pattern when compared to nontraumatized youth, although the traumatized youth had consistently higher scores on substance use frequency and substance problems scales than nontraumatized youth throughout the study. Current empirically validated treatments for adolescent substance abuse do not prepare the practitioner for trauma-informed practice or specifically address trauma-informed recovery. Based on our results, we advocate for the development and integration of trauma-informed practice within substance abuse treatment for adolescents to help them recover from trauma and substance abuse issues.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)77-84
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Psychoactive Drugs
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2008 Mar


    • Adolescent
    • Drug abuse
    • Substance abuse treatment
    • Trauma

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine (miscellaneous)
    • Psychology(all)


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