The impact of continuing care adherence on environmental risks, substance use, and substance-related problems following adolescent residential treatment
The effectiveness of adolescent treatment to reduce substance use has been demonstrated by a number of different literature reviews, yet longer term outcome studies have suggested that continued alcohol and other drug use is common. Participation in continuing care services and reductions in environmental risk factors (e.g., peer substance use or alcohol or drug use in the home) have both been found to be associated with improved posttreatment substance use. The authors conducted Path analysis to examine the experimental direct effect of the Assertive Continuing Care Protocol (S. H. Godley, M. D. Godley, & M. L. Dennis, 2001) on general continuing care adherence following residential treatment and the protocol's indirect effect (via general continuing care adherence) on social and environmental risk factors, as well as subsequent substance use and substance-related problems. Supporting previous findings, the final model indicates that greater adherence to continuing care is associated with reductions in environmental risk, which in turn is associated with reduced adolescent substance use and substance-related problems 9 months after discharge from residential treatment.