U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Model: A Dual Focused Intervention for Depression and Addiction

NCJ Number
Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse Volume: 5 Issue: 1 Dated: (1996) Pages: 55-72
E Lysaught; J S Wodarski
Date Published
18 pages
The treatment plan described in this article focuses on the disorders of both substance dependence and depression due to the social implications of being a dually diagnosed adolescent; the social cost of primary importance is the risk of suicide among this population.
The relationship between alcohol and depression requires special considerations in developing a treatment plan for adolescents. The rationale for a dual diagnosis treatment is the fact that these adolescents are a specific subgroup for interventions. Individuals with a dual diagnosis require a specialized intervention due to the increasing number of persons who are not aided by the sole treatment of only depression or alcohol dependence. Additionally, a chemical-abusing client with a mental disorder may be disruptive to a standard treatment plan for addiction not designed to fit their additional needs. The treatment program described focuses on alcohol addiction and depression and is based on an integrated model approach, meaning that both alcohol abuse and depression are addressed concurrently. The treatment uses adolescent group intervention and a parent group. The adolescent group intervention draws on the benefits of peer focus intervention, which include acceptance, guidance, self-disclosure, and interaction. The program lasts 14 weeks and has the goals of education, reduction of anxiety, increased use of social skills, relaxation strategies, assertive/refusal skills, and anger-management skills. The parent group is conducted simultaneously with the adolescent session so both parent and child can experience growth simultaneously. Topics considered in the parent group include how the family has been affected by the adolescent's problems, how the family has attempted to cope, and whether there are any environmental/historical familial patterns that are contributing to the adolescent's behavior and use of alcohol. 40 references