Drug abusing and dependent youth represent a greatly under-served population at high risk of presenting significant deleterious long-term outcomes for themselves, their families, communities and society at extraordinary long-term costs. Adolescent substance use has been linked to serious problems including automobile accidents, increased rates of risky sexual behavior which increases the youth's chances of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, relatively high rates of physical and sexual abuse, increased risk for school dropout, and hard drug use during adolescence predicts decreased college involvement as well as links to unemployment and job instability in young adulthood. In general, youth with substance use disorders (SUDs) represent a greatly under-served population in need of effective treatment however;adolescents and their families seeking treatment are unlikely to receive an evidence-based intervention. Given this, there is a clear public health need for improving and expanding the delivery of evidence-based treatments for adolescent substance use however, despite this clear need, there is a large divide between science and practice. The proposed project has the potential to overcome a gaping need within the outpatient treatment sector, the largest purveyor of adolescent substance use treatment in the country. Specifically, the proposed SBIR Phase I project will result in a targeted internet-based Training Support System (TSS) which will make it possible for community-based agencies to adopt, implement, and sustain use of Contingency Management (CM), an evidence-based treatment, for adolescents and their families. This support system would generate a cost- effective training and support platform for community-based substance abuse treatment providers that would enable them to train staff in an evidence-based practice with ongoing support to ensure fidelity and rapid uptake of the practice. The project's first aim is to develop comprehensive internet-based Training Support System, that will include an existing computer assisted training for individual therapists, but also individual- and agency-level performance assessment and feedback processes, remediation training and support, organizational-level consultation on funding structures, and clinical expert guidance for therapists. The project's second aim is to pilot the Training Support System in a community-based setting with both seasoned and novice clinicians, evaluating from the perspective of both clinicians and their agency administrators the feasibility of the Training Support System for ensuring uptake and use of CM. Phase I will conclude with the creation and proof of feasibility of the CM Training Support System for community-based therapists to make it feasible within the resources of community-based agencies, but also adequate for attaining high-quality delivery of the evidence-based intervention. If successful, this work could generate a cost-effective strategy to increase the use of evidence-based interventions for youth who need them and rarely have access to them. 1

Public Health Relevance

Adolescent substance abuse results in significant negative outcomes and extraordinary costs for youths, their families, communities and society. There is a clear public health need for improving and expanding the delivery of evidence-based treatments for adolescent substance use, but despite this clear need, there is a large divide between science and practice. This project will develop a cost-effective, easily accessible, web-based Training Support System for Contingency Management (CM) that incorporates ongoing training, feedback, and support provided to both therapists and their community-based agencies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase I (R43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-HDM-R (11))
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Denisco, Richard A
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Sheidow Consulting, Inc.
United States
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