Phoenix — The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently awarded Magellan Health Services of Arizona a 2011 Science and Service Award for Treatment of Substance Abuse and Recovery Support Services.
This prestigious award recognizes community-based organizations and coalitions that successfully implement recognized evidence-based interventions. Evidence-based interventions or practices are those for which empirical research has shown evidence of statistically significant effectiveness of treatments for specific problems.
“According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Crime in Arizona 2009 report, for youth under age 18 in Maricopa County, 177 were arrested for drug manufacture or sale and 2,108 were arrested for possession of drugs,” said Richard Clarke, PhD, CEO of Magellan Health Services of Arizona.
“With these disturbing facts in mind, Magellan and its service provider partners collaborated to find ways of increasing access to community-based substance abuse treatment for youth in the central Arizona behavioral health system who were involved with the justice system.”
Based on analysis of community need in 2009, Magellan reached out to four service provider agencies to deliver evidence-based, culturally relevant substance use disorder treatment for adolescents with juvenile justice involvement.
The four agencies, Community Bridges Inc., Jewish Family and Children’s Services, Native American Connections and Touchstone Behavioral Health, were selected because their current evidence-based treatment models were shown to be effective in reducing substance use disorder and other problem behaviors among youth involved with juvenile justice.
The agencies worked with Magellan to use Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA), Brief Strategic Family Therapy (BSFT), Multisystemic Therapy (MST) and Matrix Model evidence-based practices.
Having multiple practices helped maximize choice among treatment approaches to match with individualized needs. It also helped to reduce substance-use-related incarceration and recidivism of adolescents, particularly those youth who represent racial and ethnic minorities.
During the 21-month period ending in March 2011, the agencies provided substance abuse treatment services to more than 600 youth involved in the juvenile justice system, including 120 Latino and Native American youth.
More than 70 percent of the adolescents served completed treatment without returning to a juvenile justice setting. Of those who completed treatment, 64 percent had decreased or eliminated their use of substances.