Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Incorporating "Rites of Passage"

Michael J Mason, Brooke B. Collison
1995 Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly  
approved Brooke B. Collison This investigation assessed the effectiveness of an adolescent substance abuse treatment program that incorporated "Rites of Passage." Named Gender Based Treatment (GBT), the treatment program sought to address the adolescents' developmental needs through the use of rituals, myth and story telling, and rites of initiation. Employing quantitative and qualitative analysis, this investigation assessed and described the GBT program over a nine month period. The
more » ... ve data analysis revealed a change in the positive direction after the treatment for most of the subjects. Of the subjects who met the Follow-up Structured Interview criteria, six out of eight reported being alcohol and drug free 30 days following treatment. Two subjects reported relapses and one subject reported a minor incident with the legal system. Redacted for Privacy The qualitative data collected raised concerns regarding (a) the "common vision" of the staff; (b) the awareness level of the staff regarding the cultural assumptions and the moral/political implications of the GBT; (c) the contradictory messages being sent regarding smoking, gender relations, power, and sexism; and (d) the interest, engagement, and impact of the GBT on the subjects. This investigation revealed the accuracy in which the GBT matched the recommendations made in the substance abuse literature. It is speculated that an interaction effect between the traditional form of treatment and the new GBT, positively influenced subjects' abstinence and relapse rate, illegal behavior, self-esteem and coping behaviors. Further speculation regarding the theoretical implications for this study point to Social Learning Theory, or modeling as a potent variable. It is hypothesized that the staff members' involvement in the planning and implementing this new form of treatment had a positive influence on the staff as a whole and thereby positively influenced the adolescents in treatment. C
doi:10.1300/j020v13n03_06 fatcat:3qzlbky3jfdahkd7ldnl55h2em