Date of Conferral





Public Health


Clarence J. Schumaker


Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is associated with high mortality rates and remains a public health concern in the United States. Although, numerous interventions are offered for adolescents struggling with substance misuse, minimal research is available on the effectiveness of treatments to reduce recidivism. Researching the most effective treatment offered to adolescents is crucial to treatment adherence and recovery. The purpose of this study is to determine the most effective SUD treatment for adolescent patients by exploring the perceptions and experiences of treatment therapists providing treatment. The trans-theoretical model was used with elements of the social cognitive theory as a guide to, adolescent placement in treatment programs and behavior changes. Twenty-three treatment therapists at Community Mental Health Centers from 23 counties in the State of Indiana were interviewed using the Colaizzi phenomenological methodological approach to obtain verification, validation, and validity for this study. Results suggested that assertive post-discharge plans after SUD treatment, motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral therapy, higher power faith for strength, and family involvement was evidence of effectiveness. Seven themes emerged from 225 significant statements. Among the dominant themes were understanding of SUD as a disease and the importance of family involvement in the treatment process. The study findings have the potential for positive social change to address the stigma of stereotyping of SUD through educational campaigns.