Youth Participation in Mutual Support Groups: History, Current Knowledge, and Areas for Future Research
Signiﬁcant decreases in substance use have been demonstrated for adolescents admitted to treatment for substance use problems (Dennis et al., 2004; Hser et al., 2001; Morral, McCaffrey, & Ridgeway, 2004). However, a large percentage of youth between the ages of 12 and 18 years old continue to struggle with periods of relapse and recovery after discharge, especially during the ﬁrst 90 days (Brown, Vik, & Creamer, 1989; Dennis et al.; S. H. Godley,
Dennis, Godley, & Funk, 2004; S. H. Godley, Godley, & Dennis, 2001; Waldron, Slesnick, Brody, Turner, & Peterson, 2001). As a result, participation in continuing care (or “aftercare”) services provided by professionals after an acute treatment stay has been recommended as standard practice (American Society of Addiction Medicine, 2001; Kaminer, 2001; McKay, 1999). Up to two thirds of youth, however, do not take advantage of these services unless assertive approaches to linkage and retention are used that rely on clinicians rather than clients to initiate care (M. D. Godley, Godley, Dennis, Funk, & Passetti, 2002, 2006; S. H. Godley et al., 2001). Such assertive approaches can be expensive to implement, and the cost of continuing care is not always reimbursable from traditional sources (Koyanagi, Alfano, & Stein, 2008).