Twelve-month follow-up of aftercare for adolescents with alcohol
Joseph A. Burleson, (Ph.D.)
, Yifrah Kaminer, (M.D., M.B.A.)
Rebecca H. Burke, (M.A.)
Department of Community Medicine and Health Care, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030-6325, USA
Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030-2103, USA
Department of Pediatrics, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030-2103, USA
Alcohol Research Center, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT 06030-2103, USA
Received 16 August 2010; received in revised form 30 June 2011; accepted 5 July 2011
Adolescents with alcohol use disorders (AUDs) previously completed a randomized controlled outpatient aftercare study (Y. Kaminer, J.
A. Burleson, & R. H. Burke, 2008) in which they were randomly assigned to in-person, brief telephone, or no-active aftercare. Youth were
assessed at end of aftercare and at 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-up on frequency and quantity of alcohol use. It was predicted that active
aftercare (in-person and brief telephone) would be superior to no-active aftercare in reducing alcohol use, as shown in the original study. No
subject or therapy group attributes were significant moderators of outcome. Active aftercare in general maintained short-term favorable
effects by reducing relapse in youth with AUD and should be considered as part of standard procedures in therapeutic interventions for all
alcohol and other substance use. In-person and the brief telephone procedures did not differ in their effectiveness. Structured communications
with AUD youth during and after treatment by use of electronic technology rather than in-person contact might therefore be more fully
investigated. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Adolescent; Alcohol abuse; Treatment; Group therapy; Aftercare
Abstinence rates have been consistently high among
completers of treatment programs developed for adolescents
with alcohol and other substance use disorders (AOSUD).
Williams and Chang (2000) reported the average rate of
sustained abstinence among treated youth to be approxi-
mately 40% at 6 months and 30% at 12 months. Other studies
report that less than half of all treated adolescents remained
firmly abstinent 3 months after discharge from outpatient
treatment programs (Brown, D'Amico, McCarthy, & Tapert,
2001; Dennis et al., 2004; Kaminer, Burleson, & Goldberger,
2002; Winters, 2003). McLellan, Lewis, O'Brien, and Kleber
(2000) have further proposed that AOSUD be viewed as a
chronic relapsing disorder. Those with AOSUD might well
require a continuum of care across a lifetime, referred to
variously as aftercare or as continuing care (McKay, 2005;
McLellan, McKay, Forman, Cacciola, & Kemp, 2005; Scott,
Dennis, & Foss, 2005). Godley, Godley, Dennis, Funk, and
Passetti (2007) provided continued care for adolescents
discharged from residential treatment and found that aftercare
intervention lead to higher rates of abstinence when care
linkage and retention were higher.
Kaminer, Burleson, and Burke (2008) previously reported
the results of a randomized, controlled study in which two
active aftercare interventions were shown to be more
effective in slowing the expected posttreatment relapse for
alcohol use among treated adolescents as compared with a
no-active aftercare condition. Adolescents, 13–18 years of
age (N = 177), diagnosed with Diagnostic and Statistical
Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV)
Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 42 (2012) 78 – 86
Corresponding author. Alcohol Research Center, University of
Connecticut Health Center, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT
06030-2103. Tel.: +1 860 679 4344.
E-mail address: Kaminer@uchc.edu (Y. Kaminer).
0740-5472/11/$ – see front matter © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.