Youth substance use and dependence is continuing to pose a considerable public health concern. The majority of adolescents who use drugs frequently (e.g., marijuana, alcohol, prescription medications) also suffer from co-occurring psychiatric disorders such as depression, ADHD and more). These disorders need to be diagnosed and treated in order to prevent negative consequences.
For over 15 years, the ATOM Study Program within the Alcohol Research Center at UConn Health Center in Farmington has provided substance abuse treatment to hundreds of teenagers in the Central and Northern Connecticut areas. We invite you to pass this information on to any parents and/or teenagers that you encounter who may be in need of treatment for their marijuana and/or abuse and depression.
The ATOM Programs newest addition is the T-TAAD Study which is funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The T-TAAD study employs an innovative integrated approach for treating co-occurring marijuana and/or alcohol abuse and depression in adolescents.
All adolescents will receive standard outpatient talk therapy for marijuana and/or alcohol use that lasts for 12 weeks. After 4 weeks of treatment, each adolescent’s depression will be re-evaluated. If the depression is much improved, the adolescent will continue in the treatment marijuana and/or alcohol use. For those who are still depressed after 4 weeks, we will randomly assign one-half to an additional new investigational depression talk therapy. The other half of the adolescents will be assigned to additional standard depression treatment outside of the study. The study team will work with the adolescent and family to access a community provider. Each adolescent will be assessed several times throughout the 12- week treatment.
This program is for adolescents between the ages of 13-19 who abuse marijuana and/or alcohol and struggle with depression. Participation in this no cost program is completely voluntary. Adolescent may be compensated up to $175 in gift cards and parents up to $140 in gift cards for full participation in the program. Participants are asked to provide urine samples at various times during the treatment program. Treatment sessions and assessments will take place at UConn Health and transportation may be provided within the study catchment area, if needed, to and from the treatment site.
A member of the research team will contact you in the coming week to answer any questions and discuss the opportunity of presenting the study to students, clients and staff members. You can also call the research staff directly to find out more about the program and to discuss the appropriate process for establishing contact between our research staff and the adolescent’s family.