The Comparison Of Two Interventions For Homeless Youth Substance Abusers

1335 words - 6 pages

If good intentions, well-meaning programs, and humanitarian gestures could end homelessness, it would be history by now. Since they don’t, it is time to do something different, something that solves the problem, not services the disgrace. (Philip Mangano, United States Interagency Council on Homelessness). The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) defines homeless youth as individuals who are “not more than 21 years of age … for whom it is not possible to live in a safe environment with a relative and who have no other safe alternative living arrangement.” Implicit in this definition is the notion that homeless youth are not accompanied by a parent or guardian (Haber & Toro, 2004). The ...view middle of the document...

The clients must previously have to have met DSM-IV criteria for Alcohol or other Psychoactive Substance Use disorders. The youths included in CRA were 66% males and 34% females. And in TAU were 68% males and 34% females.
The two intervention programs are Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) and treatment as usual (TAU). CRA is based upon an operant theoretical perspective, and also includes behavioral and cognitive intervention strategies to the multi-causal formulation of youth problem behaviors. “The Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) is a comprehensive behavioral treatment package that focuses on the management of substance related behaviors and other disrupted life areas. The goal of CRA is to help people discover and adopt a pleasurable and healthy lifestyle that is more rewarding than a lifestyle filled with using alcohol or drugs it is normally used for the treatment of adolescent marijuana abusers”. (
The CRA intervention plan includes several sessions; it begins with the Happiness Scale which lets clients know that all aspects of their lives are important; it provides the structure for easily identifying areas of discontent and later signs of progress. And then use the Goals of Counseling form to establish meaningful, objective goals in these areas, and highly specified methods for obtaining them then and then they use this is followed by Behavioral Skills Training which uses instruction and role-plays with feedback to teach three basic skills: problem-solving, communication skills, and drink/drug refusal training. The next session is Job Skills Training, which them with lessons on how to find and keep a job. Followed by Social and Recreational Counseling, which insures the clients that life without drugs and alcohol could also be enjoyable. Next session is relapse prevention here the client learns how to cope when they relapse and is educated on how to be able to identify high risk situations. And the last part of the session is “Daily Reminder to Be Nice as a means for steadily incorporating some of the “pleasantries” back into the past relationships that were affected by the drug and alcohol abuse. For the process of practicing the newly learned skills, role plays and homework assignments were also incorporated into some parts of the sessions. Treatment as Usual (TAU)- was first assigned for the rest of the youth that did not receive CRA, It provided the youth with a place to stay, especially during the day it provided them with food, clothing and they were attending case management sessions, which linked youth with community resources, upon request.
The methods used to measure the quantity and frequency of drug and alcohol use was the form 90 which was developed for NIAA funded Project match. The youth were screened at the drop-in center to determine if they were eligible first by administering the CDISC (Shaffer, 1992), sections on drugs,...

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