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Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach

scientifically-supported substance abuse treatment called the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (ACRA). The adolescent version (ACRA) has recently proven effective with marijuana-abusing adolescents.

CRA is based on the belief that one’s environment plays a major role in determining whether an individual will use alcohol or illicit drugs. As such, it teaches individuals how to examine the triggers and the consequences (positive and negative) for drug use, and to then re-arrange their lives so that clean, sober behavior is more rewarding than is using alcohol/drugs. Strategies that increase the likelihood that sober behavior will be supported are taught, and skills deficits are addressed in the process (e.g., problem-solving, drug-refusal, communication). The important role of an adolescent’s caregiver is acknowledged, and special sessions are introduced to teach some of these same basic skills, as well as overall parenting strategies, to the caregivers.

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