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TRI Launches Research Center for Parents

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The Treatment Research Institute (TRI) in Philadelphia will officially launch a new research center for parents of substance-using adolescents at a national conference next week. TRI said the center would be the “first-of-its-kind” and would focus on translating evidence-based research into specific strategies and tools that will help parents better help their teen-aged children who are struggling with substance abuse problems.

The director of the new center, Kimberly C. Kirby, Ph.D., said, “Our goal is to get practical help to parents without short-changing the need to base advice on a solid scientific foundation.”

Funded for five years by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the center’s work will be presented to parents, substance abuse professionals, and policy makers at the Joint Meeting on Alcohol Treatment Effectiveness (JMATE) in Baltimore Dec. 14-16.

The new center will focus its work on three projects aimed at helping parents with adolescents all along the spectrum, from occasional users to those in recovery after treatment.

First, the center will study the efficacy of a brief intervention for non-dependent teens. Rather than being guided by a counselor, the intervention would be led by parents.

Second, researchers at the center will create a consumer guide to adolescent treatment to help parents identify evidence-based care for their children. The research will be conducted in Philadelphia and result in an evaluation protocol that can be disseminated in other cities.

Third, researchers plan to refine and test the Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT) protocol for use by parents of treatment-resistant teens. Among their goals are to verify the protocol?s efficacy with teens and to create a manual for parents.

The Partnership at Drugfree.org will partner with TRI to disseminate the findings of the new center to parents.

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