Clinical research domain has always been an important sector for research and development of drugs. Studies or trials on substance abuse conditions have been ongoing for years. In an article published this year in the journal of Contemporary Clinical Trials, considers the importance of family therapy in curing patients of substance abuse. Such patients suffer from withdrawal symptoms, post-traumatic stress, depression, etc. The main aim of the paper was to research on the efficacy of risk reduction through family therapy. The paper explains the methodology used and the results of this therapy. The trial included a total of 124 adolescents selected based on three major criteria namely –
The study excluded youth with suicidal attempts, psychological disorders and disabled. With these exclusions, the conclusions from this research may not be that effective since a therapy should be first levied on extreme cases than normal cases. The researchers had to test the effects of family therapy on such patients too as any clinical therapy should work for all types of substance abuse patients instead of a specific kind. This can lead to bias in studies. The procedure used for this trial urn randomization and a classical conditioning theory known as the Mowrer’s two-factor theory. The components of the therapy included family communication, coping, the intensity of abuse, psychoeducation and stress disorder. The study does not address the effect of medication along with family therapy that can be a possible variable leading to differential results which must be addressed.
Consideration this study at par the randomized controlled trials, the research is based on the real-time population that gives direct evidence of the results of family therapy. Though there was a random selection of participants, one important criterion that was missed was medication. The participants must have taken medicines to cure their substance abuse or made changes to their lifestyle. The family therapy intervention is also related to the events that led to the realization by the family of the participant. The parenting effect is vital for curing substance abuse among adolescents which should be studied in detail. There were several components of the study involving family therapy was addressed. Future research works need to address each of these components in great detail to conclude family therapy as one of the best practices for treating substance abuse patients. Nevertheless, the paper indeed provides good research that family therapy can be a potential method for treating patients with substance abuse.
Hahn et al. (2020). Risk Reduction through family therapy (RRFT): Protocol of a randomized controlled efficacy trial of an integrative treatment for co-occurring substance use problems and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in adolescents who have experienced interpersonal violence and other traumatic events. Contemporary Clinical Trials, Volume 93, Elsevier Inc.
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