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Multisystemic Therapy (MST) for juveniles with substance use disorder

About This Resource

Multisystemic Therapy—Substance Abuse (MST-SA) is a form of MST that is targeted toward youth who engage in disordered use of drugs and/or alcohol. MST-SA is intended to reduce drug use and abuse, as well as related delinquent or criminal behavior. MST-SA is delivered by therapists in the participants’ home, school, and community. MST-SA includes a specific written plan, intensive family-focused therapy, job training, and inclusion in positive activities (e.g., sports or clubs). This program also includes random drug testing and rewards for positive behavior (e.g., rewarding a clean urinalysis with monetary compensation). The average MST-SA treatment lasts four months, with several therapist-family visits occurring per week. Participants are typically referred to MST-SA from juvenile drug court or as a condition to probation. (Source)

Washingnton State Institute of Promising Practices benefit-cost report (rated: Research-Based)

Blueprints Registry
Crime Solutions from National Institute of Justice Registry

Rating: Effective


National Dropout Prevention Center Registry

Rating: Moderate Evidence


Washington State Institute for Public Policy Registry

Rating: Research-based


Cost Information


Who This Resource Is For


  • Behavioral Health
  • Family-Focused Program
  • Marijuana Use Prevention
  • Mental Health
  • Substance Use Prevention
  • Support Tier: 

  • Tier 3
  • Age Range: 

  • Middle
  • High
  • Language: 

  • English
  • Ethnicity: 

  • Not Specified / Any
  • Community Type: 

  • Inner City
  • Rural
  • Suburban
  • Urban