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Relapse Prevention Program

An interactive, online substance abuse relapse prevention program for adolescents
Relapse Prevention Program logo

Project Info

Project Description

The Challenge

A key challenge for substance abuse relapse prevention for youth is to engage and motivate them once they have completed an initial, intense treatment. Relapse rates six months after treatment typically range from 60-70%.

Our Response

In order to motivate and keep young people involved in the aftercare treatment process — a critical stage of recovery — we produced an interactive, online substance abuse relapse prevention program for adolescents. The program includes games for learning and practice — powerfully engaging motivational tools.

This program is built on the evidence-based Coping Skills Training approach. Content for each skill includes a brief instructional segment followed by an intelligent game to enhance motivation and engagement. The program can be used as a stand-alone aftercare therapy or as part of a comprehensive aftercare treatment plan.

The Phase I project focused on relaxation and refusal skills. Research included pilot testing with adolescents over four weeks following completion of substance abuse treatment, considering usage statistics, navigation observations, survey responses, and one-month post treatment entries. We also conducted feasibility testing with providers who regularly treat adolescents for substance abuse.

We envision the ultimate product (Phase II) to include a series of six modules that will fully address the coping skills training framework incorporating personal assessments, and intrapersonal and interpersonal skill building instruction with customized interactive games. The final product will also include data collection and monitoring tools and will be fully tested to demonstrate its efficacy.



Engaging games & interactive elements

Built on 3C’s dynamic e-learning platform (DeLP), the program includes appealing motion graphics, interactive segments, and games for adolescents to learn and practice skills.

Data collection & performance monitoring

As teens experience skill-building exercises and games, the program continually monitors performance and collects data on each player’s actions specific to each skill area.

Core competencies

Developed on the research framework of Coping Skills Training, the program addresses two core competencies: relaxation and drug refusal skills.

Phase II is underway

Current development includes modules on all core competencies as well as biobehavioral data monitoring and customized difficulty settings based on previous performance.