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Research Support



Research Support for a New Integrated Treatment Model

Dr. Paula D. Riggs is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado. She is internationally known for her contributions to clinical research informing the development of an evidence-based integrated treatment of dually-diagnosed adolescents. She and her research team at the University of Colorado have conducted more than 15 years of clinical research, including the first randomized controlled trials of combined pharmacotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy interventions that target both substance use disorders and psychiatric comorbidity in adolescents. Recent publications include:

  1. A Randomized Controlled Trial of Fluoxetine with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) in Adolescents with Major Depressive Disorder, Behavior Problems and Substance Use Disorders (Riggs et al., Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 2007). This study demonstrated that integrated treatment of major depression and SUD (fluoxetine + CBT vs placebo + CBT) produced depression remission rates that were equivalent or superior to depression treatment studies in depressed adolescents without SUD and substance treatment outcomes equivalent (reduction in drug use) or superior (treatment compliance and completion) to those demonstrated in studies of evidence based substance treatment modalities in substance abusing adolescents with less serious psychopathology (Dennis et al., 2004). Clinically significant reduction in drug use, behavior problems and depression were maintained throughout a 1-year post-treatment follow up period.
  2. A Randomized Controlled Trial of Osmotic Release Methylphenidate (OROS-MPH) for ADHD in Adolescents with Substance Use Disorders (Riggs et al., 2007, 2008) is a multi-site trial conducted in 11 “real world” community-based adolescent substance treatment programs in the NIDA Clinical Trials Network (CTN). 303 adolescents with DSM IV ADHD and SUD were randomized to either OROS-MPH + CBT or placebo + CBT. Although final study results are not yet available, preliminary results demonstrate the feasibility of implementing the integrated treatment model in real world community-based treatment settings and comparable safety, diagnostic validity and rates of treatment compliance, retention and completion to that of the single site efficacy study, supporting generalizability of the integrated treatment model.