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The ASAP Treatment Model - How to Deal with Teenage Drug Use


The ASAP Program consists of our own uniquely successful blend of Intensive Group Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing Techniques, Stages of Change Theory, Parent Training, Multi-Family Therapy, Drug Testing, Peer Support, and Relapse Prevention.  The ASAP Program has proven successful for 32 consecutive years with more than 5,000 families from every community across the Phoenix metropolitan area.  Thirty-two years of stability in leadership has combined with a dynamic treatment model to produce a counseling program for teens recognized everywhere as Arizona's finest.  And the ASAP blend of treatment techniques is broadly supported by the best clinical research-- see for example the Advances in Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment study that appears on the Free Resources page.


Here are five key details for the ASAP Program:


1. Three outpatient treatment sites provide coverage to the entire Phoenix metro area:

  • 2530 S. Alma School Road in Mesa, serving the East Valley

  • 3839 E. Shea Blvd. in Phoenix, serving Phoenix, the Northeast Valley and Scottsdale

  • 8607 N. 59th Avenue in Glendale, serving the West Valley 


2. The ASAP IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) is 10 weeks in duration (30 group therapy sessions to be more precise).  Adolescents ages 12-18 attend group therapy three evening sessions per week.  Parents are required to attend one of these sessions each week with their teen in Multifamily therapy, where parents receive help and education and counseling as well.  Random and for-cause urinalysis is conducted to assess for possible substance use and to monitor treatment compliance.  Parents are also taught how to use urinalysis effectively at home, for accountability and as an effective deterrent.


3. A research-based curriculum is utilized as the basis of instruction at each site to guide the education, coping skills training, and emotional healing of substance abusing adolescents.  Only proven interventions are accepted as part of the ASAP curriculum.  This "best practices" focus has been our commitment since 1991.  The ASAP curriculum is constantly updated to reflect the latest research and best clinical evidence regarding "what works" in the treatment of adolescent substance abuse.


4. ASAP is designed for maximum cooperation with referral sources and other treatment facilities.  Specialized report forms and reporting mechanisms have been designed to direct necessary clinical information to case managers for ongoing utilization review, making ASAP extremely "managed care friendly".  Close relationships are maintained by ASAP staff with behavioral health hospitals and mental health professionals across the Phoenix metro area to provide a continuum of care.

5. Careful referral to individual and/or family therapy is conducted with all ASAP graduates to foster continued progress.  At graduation ASAP will make recommendations to the teen and family regarding the best use of available resources for ongoing care.  Satisfaction Surveys and follow-up Outcome Studies are conducted to assess the long-term efficacy of ASAP treatment and suggest potential improvements.

ASAP Treatment Philosophy

1)   Adolescents present unique developmental issues that influence all areas of treatment.  Adult treatment models are ineffective with adolescents.


2) Alcohol and drug abuse are crippling problems for the adolescent, the adolescent's family, and society.  Alcohol and drug abuse are potentially life threatening.

3)   Drug rehab is not a place for minors to make friends. The best solution is for teens to re-build a social support network of non-using friends.

4)   Family participation is essential. Treatment is most often successful when the family moves together through the difficult process of healing and changing.

5)   Successful treatment requires more than just attendance. Rigorous honesty, lifestyle evaluation, and often broad life, family, peer and relationship changes are fundamental to long-term successful recovery.

The Six Sobriety Goals at ASAP:








Six Sobriety Goals.jpg

Treatment Components 

Following acceptance into the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program, treatment begins immediately.  Of course, all ASAP therapists have wide discretion, as the best psychotherapy is always unique to each therapist and not merely a predetermined set of techniques or exercises, but you might see many of the following treatment components below at ASAP: Drug Education, Coping Skills Training, Emotional Processing, and Multi-Family Therapy.  (For mobile viewers, you can see details for each of these four Treatment Components on the desktop version of the ASAP website.)

Drug Education -

The Drug Education component is designed to provide

critical information and actively involve adolescent clients

in hands-on learning activities.


All adolescents, no matter how experienced, need more

and better information.


The following topics may be covered:

  • Consequences of Use

  • Psychopharmacology of Chemical Use

  • Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors

  • Conflict Resolution

  • Communication Skills

  • Relapse Prevention

  • Peer Pressure

  • Dealing with Relapse

  • Family Systems

  • Enjoying Sobriety

  • Grief and Loss

  • The Past and Future

  • The Recovery Model

  • Barriers to Recovery

  • High Risk Situations

  • Aftercare Planning

 Coping Skills Training -

In the Coping Skills Training component adolescents and

family members receive instruction and then practice the skills necessary to successfully manage recovery.


Lectures, handouts, homework assignments, and verbal

presentations are among the techniques that may be used.

The topics may include:

  • Conflict Resolution

  • Family Systems

  • Recovery Models

  • Peer Selection

  • Patterns of Use

  • Problem Solving

  • Barriers to Recovery

  • Peer Pressure

  • Relapse Mapping

  • Dealing with Family Members

  • Refusal Skills

  • Recovery Programs

Emotional Processing -

The third component of each ASAP group therapy session is Emotional Processing.

The focus here is emotional recovery, where adolescents work through the life experiences and emotions that have kept them locked or led them to use substances to self-medicate.

The therapist will lead the adolescents through the process of getting to the "heart" of their feelings, thoughts and behaviors.  No treatment can be considered complete without this emotional healing process.


Emotional healing allows the adolescent and parents the best chance for uniting the family and enjoying long term recovery for the whole family.  The is the most critical part of recovery, and the majority of our time in Group Therapy will likely be spent here with Processing.

Multi-Family Therapy - 

The Multi-Family component places emphasis on families confronting, helping and supporting each other.
Trust and healthy communication is renewed in each family. Conflict resolution techniques are taught to enable calm to return to the home environment as soon as possible.
The normal stresses of family life are addressed, as are the extraordinary stresses that accompany teen drug use.
Homework assignments are assigned to each family that
foster re-bonding through sober recreation.  Skills training for each family member may include the following: 

  • Conflict Resolution

  • Building Family Support

  • The Past and Future

  • Negotiating

  • Sibling Influence

  • Family Duties

  • Parent Stresses

  • Recovery Skills

  • The Fair Fight

  • Grief and Loss

  • Relapse Issues

  • Home Contracts

  • Family Recreation

  • School/Work Issues

10 topics 2.jpg

<  CONTACT ASAP BY PHONE: (602) 434-0249  >

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  • Recovery Skills

  • The Fair Fight

  • Grief and Loss

  • Relapse Issues

  • Home Contracts

  • Family Recreation

  • School and work issues

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