Polysubstance Use and Heroin Relapse Among Adolescents Following Residential Treatment

Christopher E. Branson, Philip Clemmey, Paul Harrell, Geetha Subramaniam, Marc Fishman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This study examined posttreatment patterns of polysubstance use and heroin relapse in a sample of 43 adolescents (ages 14-20) entering short-term residential treatment for primary heroin use. At 12-month follow-up, youths that achieved heroin abstinence (N = 19) were significantly less likely than youths that relapsed to heroin (N = 24) to endorse polysubstance use and cannabis, cocaine, or benzodiazepine use. Furthermore, heroin-abstinent youths significantly reduced their cannabis and cocaine use across the study period while youths that relapsed made initial reductions before returning to their pretreatment levels of use for these drugs. Clinical implications for heroin-using youths and areas for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-221
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • adolescent
  • heroin
  • opioid
  • polysubstance use
  • relapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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