Multisystemic Therapy: Contingency Management Adaptation

The Multisystemic Therapy (MST) standard model of delivery is an evidence-based treatment model that engages both the client directly and greater social systems they operate within: family, school, work, and community. MST for Substance Use, also known as MST Contingency Management (MST-CM) is an MST adaptation proven effective with youth with substance use and abuse issues.

MST-CM builds on the strong foundation of MST treatment principles, with additional supports to increase caregiver monitoring skills and youth drug/alcohol-refusal skills. The MST-CM Therapist works closely with caregivers to develop specific plans that are designed to keep the youth from abusing substances. Caregivers are taught how to spot and track drug and alcohol consumption, deliver drug testing to their youth, identify positive supports for the youth/family in the community and how to effectively monitor their child. Youth receive specialized training in drug/alcohol-refusal skills and are connected to positive peers and prosocial activities.

Qualifications For This Program Include:

  • Youth ages 12—17 who abuse substances (marijuana, alcohol, cocaine, etc.)
  • Has multiple arrests/is a chronic offender
  • Is deeply involved with delinquent peers
  • Is experiencing problems at school or doesn’t attend at all
  • Is currently, or has a recent history of being, a runaway
  • Demonstrates, or has demonstrated, physical aggression in more than one setting
  • Is covered by Medicaid. MST does not currently take private pay or commercial insurance
  • Has at least one adult member of the family willing to take part in services

What Can Be Expected:

  • Treatment provided in the home and the community
  • Time-limited treatment of 3–5 months
  • Therapist available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Flexible schedules to accommodate the needs of the family
  • Tailored treatments for the unique needs of the family and its members
  • Therapists with small caseloads to facilitate multiple weekly sessions if needed