Substance Abuse

Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) is supported by over 30 years of research and has been widely recognized as an effective intervention for adolescent substance abuse by governments and independent organizations across the globe.

The National Institue on Drug Abuse listed MDFT as an effective treatment for adolescent drug treatment in two publications including the NIDA "Blue Book" on effective treatments. MDFT was also the only treatment rated by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) as beneficial for cannabis users. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime also listed MDFT as an effective approach.

MDFT has also been been vetted by the Netherlands Youth Institute, the Swiss Office of Public Health, and the Early Intervention Foundation of the UK.

See Publications on MDFT and Substance Abuse, or download our Substance Abuse Fact Sheet.


  1. Liddle, H. A., Dakof, G. A., Turner, R. M., Henderson, C. E., & Greenbaum, P. E. (2008). Treating adolescent drug abuse: A randomized trial comparing Multidimensional Family Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Addiction,103, 1660-1670. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2008.02274.x
  2. Liddle, H. A., Rowe, C. L., Henderson, C. E., Dakof, G. A., & Ungaro, R. A. (2004). Early intervention for adolescent substance abuse: Pretreatment to posttreatment outcomes of a randomized controlled trial comparing Multidimensional Family Therapy and peer group treatment. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 36(1), 49-63. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2004.10399723
  3. Liddle, H. A., Rowe, C. L., Dakof, G. A., Henderson, C. & Greenbaum, P. (2009). Multidimensional Family Therapy for early adolescent substance abusers: Twelve month outcomes of a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 77(1), 12-25. doi: 10.1037/a0014160
  4. Rigter, H., Henderson, C., Pelc, I., Tossmann, P., Phan, O., Hendriks, V., Schaub, M., & Rowe, C. L. (2013). Multidimensional Family Therapy lowers the rate of cannabis dependence in adolescents: A randomized controlled trial in Western European outpatient settings. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 130(1-3):85-93. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2012.10.013
  5. Drug and Alcohol Findings. (2002). Holistic therapy preferable for troubled teensDrug and Alcohol Findings Magazine, 7, 13.