Insight Treatment Programs Partner With UCLA on Facebook Study on Addiction Treatment

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The Los Angeles region’s most dedicated treatment professionals are researching the use of social media as a treatment support method

Insight Treatment Programs, the L.A. area’s first Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), is partnering with UCLA in a study for Parents of Teens in Substance Abuse Treatment. The study, titled “Purpose,” will examine the use of private Facebook groups as a support method for families with teenagers struggling with mental health and drug and alcohol issues.

UCLA’s Integrated Substance Abuse Programs (ISAP) received a 2-year grant to study how groups on Facebook and other social media platforms can be used toward effectively supporting parents of teens and young adults suffering from addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is funding the program.


“The idea is to document how important parent support can be on social media and get more money to promote it nationwide.”


Anthony Lopez, Founder of Insight Treatment Programs in Pasadena and Sherman Oaks, said he is introducing the study to parents in the program for them to act as peer leaders in the Facebook groups. ‘Insight Treatment Programs’ is a recognized intensive outpatient treatment program for teens and early young adults (14-20 years of age) suffering from mental health and addiction issues.

“It is important that we support such initiatives and learn how to utilize existing social media platforms to ensure better support to parents who don’t have access to intensive treatment programs like Insight Treatment Programs,” said Lopez. “The idea is to document how important parent support can be on social media and get additional funding to promote this type of support nationwide.”

The study runs 8 weeks and participants must have a 13-to-18-year-old child in treatment for substance abuse. The testing involves membership in a private Facebook group as a way to communicate and relate with other like-minded parents and guardians to share experiences and compare viable solutions.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Mayra Schulte is the Principle Investigator of the program. According to her website, “The goal of PURPOSE is to enhance parental support of and involvement in their child’s recovery through the use of online peer-led groups that provide information, emotional support, and skills.”

UCLA’s ISAP, part of The Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior, is a publicly available resource for substance abuse treatment among students, fellows and clinicians. The research it conducts supports and informs key decision makers in public policy, health services, criminal justice, epidemiology, and those in the behavioral science field.

For more information, or to make an inquiry about participating in Purpose, call 310-267-5289.

Source: Insight Treatment Programs