Recognition as an Empirically-Supported Treatment


NREPP, a system of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, gave MDFT an evidence-quality rating of 3.8 out of 4 for recovery from substance use, and a 3.6 out of 4 for delinquency. The overall rating for readiness for dissemination (e.g., quality of implementation materials and support) was 3.6. MDFT was also one of just five interventions chosen for NREPP's Comparative Effectiveness Research Series, as well as the only adolescent intervention chosen. The Comparative Effectiveness Series promotes the adoption of mental health and substance abuse interventions that have been evaluated positively by NREPP, and that “represent therapeutic approaches that can be implemented with many different populations of mental health and substance abuse services.” 


The National Institute of Justice, the research branch of the U.S. Department of Justice, uses rigorous research to determine what works in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services. MDFT received the highest available rating, "Effective (More than one study)", on CrimeSolutions.gov.


MDFT is listed as an effective treatment for adolescent drug treatment in two NIDA publications: Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research Based Guide (the NIDA "Blue Book " on effective treatments) and Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations – A Research Based Guide.


MDFT is listed as an exemplary program on the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's list Strengthening Families: Effective Family Programs for Prevention of Delinquency.


Drug Strategies in a non-profit research organization devoted to identifying and promoting the most effective approaches to substance abuse treatment. MDFT is featured in two publications from Drug Strategies: Treating Teens: A Guide to Adolescent Drug Programs and Bridging the Gap: A Guide to Treatment in the Juvenile Justice System.


The Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Division 53 of the American Psychological Association, provides independent research reviews for child and adolescent mental health treatment. MDFT is identified as an effective child therapy.


MDFT is listed in the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime's Compilation of Evidence-Based Family Skills Training Programs, and was named an effective approach in their publication International Standards for the Treatment of Drug Use Disorders.


The European Monitoring Cent​re for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) provides independent evaluations of available scientific evidence on drug treatment to policymakers and practitioners throughout the European Union and its member states. In their evaluation of treatment options for cannabis users, EMCDDA rated just one treatment as beneficial - MDFT. It is the only evidence-supported family-based treatment included in their Best Practice Portal on Treatment Options for Cannabis Users.


MDFT was carefully evaluated and recognized as a Model Crime Prevention Program by Canada’s National Crime Prevention Centre (NCPC).


The Finnish Association for Mental Health (FAMH) chose MDFT for a special project designed to prevent social marginalization among at-risk adolescents. FAMH describes MDFT as "an effective and flexible clinical approach for adolescents experiencing multiple problems" and provided essential program coordination and assistance in MDFT training and implementation in Finland.


The Dutch Youth Institute gave MDFT its highest rating of efficacy based on 'strong evidence' in their database of youth interventions. 


Infodrog advocates for effective addiction treatment and risk reduction on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health. MDFT is one of just two family therapies evaluated as ‘Successful’ by Infodrog for early treatment intervention.


Gurasotasuna is an initiative of the Basque Department of Employment and Social Policies that connects professionals to family intervention resources. MDFT is included in their list of international, evidence-based programs.


The Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) is a UK-based organization that promotes programs and policies that help children and young people develop the social and emotional skills they need to succeed. EIF gave MDFT the highest possible evidence rating in the areas of preventing substance misuse, enhancing school achievement, improving mental health, and preventing violent and antisocial behavior.


MDFT received the highest possible rating for scientific support from the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare.


The Clearinghouse for Military Readiness helps military families choose the best evidence-based practices to address a wide range of family and mental health issues. They list MDFT as a promising intervention.


The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice ranked MDFT an 'Evidence-based Practice' with proven recidivism reduction in their Sourcebook of Delinquency Interventions.


Child Trends is a non-profit, non-partisan research organization that provides information and analysis on programs for children and youth. MDFT is listed in their Lifecourse Interventions to Nurture Kids Successfully (LINKS) database as being “more effective than other treatments at decreasing drug use, delinquency, internalized distress, and affiliation with delinquent peers, increasing academic performance, and improving family functioning.”


The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) lists MDFT as a validated treatment in its Adolescent-Based Treatment Database. The database provides profiles on interventions that have been empirically validated in juvenile justice settings.


The National Council of Law Raza (NCLR) advocates for Latino families and communities in the United States in the areas of civic engagement, civil rights and immigration, education, workforce and the economy, health, and housing. They identified MDFT as a substance abuse treatment with proven efficacy for Latino youth in their publication, Mental Health Services for Latino Youth: Bridging Culture and Evidence.


The National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC) promotes programs and practices that contribute to student success and dropout prevention. The NDPC lists MDFT as a Model Program.


The Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute at the University of Washington gave MDFT the highest rating of 'evidence-based' in their report, Treating Youth Substance Use: Evidence Based Practices & Their Clinical Significance. The report looked specifically at the treatment of adolescent cannabis use.


The Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice described the MDFT research program as "one of the most comprehensive " in their report, The Evidence Base of Family Therapy and Systemic Practice.


The Urban Institute performs research on solving problems in an increasingly urbanized world. They recommend family-based interventions for combatting youth homeslessness, and included MDFT on their list of evidence-informed interventions.


The South Carolina Center of Excellence in Evidence-Based Intervention evaluates interventions for youth and family well-baing. The included MDFT on their list of evidence-based treatments in their report on  interventions for youth with behavioral health and substance abuse problems.