Matrix Model

Intervention Basics

Matrix Model is an intensive outpatient treatment approach for substance abuse and involves relapse-prevention groups, education groups, social-support groups, individual counseling, and urine and breath testing to motivate for change.

The Matrix Model utilizes many different forms of therapy and factors to help ensure success for those involved. Factors include:

  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Twelve-Step Facilitation
  • Family Involvement
  • Education
  • Contingency Management
  • Continuing Care
Expectation of Sessions:
Individual therapy, group therapy and family sessions occur over a 16-week period but can be extended up to 12 months.

Recommended Populations

  • Young adults ages 18 - 25
  • Male & Female
  • Asian; Black or African American; Hispanic or Latino; and White
  • Outpatient
  • Urban; Suburban

Special Considerations for Juvenile Drug Courts

JDC teams will have to determine if this type of treatment is appropriate for their target population, as the studies only suggest positive outcomes for young adults (ages 18-25). Research indicates that this treatment does not work well for youth ages 13 – 17 (the age of most JDC participants). 

Engagement Strategies

JDC teams may want to take this opportunity to work with other levels of jurisdiction to determine if an additional track may be inserted with the juvenile drug court or the adult drug court framework (i.e., a track for 18 – 25 year olds), in light of current research findings suggesting that the maturation of the brain may not happen until a person reaches the age of 24.

Implementation and Training

Contact Michael McCann, M.A., (310) 478-8305,  to research costs and training opportunities.



For more detailed information regarding research and replications associated with the Matrix Model, visit: