for people ages 13-18 (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Marina Tolou-Shams, PhD
Headshot of Marina Tolou-Shams
Marina Tolou-Shams



The research project will focus on conducting a trial of whether a tailored SMS text-messaging intervention is efficacious in improving justice-involved youths' substance use or dual diagnosis treatment attendance and engagement.


The study will demonstrate how delivery of motivational/coaching messages to justice-involved youth and their caregivers will lead to greater youth substance use treatment attendance and engagement. The study will start with identifying the feasibility and acceptability of the SMS text-messaging intervention with community-supervised justice-involved youth. Then, the study will determine whether the tailored dyadic (youth and caregiver) SMS text-messaging intervention improves justice-involved youth substance use or dual diagnosis treatment attendance and engagement relative to standard of care (not receiving motivational/coaching messages). Finally, the study will characterize patterns of key justice and behavioral health system-level factors that promote or hinder eventual adoption and sustainability of mHealth technology as a tool to improve treatment attendance for justice-involved youth.


Drug Use, Adolescent, Juvenile justice, text messaging, Substance use, mHealth, Substance-Related Disorders, SMS Text Messaging


You can join if…

Open to people ages 13-18

  • English-speaking youth with willing adult caregiver
  • Ages 13-18
  • Justice-involved while living in the community
  • Own a mobile phone or tablet
  • Are willing to send and receive text messages
  • Are referred to community-based substance use and/or mental health treatment

You CAN'T join if...


  • UCSF Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital accepting new patients
    San Francisco California 94131 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSF

  • Marina Tolou-Shams, PhD
    Dr. Tolou-Shams is the Kilroy Realty Professor of Psychiatry and Vice Chair of Community Engagement, Outreach and Advocacy in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (DPBS) at UCSF. She is also Deputy Vice Chair for Research in the DPBS at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (ZSFG).


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Francisco
Study Type
Expecting 162 study participants
Last Updated