Changing network support for drinking: Initial findings from the network support project

Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, United States
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (Impact Factor: 4.85). 09/2007; 75(4):542-55. DOI: 10.1037/0022-006X.75.4.542
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to determine whether a socially focused treatment can effect change in the patient's social network from one that reinforces drinking to one that reinforces sobriety. Alcohol dependent men and women (N = 210) recruited from the community were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 outpatient treatment conditions: network support (NS), network support + contingency management (NS + CM), or case management (CaseM; a control condition). Analysis of drinking rates for 186 participants at 15 months indicated a significant interaction effect of Treatment x Time, with both NS conditions yielding better outcomes than the CaseM condition. Analyses of social network variables at posttreatment indicated that the NS conditions did not reduce social support for drinking relative to the CaseM condition but did increase behavioral and attitudinal support for abstinence as well as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) involvement. Both the NS variables and AA involvement variables were significantly correlated with drinking outcomes. These findings indicate that drinkers' social networks can be changed by a treatment that is specifically designed to do so, and that these changes contribute to improved drinking outcomes.

1 Follower
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background Oral naltrexone is an efficacious medication for treatment of alcohol dependence, but small effect sizes and variability in outcomes suggest the presence of person-level moderators of naltrexone response. Identification of contextual or psychosocial moderators may assist in guiding clinical recommendations. Given the established importance of social networks in drinking outcomes, as well as the potential effects of naltrexone in reducing cue reactivity which may be especially important among those with more heavy drinkers and more alcohol cues in their networks, we examined pretreatment social network variables as potential moderators of naltrexone treatment effects in the COMBINE study.Methods The sample included all COMBINE study participants in medication conditions with full data on the Important People Inventory (IPI) and covariates at intake (N = 1,197). The intake IPI assessed whether participants had any frequent drinkers in their network and the average frequency of contact with these drinkers. The effects of treatment condition, pretreatment network variables, and their interactions on percent heavy drinking days were tested in hierarchical linear models, controlling for demographics and baseline clinical covariates.ResultsIn treatment conditions involving medical management and combined behavioral intervention (CBI), the effects of active naltrexone on heavy drinking were significantly greater for individuals with frequent drinkers in their network (z = −2.66, p < 0.01) and greater frequency of contact with those drinkers (z = −3.19, p < 0.01). These network variables did not moderate the effects of active naltrexone without CBI.Conclusions When delivered in conjunction with behavioral interventions, naltrexone can be more potent for alcohol-dependent adults who have greater contact with frequent drinkers prior to treatment, which may indicate patterns of environmental exposure to alcohol. Contextual, social risk factors are a potential avenue to guide personalized treatment of alcohol dependence.
    Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 01/2015; 39(1). DOI:10.1111/acer.12605 · 3.31 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The UK Drug Strategy has embraced the philosophy of recovery as an “individual, person-centered journey” (Her Majesty's [HM] Government, 2010, p. 19) and is supported by a local network of recovery champions. The purpose of this article is to examine proactive attempts at establishing such networks based on training and working with a mixture of people in recovery and professionals, supported by a local recovery leader. What is presented in this article is a case study of an initiative attempting to access and link recovery champions. The early stages of the initiative were planned in advance, but the later stages were evolutionary and were based on the decisions of the emerging recovery champions group. The initiative started with a series of workshops to raise awareness about recovery, and from this, to recruit an initial group of candidate champions. Small groups were successfully recruited to participate in subsequent champions workshops, and they have since translated that commitment to a range of actions and directions, which have attempted to generate a visible recovery community and to challenge stereotypes and stigma perceptions. The final section of the article will review the utility of the label of “recovery champion” and will examine the role of such networks in enabling and supporting the emergence of a local culture of recovery.
    Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery 07/2013; 8(3):169-184. DOI:10.1080/1556035X.2013.785209
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Network Support treatment was intended to help alcohol dependent patients alter their close social support networks to be more supportive of sobriety and less supportive of drinking. The purpose of the present study was to examine the differential influences of Network Support treatment on men and women.
    Addictive Behaviors 06/2015; 45. DOI:10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.01.005 · 2.44 Impact Factor


Available from