While excellent adolescent alcohol and drug screening tools are available, there are relatively few, if any, psychometrically validated measures to use in the assessment of adolescent treatment outcome. This study conducted a test-retest exercise of the Form 90 Drug and Alcohol (Form 90 DnA) to determine the stability of adolescent responses when administering the day-by-day calendar/grid approach. Homeless youth (N = 37) with alcohol, drug, or alcohol and drug abuse/dependence combined were recruited to participate in the test-retest study. High pre-post stability in means was obtained on measures of frequency of substance use in general, and on specific measures of alcohol, cocaine, marijuana use. The findings from this paper provide support for the reliability and validity of the Form 90 for use with adolescent runaways with a substance abuse or dependence diagnosis.
Evidence from multiple lines of research supports the effectiveness and practical importance of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Conference presenters discussed the relationship between 12-Step participation and abstinence among various populations, including adolescents, women, and urban drug users. Insight from the arts and humanities placed empirical findings in a holistic context.
Alcoholism treatment often encourages involvement in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Little provision is made for women with social phobia (SP), who have been reported to have worse outcomes in twelve-step-facilitation (TSF) relative to cognitive behavioral therapy. This study examined whether SP moderated the effects of gender for these women in TSF. 133 SP alcoholics assigned to TSF (35 females and 98 males) in Project MATCH were compared to a non-SP control group. SP women drank earlier and more intensely than non-SP women and all males, had equivalent AA attendance and completion of Step 5, and were less likely to acquire a sponsor during TSF.
Previous research found that self-regulation and self-efficacy were linked to substance use abstinence. The present study examined the relationships between changes in self-regulation and self-efficacy as predictors of substance use abstinence. A total of 150 adult individuals (62% female; M age = 37.1 SD = 8.1; 38% male) in substance abuse recovery participated in a randomized, longitudinal study comparing a communal housing model versus usual aftercare. Both the change in self-regulation (p = .014) and the change in self-efficacy (p = .032) were significantly predictive of the likelihood of abstinence. Additionally, changes in self-regulation and self-efficacy were largely independent. These findings suggest future research for examining change in self-regulation and self-efficacy substance abuse research.
We examined the relationship between treatment quality, using during-treatment process measures, and mutual help group (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous) attendance after outpatient substance use disorder (SUD) treatment for 739 clients in the Alcohol and Drug Services Study. Logistic regression models estimated any and regular mutual help attendance after treatment. Clients referred to mutual help groups were significantly more likely to attend any mutual help after treatment. Results were mixed for facility offered mutual help groups; treatment engagement and retention were not significant. These findings offer treatment providers further evidence of the importance of referring clients to post-treatment mutual help groups, an effective, low-cost option.
Although several costing instruments have been previously developed, few have been validated or applied systematically to the delivery of evidence-based practices (EBPs). Using data collected from 26 organizations implementing the same EBP, this paper examined the reliability, validity, and applicability of the brief Treatment Cost Analysis Tool (TCAT-Lite). The TCAT-Lite demonstrated good reliability-correlations between replications averaged 0.61. Validity also was high, with correlation of treated episodes per $100,000 between the TCAT-Lite and independent data of 0.57. In terms of applicability, cost calculations found that if all organizations had operated at optimal scale (124 client episodes per year), existing funds could have supported 64% more clients.
There is a dearth of research examining treatment engagement and attendance among runaway youth and their families. Such research is needed in order to inform treatment providers on factors associated with engagement and maintenance of these difficult to engage families into counseling. This study examined differential treatment attendance for alcohol abusing runaway youth residing at a local shelter. A traditional office-based family systems approach, Functional Family Therapy (FFT), was compared to a non-traditional, home-based, multi-systemic family therapy approach, Ecologically Based Family Therapy (EBFT). As expected, treatment engagement and attendance was significantly higher for those assigned to EBFT (N = 37) compared to FFT (N = 40). Predictors of treatment attendance (income, family chaos, externalization problems and level of youth substance use) were examined within each treatment modality. Findings suggest that home-based (compared to office-based) treatment modalities may significantly increase treatment attendance and engagement of runaway youth and their families. Non-traditional forms of treatment may need to be considered in order to best meet the needs of highly chaotic and disorganized family systems.
Empirically supported interventions (ESIs) for treating substance problems have seldom been made available to or tested with minority populations. Dissemination of ESIs may help reduce the disproportionate health disparities that exist. However, ESIs may require some adaptation to be effective with minority populations. One ESI, motivational interviewing (MI), appears to be particularly culturally congruent for Native American communities. We worked with Native American community members and treatment providers to adapt MI for Native communities. Reflecting their feedback and suggested amendments, we created and disseminated an intervention manual to improve the accessibility of MI within Native communities. To help guide practitioners working with Native American clients, we used focus-group methodology to explore communication patterns for negotiating change. Native American treatment providers expressed comfort with and enthusiasm for integrating MI into their current practices. Recommendations for adaptations ranged from simple to complex changes. The unique value and challenges of collaboration between academic and community members are presented from each author's perspective. This culturally adapted MI manual will likely improve the accessibility and adoption of MI practices as well as encourage controlled, clinical trials with Native communities.
This article is focused on improving the quality of addiction treatment. Based on observations that patients are leaving treatment too early and/or are continuing to use substances during their care, the authors propose six actions that could help reorient and revitalize this kind of clinical work: (1) conceptualize and treat addictive disorders within a psychiatric/mental health framework; (2) make the creation of a strong therapeutic alliance a core part of the healing process; (3) understand patients' addictions and other problems using models based on multiple internal parts, voices, or modes; (4) make contingency management and the use of positive reinforcement systems a standard and central practice in all treatment settings; (5) envision long-term change and healing through the lens of identity theory; and (6) integrate the growing developments in recovery culture with formal treatment.
The purpose of this study is to explore narcissistic and prosocial behaviors as reported by adolescents with and without substance dependency disorder (SDD). This study employs a quasi-experimental design using SDD adolescents compared with two normative samples of adolescents. In comparison to normative adolescents, adolescents with SDD were strongly distinguished by overt narcissistic behaviors and less monetary giving. Levels of narcissistic and prosocial behaviors among adolescents with SDD suggest a connection between self-centeredness and addiction. Results also suggest volunteerism as a potential option to counter narcissism in substance dependent adolescents.
Advances in mobile technology provide an opportunity to deliver in-the-moment interventions to individuals with alcohol use disorders, yet availability of effective "apps" that deliver evidence-based interventions is scarce. We developed an immediately available, portable, smartphone-based intervention system whose purpose is to provide stand-alone, self-administered assessment and intervention. In this paper, we describe how theory and empirical evidence, combined with smartphone functionality contributed to the construction of a user-friendly, engaging alcohol intervention. With translation in mind, we discuss how we selected appropriate intervention components including assessments, feedback and tools, that work together to produce the hypothesized outcomes.
The purpose of this study is to explore changes in belief orientation during treatment and the impact of increased daily spiritual experiences (DSE) on adolescent treatment response. One-hundred ninety-five adolescents court-referred to a 2-month residential treatment program were assessed at intake and discharge. Forty percent of youth who entered treatment as agnostic or atheist identified themselves as spiritual or religious at discharge. Increased DSE was associated with greater likelihood of abstinence, increased prosocial behaviors, and reduced narcissistic behaviors. Results indicate a shift in DSE that improves youth self-care and care for others that may inform intervention approaches for adolescents with addiction.
The majority of adolescents treated for substance use disorder (SUD) in the United States are now referred by the criminal justice system. Little is known, however, regarding how justice-system involvement relates to adolescent community treatment outcomes. Controversy exists, also, over the extent to which justice system involvement reflects a lack of intrinsic motivation for treatment. This study examined the relation between justice system referral and reported reason for treatment entry and tested the extent to which each predicted treatment response and outcome.
Adolescent outpatients (N = 127; M age = 16.7, 24% female) with varying levels of justice-system involvement (i.e., no justice system involvement [No-JSI; n = 63], justice-system involved [JSI; n = 40], justice system involved-mandated [JSI-M; n = 24]) and motivation levels (i.e., self-motivated [n = 40], externally-motivated [n = 87]) were compared at treatment intake. Multilevel mixed models tested these groups' effects on percent days abstinent (PDA) and odds of heavy drinking (HD) over 12 months.
JSI-M were less likely to be self-motivated compared to No-JSI or JSI (p = 0.009). JSI-M had higher PDA overall, but with significant declines over time, relative to no-JSI. Self-motivated patients did not differ from externally-motivated patients on PDA or HD.
Mandated adolescent outpatients were substantially less likely to report self-motivated treatment entry. Despite the notion that self-motivated treatment entry would be likely to produce better outcomes, a judicial mandate appears to predict an initially stronger treatment response, although this diminishes over time. Ongoing monitoring and/or treatment may be necessary to help maintain treatment gains for justice system-involved adolescents.
While the reliability of assessment instruments designed for use with adults is well established, much less is known about the adequacy of these instruments for adolescent substance abusers. As part of a comprehensive intake evaluation, the Inventory of Drug Use Consequences (InDUC) was administered both to forty adolescents assigned to a probationary substance abuse treatment program and to one of their parents. The correlation was statistically significant between Parent and Adolescent InDUC score(s), but the interrater reliability was relatively low. IQ scores and level of substance use were considered as moderator variables, but neither showed a significant effect. History of head injury, however, significantly moderated this relationship; those adolescents reporting no history of head injury showed little correspondence with Parent InDUC Score(s), whereas those adolescents with a history of head injury showed significant correlations with parent InDUC scores. This suggests that a history of head injury may affect the way in which adolescents perceive substance-related consequences.
Adolescents treated for substance use disorders (SUD) appear to benefit from AA/NA participation. However, as compared to adults, fewer adolescents attend, and those who do attend do so less intensively and discontinue sooner. It is unknown whether this disparity is due to a lowered expectation for youth participation by the clinicians treating them, as they may adapt the adult-based model to fit a less dependent cohort, or whether recommendations are similar to those of clinicians who work with adults, and other factors are responsible. All clinical staff (N = 114) at five adolescent programs (3 residential, 2 outpatient) were surveyed anonymously about referral practices and other beliefs about 12-step groups. Staff rated AA/NA participation as very important and helpful to adolescent recovery and referral rates were uniformly high (M = 86%, SD = 28%). Desired participation frequency was over 3 times per week. The theoretical orientation and level of care of the programs influenced some results. Findings suggest lower adolescent participation in 12-step groups is not due to a lack of clinician enthusiasm or referrals, but appears to be due to other factors.
This paper describes pilot test findings of an Internet-based, Transtheoretical Model-based, computer tailored intervention for adults who exceed national guidelines for low-risk drinking. In a pilot test, 166 adults recruited from worksites completed one session and evaluated the program. Pre and post assessments indicate intention to make behavioral changes. Importantly, 94.3% of participants indicated that they would recommend the program. Ratings were positive with the majority of participants 'agreeing' or 'strongly agreeing' with all 14 evaluation items. Feasibility was demonstrated by recruiting and engaging employed adults. This program is a cost-effective prevention program promoting responsible drinking to adults.
Many recovering substance users report quitting drugs because they wanted a better life. The road of recovery is the path to a better life but a challenging and stressful path for most. There has been little research among recovering persons in spite of the numbers involved, and most research has focused on substance use outcomes. This study examines stress and quality of life as a function of time in recovery, and uses structural equation modeling to test the hypothesis that social supports, spirituality, religiousness, life meaning, and 12-step affiliation buffer stress toward enhanced life satisfaction. Recovering persons (N = 353) recruited in New York City were mostly inner-city ethnic minority members whose primary substance had been crack or heroin. Longer recovery time was significantly associated with lower stress and with higher quality of life. Findings supported the study hypothesis; the 'buffer' constructs accounted for 22% of the variance in life satisfaction. Implications for research and clinical practice are discussed.
In this article I describe the historical context for research on sexual minority women's drinking, including the age-old tendency to link homosexuality and alcoholism; I summarize gaps and limitations that characterized much of the research on sexual minority women's drinking over the past several decades; and I review recent literature to highlight progress in the field-with a particular focus on my own research related to risk and protective factors for heavy drinking and drinking-related problems among sexual minority women. I conclude with a discussion of barriers to treatment for sexual minority women and recommendations for substance abuse treatment providers.
This study examined the association between relationship satisfaction and drinking urges among women who participated in alcohol behavioral individual therapy (ABIT) and Alcohol Behavioral Couples Therapy (ABCT). Relationship satisfaction and drinking urges were not related on a daily level, but urges were related to mean levels of relationship satisfaction and this association was moderated by treatment condition and time in treatment. Women with higher relationship satisfaction had fewer drinking urges, and women in ABCT with higher relationship satisfaction experienced greater reductions in urges during treatment. These findings suggest that ABCT may target the association between relationship satisfaction and drinking urges.
This article reviews studies and current practices of brief motivational intervention in the emergency department and identifies factors related to the effectiveness of brief intervention. Studies of brief intervention in the emergency department have had mixed results with most studies showing improvements in both intervention and control groups. Most report brief intervention reducing alcohol's negative consequences without reducing consumption. Clinical practice is incorporating brief intervention as part of emergency treatment and further research is needed to determine the factors most responsible for the improvements noted in most studies.
Although behavioral couples therapy (BCT) has considerable support in treating alcohol use disorder (AUD), studies have not examined BCT for dual problem couples in which both partners have current AUD. This study compared outcomes after BCT for dual problem couples (n = 20) with outcomes for single problem couples in which only one partner had AUD (n = 386). Results showed that dual problem and single problem couples did not differ significantly on degree of improvement in abstinence following BCT. A case example illustrates the application of BCT when both partners have a current AUD.
Runaway youths represent a vulnerable, high-risk population that has received little societal attention. Studies show that youths at greatest need are the least likely to access mental health, medical, and other social services. This study evaluated service utilization, including medical visits, psychological, alcohol and drug counseling and 12-step attendance, and substance use. Runaway youths (n = 51) between the ages of 12 and 17 with a diagnosis of alcohol abuse or dependence were recruited from two southwestern runaway shelters. Results showed that psychological counseling and medical visits were associated with less alcohol use while 12-step attendance was associated with more alcohol use at pretreatment. Service utilization was not associated with illicit drug use. The findings suggest that alcohol and other drug use are affected differently by service utilization in this sample of youths. More research is required to evaluate and develop treatments which can effectively intervene with this high-risk group.
Feedback brief interventions for alcohol use problems have been highly effective with undergraduate populations. However, there has been little research on the effectiveness of administering feedback alone to community treatment populations. The goal of the current study was to assess the effectiveness of a feedback brief intervention in a community treatment setting with patients characterized largely by dependence on alcohol and drugs, ethnic diversity, and low socioeconomic status. It was hypothesized that pre-treatment brief individualized feedback would reduce alcohol consumption and increase participation in subsequent treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD). Participants were recruited from a public hospital's SUD clinic. After the intake but prior to entry into the treatment as usual, 121 participants were randomized to receive personalized feedback or a condition without feedback. Eighty-seven participants completed post-intervention follow-up interviews and were included in the final analyses. Repeated measures ANOVAs and MANCOVAs were used to examine variables obtained from the Addiction Severity Index (ASI; McLellan et al., 1992) of drinking quantity and frequency, and motivation for treatment. Results indicated that personalized feedback delivered no benefit beyond that of pre-treatment assessment procedures (phone screening and intake interview) alone. Intervention conditions did not differ on other outcomes at follow-up, including days of heavy drinking, motivation for treatment, or drug use frequency. Therefore, feedback-based brief interventions may be not helpful in reducing the drinking frequency and intensity of individuals presenting to community-based substance use treatment.
Research has shown that increases in the size of abstinence-based social networks helps explain the association between 12-step attendance and increased abstinence. This study investigated whether the quality of social interaction in 12-step groups also predicts reduced substance use. Participants reported their perceptions of engagedness, avoidance, and conflict in their 12-step groups and their substance use in four assessments. Results showed that perceptions of group engagedness, but not avoidance or conflict, decreased over time. Despite this, engagedness predicted increased 12-step-related behavior and decreased alcohol use. Findings suggest that positive group interaction plays an important role in 12-step affiliates' recovery efforts.
This study addresses an unexplained finding in the alcoholism treatment field: despite the health and socioeconomic disparities that exist between blacks and whites at intake, blacks and whites achieve equivalent treatment outcomes. Using Project MATCH data, this study explores religiousness and spirituality as strengths in the African American community that may account in part for equivalent outcomes. Using binary logistic regression, this study found that as purpose in life increased, blacks were more likely to achieve sobriety than whites. This study provides evidence that purpose in life is a cultural strength and an advantage among blacks in achieving sobriety.