Research examines interventions in treating African-Americans with substance abuse

February 19, 2013, University of Cincinnati

New research out of the University of Cincinnati reveals a relatively rare look into the success of substance abuse treatment programs for African-Americans. Researchers report that self-motivation could be an important consideration into deciding on the most effective treatment strategy. The study led by Ann Kathleen Burlew, a UC professor of psychology, and LaTrice Montgomery, a UC assistant professor of human services, is published online this week in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

Specifically among African-Americans, the study investigated the effectiveness of Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) compared with the standard treatment, Counseling as Usual (CAU).

Motivation Enhancement Therapy – which involves expressing empathy, setting goals, avoiding argumentation and supporting self-efficacy – is designed to address the ambivalence surrounding , whether abusers are at the stage where they're ready to live a substance-free life or whether they are still denying the need for any treatment.

The study examined the relation of treatment type and the motivation for treatment to the outcomes of the participants. The researchers found that for participants in Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), the substance abusers who were highly motivated to change reported fewer days of substance abuse per week than participants in Counseling As Usual (CAU) programs. However, among the lower-motivated participants, the Counseling As Usual (CAU) participants reported fewer days of substance abuse over time than participants in Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET).

The researchers report that the study contributes to the public health need for more empirical evidence on effective substance abuse treatments for African-Americans. The researchers reported finding only two previous readiness-to-change (RTC) studies with African-Americans, completed two decades ago.

The study is a secondary analysis of a clinical trial by the National Clinical Trials Network. The findings focused on 194 African-Americans in five community treatment programs over a 16-week period. Their average age was 37. Approximately one-fourth of the African-American population studied (24.7 percent) was female. The self-reported substance abuse ranged from alcohol (26.3 percent) to cocaine (25.8 percent), marijuana (18 percent), two or more drugs (24.2 percent) or other drugs (5.6 percent) as their primary drug of choice.

The UC research was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

Additional researchers on the study are Andrzej Kosinski, associate professor of biostatistics and bioinformatics, Duke University School of Medicine; and Alyssa Forcehimes, assistant professor of psychiatry, University of New Mexico.

Explore further: Research examines approaches to treating substance abuse among African-Americans

More information: psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=s … ID=1&page=1&dbTab=pa

Related Stories

Research examines approaches to treating substance abuse among African-Americans

October 17, 2011
A new study is the first to examine the effectiveness of a widely used counseling approach to treating substance abuse among African-Americans. The study found that African-American women were more likely than men to continue ...

Cognitive behavioral therapy may benefit patients in residential substance abuse treatment programs

June 6, 2011
Patients in residential treatment programs for drug and alcohol abuse may benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy for depressive symptoms, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.

White and Hispanic teens more likely to abuse drugs than African-Americans

November 7, 2011
A new analysis of teenage drug abuse finds widespread problems among whites, Native Americans, Hispanics and youngsters of multiple races, with less severe abuse among Asian and African-American teens.

Recommended for you

Study: No evidence to support link between violent video games and behaviour

January 16, 2018
Researchers at the University of York have found no evidence to support the theory that video games make players more violent.

Study listens in on speech development in early childhood

January 15, 2018
If you've ever listened in on two toddlers at play, you might have wondered how much of their babbling might get lost in translation. A new study from the University of Toronto provides surprising insights into how much children ...

Study suggests people dislike you more for humblebragging than for regular boasting

January 12, 2018
A team of researchers from Harvard University and UNC-Chapel Hill has conducted a study regarding humblebragging—in which a person boasts about an achievement but tries to make it sound less boastful by minimizing it—and ...

Study identifies brain circuit controlling social behavior

January 11, 2018
A new study by researchers at Roche in Basel, Switzerland has identified a key brain region of the neural circuit that controls social behavior. Increasing the activity of this region, called the habenula, led to social problems ...

Can writing your 'to-do's' help you to doze? Study suggests jotting down tasks can speed the trip to dreamland

January 11, 2018
Writing a "to-do" list at bedtime may aid in falling asleep, according to a Baylor University study. Research compared sleep patterns of participants who took five minutes to write down upcoming duties versus participants ...

Tamper-resistant oxycodone tablets have no impact on overall opioid use

January 11, 2018
The introduction of tamper-resistant opioid tablets does not have an effect on rates of opioid use or harms at a population level, according to a new study led by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at UNSW ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.