Points Bibliography: Getting People into Treatment

Editor’s Note:  These entries are part of an ongoing drug-related dissertation bibliography being compiled by Jonathon Erlen. They were formerly published in the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs journal but are now periodically featured on the Points blog. For more information, contact Dr. Erlen through the link above.

A Randomized Clinical Trial of a Brief Motivational Intervention for Incarcerated Drinkers

Author: Owens, Mandy D.

Abstract: Almost half of convicted jail inmates have an alcohol use disorder and many are released to environments that put them in contact with network members and cues that make them more likely to relapse on alcohol or drugs. Given the high-risk period immediately following release, the purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of a brief motivational intervention administered just prior to release to increase substance use treatment entry and attendance, decrease alcohol and drug use, and change social networks for inmates with alcohol use disorders. Forty adult male inmates were consented into the study and randomized to a motivational intervention or the control condition (an educational intervention), and then they were contacted to do a one-month follow-up interview (62.5% completed this interview). Results indicated that conducting these interventions was feasible and considered extremely helpful by participants. Although there were no significant group differences, effect sizes suggest possible benefits from the motivational intervention in decreasing days of alcohol and drug use and increasing abstinence, and reducing the proportion of heavy drug users or users of any kind in the social network. Future studies should replicate these findings in larger sample sizes and over longer follow-up time periods, which may have implications for programming at jails for this population.

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