Mobilizing community support in people receiving opioid-agonist treatment

A group approach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This descriptive study evaluates a novel group intervention designed to help opioid-dependent patients in medication-assisted treatment identify and recruit drug-free individuals to support recovery efforts. The Social Network Activation Group works with patients who are actively using drugs and resistant to including drug-free family or friends in treatment. The group encourages patients to attend structured recovery, religious, or recreational activities in the community to find recovery support. For those with underutilized support, motivational interviewing and skills training are used to help patients resolve ambivalence and include family or friends in the treatment plan. Patients earn up to one methadone take-home each week that they attend the group and verify activity participation. They complete the group after introducing a drug-free family member or friend to their counselor. This study reports on a sample of 66 patients referred to this group as part of intensive outpatient treatment. Patients attended 71% of scheduled sessions and participated in a M = 4.3 activities. Mutual-help support groups (64%) and church (28%) were the activities most often attended. Thirty-six percent brought in a drug-free family or friend to meet their counselor. Family members were the most common choice (67%). The results demonstrate preliminary feasibility and mixed efficacy of the Social Network Activation Group for this highly select sample of patients, and provide additional evidence that many patients possess drug-free family or friends who are willing to support recovery efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Volume93
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

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Opioid Analgesics
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Therapeutics
Social Support
Motivational Interviewing
Self-Help Groups
Methadone
Outpatients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

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abstract = "This descriptive study evaluates a novel group intervention designed to help opioid-dependent patients in medication-assisted treatment identify and recruit drug-free individuals to support recovery efforts. The Social Network Activation Group works with patients who are actively using drugs and resistant to including drug-free family or friends in treatment. The group encourages patients to attend structured recovery, religious, or recreational activities in the community to find recovery support. For those with underutilized support, motivational interviewing and skills training are used to help patients resolve ambivalence and include family or friends in the treatment plan. Patients earn up to one methadone take-home each week that they attend the group and verify activity participation. They complete the group after introducing a drug-free family member or friend to their counselor. This study reports on a sample of 66 patients referred to this group as part of intensive outpatient treatment. Patients attended 71{\%} of scheduled sessions and participated in a M = 4.3 activities. Mutual-help support groups (64{\%}) and church (28{\%}) were the activities most often attended. Thirty-six percent brought in a drug-free family or friend to meet their counselor. Family members were the most common choice (67{\%}). The results demonstrate preliminary feasibility and mixed efficacy of the Social Network Activation Group for this highly select sample of patients, and provide additional evidence that many patients possess drug-free family or friends who are willing to support recovery efforts.",
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