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 substance abuse treatment, 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).