Interventions and treatments for adolescent substance abuse: Publications guide

Annotated bibliography

Below are some citations and abstracts from publications about interventions and treatment for adolescent substance abuse.

Allen, M. L., Garcia-Huidobro, D., Porta, C., Curran, D., Patel, R., Miller, J., & Borowsky, I. (2016). Effective Parenting Interventions to Reduce Youth Substance Use: A Systematic Review. Pediatrics, 138(2), e20154425.

Context: Parenting interventions may prevent adolescent substance use; however, questions remain regarding the effectiveness of interventions across substances and delivery qualities contributing to successful intervention outcomes.

Objective: To describe the effectiveness of parent-focused interventions in reducing or preventing adolescent tobacco, alcohol, and illicit substance use and to identify optimal intervention targeted participants, dosage, settings, and delivery methods.

Data sources: PubMed, PsycINFO, ERIC, and CINAHL.

Study selection: Randomized controlled trials reporting adolescent substance use outcomes, focusing on imparting parenting knowledge, skills, practices, or behaviors.

Data extraction Trained researchers extracted data from each article using a standardized, prepiloted form. Because of study heterogeneity, a qualitative technique known as harvest plots was used to summarize findings.

Results: A total of 42 studies represented by 66 articles met inclusion criteria. Results indicate that parenting interventions are effective at preventing and decreasing adolescent tobacco, alcohol, and illicit substance use over the short and long term. The majority of effective interventions required ≤12 contact hours and were implemented through in-person sessions including parents and youth. Evidence for computer-based delivery was strong only for alcohol use prevention. Few interventions were delivered outside of school or home settings.

Limitations: Overall risk of bias is high.

Conclusions: This review suggests that relatively low-intensity group parenting interventions are effective at reducing or preventing adolescent substance use and that protection may persist for multiple years. There is a need for additional evidence in clinical and other community settings using an expanded set of delivery methods.

Becker, S., Hernandez, L., Spirito, A., & Conrad, S. (2017). Technology-assisted intervention for parents of adolescents in residential substance use treatment: protocol of an open trial and pilot randomized trial. Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, 12(1), 1-13.

Adolescents in residential substance use disorder (SUD) treatment have poor outcomes post-discharge, with follow-up studies suggesting that most adolescents relapse within 90 days. Parenting practices directly influence adolescent SUD outcomes, but parents of adolescents with SUDs are difficult to engage in traditional behavioral treatments. The current study adapts and evaluates a technology-assisted intervention for parents of adolescents in residential SUD treatment. Based on pilot qualitative data with parents, adolescents, and residential staff, we augment an existing computerized intervention (Parenting Wisely; PW) with four in-person coaching sessions, personalized text messages, and an expert-moderated online parent message board. We hypothesize that parents will find enhanced PW (PW+) both feasible and acceptable, and that adolescents whose parents receive PW+ will have better post-discharge outcomes than adolescents who receive standard care (SC) only. A two phase approach is used to adapt and evaluate PW+. Phase 1 consists of an open trial with 10 parents of adolescents (age 12–17) in residential SUD treatment. Post-discharge qualitative and quantitative data from parents and adolescents will support PW+ refinement. Phase 2 is a randomized pilot trial with 60 parents testing the effectiveness of adding PW+ to SC. Adolescents and parents will complete assessments at baseline, 6-, 12-, and 24-weeks post-discharge. Primary outcomes will be measures of feasibility and acceptability. Secondary outcomes will include adolescent substance use, truancy, high-risk sexual behavior, and criminal involvement. Two parenting processes (monitoring and communication) are examined as potential mediators of change. This study will adapt and evaluate a technology-assisted parenting intervention as a means of improving adolescent outcomes following residential SUD treatment. Results have the potential to advance the field by: addressing a high-risk population, improving parental engagement; targeting parenting practices (putative mediators of change) that have been linked to adolescent outcomes; and developing a highly disseminable approach.

Black, J. J., & Chung, T. (2014). Mechanisms of change in adolescent substance use treatment: How does treatment work?. Substance Abuse, 35(4), 344-351.

Background: Adolescent substance use treatment outcome research generally shows small to moderate effects in reducing substance use, with no specific “brand” of treatment emerging as clearly superior to any other, and treatment gains that fade over time. The relatively weak and temporary effects of treatment call for improving the potency and durability of intervention effects. In response to this call, this critical narrative review summarizes research on mechanisms of change for both adults and adolescents in substance use treatment, with a particular focus on reviewing what is known regarding “how” adolescent substance use treatment works.

Methods: A comprehensive review of the adolescent (ages 11–18) substance use treatment literature was conducted to identify empirical studies that examined mediators of intervention effects. Relevant databases (e.g., PsychINFO, Medline) were searched using key words (e.g., “mediator”), and relevant articles from reference sections of identified studies and review papers were considered.

Results: Studies of mechanisms of psychotherapy change are rare in the adult, and particularly adolescent, substance use treatment outcome literature. The four adolescent studies that examined substance use treatment mechanisms found that positive social support, motivation to abstain, and positive parenting behaviors mediated treatment effects. To date, research has not supported therapy-specific mechanisms of change, finding instead that “common” processes of change largely account for improvements in outcome across distinct “brands” of treatment.

Conclusions: The lack of empirical support for treatment-specific mechanisms of change may be due to the need for greater precision in defining and measuring treatment-specific causal chains. Future directions include neuroscience approaches to examining changes in brain functioning that are associated with treatment response and recovery and examining mechanisms in adaptive treatment designs, which can accommodate individual differences in targets for intervention and response to treatment.

Das, J. K., Salam, R. A., Arshad, A., Finkelstein, Y., & Bhutta, Z. A. (2016). Interventions for adolescent substance abuse: An overview of systematic reviews. Journal of Adolescent Health, 59(4), S61-S75.

Many unhealthy behaviors often begin during adolescence and represent major public health challenges. Substance abuse has a major impact on individuals, families, and communities, as its effects are cumulative, contributing to costly social, physical, and mental health problems. We conducted an overview of systematic reviews to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions to prevent substance abuse among adolescents. We report findings from a total of 46 systematic reviews focusing on interventions for smoking/tobacco use, alcohol use, drug use, and combined substance abuse. Our overview findings suggest that among smoking/tobacco interventions, school-based prevention programs and family-based intensive interventions typically addressing family functioning are effective in reducing smoking. Mass media campaigns are also effective given that these were of reasonable intensity over extensive periods of time. Among interventions for alcohol use, school-based alcohol prevention interventions have been associated with reduced frequency of drinking, while family-based interventions have a small but persistent effect on alcohol misuse among adolescents. For drug abuse, school-based interventions based on a combination of social competence and social influence approaches have shown protective effects against drugs and cannabis use. Among the interventions targeting combined substance abuse, school-based primary prevention programs are effective. Evidence from Internet-based interventions, policy initiatives, and incentives appears to be mixed and needs further research. Future research should focus on evaluating the effectiveness of specific interventions components with standardized intervention and outcome measures. Various delivery platforms, including digital platforms and policy initiative, have the potential to improve substance abuse outcomes among adolescents; however, these require further research.

Goorden, M., Schawo, S., Bouwmans-Frijters, C., van der Schee, E., Hendriks, V., & Hakkaart-van Roijen, L. (2016). The cost-effectiveness of family/family-based therapy for treatment of externalizing disorders, substance use disorders and delinquency: a systematic review. BMC Psychiatry, 16(1), 1-22.

Family therapy and family-based treatment has been commonly applied in children and adolescents in mental health care and has been proven to be effective. There is an increased interest in economic evaluations of these, often expensive, interventions. The aim of this systematic review is to summarize and evaluate the evidence on cost-effectiveness of family/family-based therapy for externalizing disorders, substance use disorders and delinquency. A systematic literature search was performed in PubMed, Education Resource information Centre (ERIC), Psycinfo and Cochrane reviews including studies conducted after 1990 and before the first of August of 2013. Full economic evaluations investigating family/family-based interventions for adolescents between 10 and 20 years treated for substance use disorders, delinquency or externalizing disorders were included. Seven hundred thirty-one articles met the search criteria and 51 studies were initially selected. The final selection resulted in the inclusion of 11 studies. The quality of these studies was assessed. Within the identified studies, there was great variation in the specific type of family/family-based interventions and disorders. According to the outcomes of the checklists, the overall quality of the economic evaluations was low. Results varied by study. Due to the variations in setting, design and outcome it was not feasible to pool results using a meta-analysis. The quality of the identified economic evaluations of family/family-based therapy for treatment of externalizing disorders, adolescent substance use disorders and delinquency was insufficient to determine the cost-effectiveness. Although commonly applied, family/family-based therapy is costly and more research of higher quality is needed.

Liddle, H. A., Dakof, G. A., Rowe, C. L., Henderson, C., Greenbaum, P., Wang, W., & Alberga, L. (2018). Multidimensional Family Therapy as a community-based alternative to residential treatment for adolescents with substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 90(1), 47-56.

This randomized clinical trial (RCT) compared Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT) with residential treatment (RT) for adolescents with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders on substance use, delinquency, and mental health symptoms. Using an intent-to-treat design, 113 adolescents who had been referred for residential treatment were randomly assigned to either RT or MDFT in the home/community. The sample was primarily male (75%) and Hispanic (68%) with an average age of 15.4 years. Seventy-one percent of youth had at least one previous residential treatment placement. Participants were assessed at baseline and at 2, 4, 12 and 18 months post-baseline. During the early phase of treatment (baseline to 2 months), youth in both treatments showed significant reductions in substance use [substance use problems (d = 1.10), frequency of use (d = 1.36)], delinquent behaviors (d = 0.18) and externalizing symptoms (d = 0.77), and youth receiving MDFT reported significantly greater reductions in internalizing symptoms than youth receiving RT (d = 0.42). In phase 2, from 2 to 18 months after baseline, youth in MDFT maintained their early treatment decreases in substance use problems (d = 0.51), frequency of use (d = 0.24), and delinquent behaviors (d = 0.42) more effectively than youth in RT. During this period, there were no significant treatment differences in maintenance of gains for externalizing and internalizing symptoms. Results suggest that Multidimensional Family Therapy is a promising alternative to residential treatment for youth with substance use and co-occurring disorders. The results, if supported through replication, are important because they challenge the prevailing assumption that adolescents who meet criteria for residential treatment cannot be adequately managed in a non-residential setting.

Stanger, C., Lansing, A. H., & Budney, A. J. (2016). Advances in research on contingency management for adolescent substance use. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics, 25(4), 645-659.

Multiple interventions for treating adolescents with substance use disorders have demonstrated efficacy, but the majority of teens do not show an enduring positive response to these treatments. Contingency-management (CM) based strategies provide a promising alternative, and clinical research focused on the development and testing of innovative CM models continues to grow. This article provides an updated review on the progress made in this area since we last commented on the published literature in 20101. Areas covered include: controlled trials of treatment for adolescents referred to substance use treatment, innovative applications of CM to tobacco cessation among youth, analyses of moderators and mechanisms of CM treatment outcomes, the emerging literature on dissemination and implementation, and other literature suggesting a growing acceptance of CM as viable and effective intervention. The literature in this area continues to progress at a moderate pace, with many indicators of budding interest in the application of CM, and in finding cost effective models to enhance dissemination and implementation. As with other types of substance use disorder treatments, we need to continue to search for more effective models, focus on post-treatment maintenance (reduce relapse), and strive for high levels of integrity and fidelity during dissemination efforts to optimize outcomes.

Stockings, E., Hall, W. D., Lynskey, M., Morley, K. I., Reavley, N., Strang, J., … & Degenhardt, L. (2016). Prevention, early intervention, harm reduction, and treatment of substance use in young people. The Lancet Psychiatry, 3(3), 280-296.

We did a systematic review of reviews with evidence on the effectiveness of prevention, early intervention, harm reduction, and treatment of problem use in young people for tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs (eg, cannabis, opioids, amphetamines, or cocaine). Taxation, public consumption bans, advertising restrictions, and minimum legal age are effective measures to reduce alcohol and tobacco use, but are not available to target illicit drugs. Interpretation of the available evidence for school-based prevention is affected by methodological issues; interventions that incorporate skills training are more likely to be effective than information provision—which is ineffective. Social norms and brief interventions to reduce substance use in young people do not have strong evidence of effectiveness. Roadside drug testing and interventions to reduce injection-related harms have a moderate-to-large effect, but additional research with young people is needed. Scarce availability of research on interventions for problematic substance use in young people indicates the need to test interventions that are effective with adults in young people. Existing evidence is from high-income countries, with uncertain applicability in other countries and cultures and in subpopulations differing in sex, age, and risk status. Concerted eff orts are needed to increase the evidence base on interventions that aim to reduce the high burden of substance use in young people.

Tanner-Smith, E. E., Wilson, S. J., & Lipsey, M. W. (2013). The comparative effectiveness of outpatient treatment for adolescent substance abuse: A meta-analysis. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 44(2), 145-158.

Meta-analysis was used to synthesize research on the effects of outpatient treatment on substance use outcomes for adolescents with substance use disorders. An extensive literature search located 45 eligible experimental or quasi-experimental studies reporting 73 treatment–comparison group pairs, with many of the comparison groups also receiving some treatment. The first analysis examined 250 effect sizes for the substance use outcomes of adolescents receiving different types of treatment relative to the respective comparison groups. As a category, family therapy programs were found to be more effective than their comparison conditions, whereas no treatment programs were less effective. However, not all treatment types were compared with each other in the available research, making it difficult to assess the comparative effectiveness of the different treatments. To provide a more differentiated picture of the relative improvement in substance use outcomes for different treatments, a second analysis examined 311 pre–post effect sizes measuring changes in substance use for adolescents in the separate treatment and comparison arms of the studies. The adolescents in almost all types of treatment showed reductions in substance use. The greatest improvements were found for family therapy and mixed and group counseling. Longer treatment duration was associated with smaller improvements, but other treatment characteristics and participant characteristics had little relationship to the pre–post changes in substance use. Based on these findings family therapy is the treatment with the strongest evidence of comparative effectiveness, although most types of treatment appear to be beneficial in helping adolescents reduce their substance use.

Van Ryzin, M. J., Roseth, C. J., Fosco, G. M., Lee, Y. K., & Chen, I. C. (2016). A component-centered meta-analysis of family-based prevention programs for adolescent substance use. Clinical Psychology Review, 45, 72-80.

Although research has documented the positive effects of family-based prevention programs, the field lacks specific information regarding why these programs are effective. The current study summarized the effects of family-based programs on adolescent substance use using a component-based approach to meta-analysis in which we decomposed programs into a set of key topics or components that were specifically addressed by program curricula (e.g., parental monitoring/behavior management, problem solving, positive family relations, etc.). Components were coded according to the amount of time spent on program services that targeted youth, parents, and the whole family; we also coded effect sizes across studies for each substance-related outcome. Given the nested nature of the data, we used hierarchical linear modeling to link program components (Level 2) with effect sizes (Level 1). The overall effect size across programs was .31, which did not differ by type of substance. Youth-focused components designed to encourage more positive family relationships and a positive orientation toward the future emerged as key factors predicting larger than average effect sizes. Our results suggest that, within the universe of family-based prevention, where components such as parental monitoring/behavior management are almost universal, adding or expanding certain youth-focused components may be able to enhance program efficacy.

 

 

 

June PD

Professional development

You can add to the professional development post by commenting below or emailing the library.

Online resources

Webpage

Queensland Women’s Health Network: Contains information about women’s health and wellbeing

Report

The Queensland Mental Health Commission has released a report titled “Changing Attitudes, Changing Lives: Options to reduce stigma amd discrimination for people experiencing problematic alcohol and other drug use.” The report explores stigma and discrimination faced by people using alcohol or other drugs, recent research in this space and options for reform. The report forms part of the Queensland Government’s Alcohol and other Drugs Action Plan 2015-2017

Read – professional reading

Available from the library database

Gjersing, L., & Bretteville‐Jensen, A. L. (2018). Patterns of substance use and mortality risk in a cohort of ‘hard‐to‐reach’ polysubstance users. Addiction, 113(4), 729-739

Hausheer, R., Doumas, D.M., Esp, S. (2018). Evaluation of a Web-Based Alcohol Program Alone and in Combination With a Parent Campaign for Ninth-Grade Students. Journal of Addictions & Offender Counseling. 39 (1). 15-30.

Mason, M.J., Zaharakis, N.M., Russell, M., Childress, V. (2018). A pilot trial of text-delivered peer network counseling to treat young adults with cannabis use disorder. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 89. 1-10

McNamara, B.J., Banks, E., Gubhaju, L., Joshy, G., Williamson, A., Raphael, B., Eades, S., (2018). Factors relating to high psychological distress in Indigenous Australians and their contribution to Indigenous–non-Indigenous disparities. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health. 42 (2). 145-152.

Moreland, A.D., McRae-Clark, A. (2018).Parenting outcomes of parenting interventions in integrated substance-use treatment programs: A systematic review.  Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 89. 52-59

Waaktaar, T., Kan, K., & Torgersen, S. (2018). The genetic and environmental architecture of substance use development from early adolescence into young adulthood: a longitudinal twin study of comorbidity of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drug use. Addiction, 113(4), 740-748.

Open Access Articles

Darke S, Kaye S, Duflou J, Lappin J. (2018). Completed Suicide Among Methamphetamine Users: A National Study. Suicide Life Threat Behaviour. doi: 10.1111/sltb.12442

Dolan, K., Sacha-Krol, D., and Vumbaca, G. (2017). A needs analysis for people living with HCV after leaving custodial settings in Australia. Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League: Canberra.

Nasstasia, Y., Baker, A. L., Halpin, S. A., Hides, L., Lewin, T. J., Kelly, B. J., & Callister, R. (2018). Evaluating the efficacy of an integrated motivational interviewing and multi-modal exercise intervention for youth with major depression: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind randomised controlled trial protocol. Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications, 9, 13-22.

Rivera, B. (2018). Factors Affecting Adult Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse and Interventions Designed to Address the Problem: A Systematic Literature Review (Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Los Angeles).

 Open access online journal

Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications contains some relevant research

Open access textbooks

ANU Press has several Open Access textbooks in its catalogue

Useful resources

20 medications you should avoid with alcohol

Moderate drinking factsheets

SMART Recovery Australia worksheets

Youth AOD Toolbox: provides practitioners in the youth alchohol + other drugs field with reliable and current information to help to increase their knowledge and enrich their practice.

Study on alcohol use: Young Australian’s Alcohol Reporting System (YAARS)

e-Book of the month

Palmer, A., Kunreuther, E., & Attwood, T. (2017). Drinking, Drug Use, and Addiction in the Autism Community. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

What is the connection between autism and addiction? Why are individuals with autism more likely to develop a substance use disorder than the general population? Until recently, substance use disorder (SUD) was considered rare among those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This book brings together current research and personal accounts from individuals with autism and their supports. It explores why addiction is more common among individuals with ASD and investigates how addiction and autism affect one another. The authors also provide strategies for supporting people with both ASD and SUD (copied from EBSCO database)

Free to download for all HOA staff from the library catalogue on work computers

Attend – informal learning sessions, journal club, seminar series

Insight Queensland

Free training sessions  including:

AOD Crash Course: One day introduction to AOD

AOD Relapse Prevention & Management

Introduction to withdrawal management

Harm reduction 101

Cairns

More regional sessions coming soon

Online induction modules are a prerequisite to some of the courses. To access and download them visit www.insightqld.org

Other providers

Free e-module for everyone working with people with personality disorders (including addiction), to enhance an attitude of holding people responsible for their actions, without blaming them for their failures.

eMHPrac provides free e-mental health training and support for health practitioners – GPs, Allied Health Professionals, and service providers working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Attend – conferences 

NADA: Exploring therepeutic interventions.

7-8 June at Sydney

Program

Costs $265-440 for full conference. Register here

Write – presentations and papers

Australian Social Work: Call for articles for a special issue on working with involuntary clients. Relevant papers would address: work with involuntary clients in the range of fields referred to above; strategies for working with the involuntary, mandated, non-voluntary or resistant clients in a variety of settings; the dynamics of working with this population; the importance of building relationships; problem solving with involuntary clients; challenging involuntary clients; practice skills specific to these groups.Authors may submit an original article (4000–6000 words), or a Practice, Policy, and Perspectives article (1500–4000 words). For guidance on how to submit, please see www.tandfonline.com/rasw and the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), 6th Edition. All manuscripts should be submitted via Scholar One Manuscripts: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/rasw, no later than 30 May 2019. Authors are encouraged to contact the Guest Editors to discuss their intended submissions.

Listen – podcasts, webinars

Transgender health podcast

Duration: 52 minutes

  • terminology and gender identity
  • New Zealand population stats
  • experiencing concerning health and wellbeing disparity
  • myths and stereotypes
  • has the concept of transgender been over medicalised?
  • specific health issues that transgender people face at different stages of life
  • how do we make our practices transgender friendly?
  • New transgender pathway.

Living with FASD: Radio National’s Life Matters program recently featured an episode titled “Living with FASD”. The radio program features an interview with Anne Russell, whose son has FASD. Anne describes how FASD impacts her son, and some of the challenges of getting appropriate diagnosis and support. The show also features Dr Doug Shelton, a paediatrician who specialises in FASD, who talks about some of the impacts of FASD, and the approaches to better recognising and managing FASD.

Insight Webinars

6th June, 10:00-11:00

Working with people with personality disorders: This presentation will focus upon the challenges of working with clients with personality disorders, offering practical strategies for engagement, management and treatment.

13th June, 10:00-11:00

“Coming to terms”: promoting AOD literacy: Health literacy refers to how people understand information about health and healthcare and use this to make decisions about their care. “Coming to Terms” explores the use of clinical language by health professionals in the AOD sector and how interpretation and comprehension can impact upon healthcare outcomes for our clients.

Assessed learning – short courses, certificates, diplomas, bachelors, post-grad

Lighthouse resources

The absurd word: using writing in counselling

Learn and practice the use of writing, words, word games, poetry and literature in your counselling and support work with clients.  This experiential workshop will guide you through several writing based activities and techniques that can enhance your work with people who experience various concerns and challenges in their mental health and wellbeing and family life.

19th June, 9:30-16:30, cost $220

Brick walls and tangled wool: making counselling comfortable when it is uncomfortable

Providing support or counselling to a person or family is a key role played by human services workers. For those accessing support, engaging in and receiving such support can be extremely uncomfortable and daunting. Human beings, through life and through traumatic experiences, develop coping mechanisms and ways of relating to people that can present as a barrier to the support we offer. This workshop will challenge you to think of these mechanisms as not barriers but normal human behaviours – this workshop will focus on ways to work with not against these behaviours in a way that makes change possible. You will also engage in a group reflection and supervision session to unpack barriers in real life situations you are currently experiencing.

26th June, 9:00-16:30, cost $220

Workshops Venue: Lighthouse Resources Upstairs Training Room, Kyabra Street RUNCORN, QLD. 4113

Registration/more information

Annotated bibilography: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Annotated bibliography

Curran, G. M., Woo, S. M., Hepner, K. A., Lai, W. P., Kramer, T. L., Drummond, K. L., & Weingardt, K. (2015). Training Substance Use Disorder Counselors in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Depression: Development and Initial Exploration of an Online Training Program. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 58(1), 33-42.
The authors of this paper state that evidence-based psychotherapies (EBP) are underutilised and that to combat this models for training in EBP are necessary. These need to be cost-effective, minimally disruptive and flexible, which led them to consider internet technology as a potential platform for delivery. They developed an online training package for the Building Recovery by Improving Goals, Habits and Thoughts (BRIGHT) program, which is based on cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT). This was a sixteen session group depression treatment for people with substance use disorders (SUD). They explored the possibility of delivering the BRIGHT training to counsellors online rather than in a face-to-face program. Eight volunteer counsellors across seven Veterans’ Affairs SUD programs completed the training. A lack of protected time for the counsellors to do the training was the largest barrier. Many had to do it in their own time or in breaks between clients and found it frustrating and fragmented. Those who completed the training found it a positive and useful experience. A limitation in this study is the small and specific sample size.

Delgadillo, J., Gore, S., Ali, S., Ekers, D., Gilbody, S., Gilchrist, G., & … Hughes, E. (2015). Feasibility Randomized Controlled Trial of Cognitive and Behavioral Interventions for Depression Symptoms in Patients Accessing Drug and Alcohol Treatment. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 55(1), 6-14.

Depression and frequent alcohol and drug use often co-exist prompting this study, which conducted a trial to examine the practicality of screening, recruitment, randomisation and engagement of drug and alcohol users for psychological interventions to treat depressive symptoms The participants (n=50) were all involved in community drugs and alcohol treatment (CDAT). They were then randomly assigned to behavioural intervention delivered by psychologists (n=23) or CBT based self-help introduced by CDAT workers (n=27). Recruitment and retention rates, along with changes in depressive symptoms and changes in days abstinent were measured at the 24 week follow up. The fifty participants were recruited from a pool of approximately 200 individuals and the randomisation produced comparable groups. Seventy-eight percent of the participants were present at the 24 week follow up point. The engagement rate for the participants who received psychological interventions was low with only 42% attending at least one session and there was no significant difference in engagement between the two groups. However, those from both groups who engaged with treatment did have moderate improvements in depressive symptoms. Co-existence of alcohol and drug services and mental health services does appear to improve engagement with treatment. A limitation was the high attrition rate, which was more likely in those with polysubstance use.

Epstein, E. E., McCrady, B. S., Hallgren, K. A., Gaba, A., Cook, S., Jensen, N., & … Litt, M. D. (2018). Individual versus group female-specific cognitive behavior therapy for alcohol use disorder. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 88(1), 27-43.

This study aimed to test group-based female-specific CBT (G-FS-CBT) for women with alcohol use disorder (AUD) against an individual female-specific CBT (I-FS-CBT). The authors wanted to describe the development of G-FS-CBT. They also aimed to examine its content, feasibility, acceptability, group process, participant engagement and treatment outcomes. The study was a randomised controlled trial in which 155 women with AUD were randomly assigned to twelve manual guided sessions of G-FS-CBT or I-FS-CBT. Of the participants, 138 women attended at least one session. Women who were assigned into the G-FS-CBT group attended less sessions than those assigned the I-FS-CBT group. Engagement rate was rated as high in both groups by independent assessors and women in both groups reported high satisfaction with their treatment. During the first six weeks of treatment, participants in both groups significantly reduced their percent drinking days and percent heavy drinking days by equivalent amounts, which they maintained during treatment and at the twelve month follow up. They all also reported significant improvement in treatment outcomes including depression, self-efficacy, anxiety and abstinence. They concluded that the study offered support for G-FS-CBT as a treatment for women with AUD, offering single gender community support, programmed specifically for women. A limitation in the study was the limited demographics in the group being studied, although it was felt that as the program was a tailored one, it could be adapted for different age groups and different socio-economic groups.

Haller, M., Norman, S. B., Cummins, K., Trim, R. S., Xu, X., Cui, R., & … Tate, S. R. (2016). Integrated Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Versus Cognitive Processing Therapy for Adults With Depression, Substance Use Disorder, and Trauma. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 62(1), 38-48.

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and SUD are often comorbid conditions suffered by veterans. Research has previously indicated that veterans who had comorbidity of these three conditions did not maintain treatment gains from CBT as well as those with depression and SUD but not PTSD. The aim of this study was to investigate if adding trauma-focused treatment after an initial group-based integrated CBT for SUD and depression resulted in improved treatment outcomes. They recruited 123 veterans (89% male) from a single healthcare system to participate in the study. They all received integrated CBT sessions twice a week for 12 weeks (Phase 1). They were then randomly allocated to receive 12 individual follow-up sessions (Phase 2) using either integrated CBT or cognitive processing therapy modified to include SUD treatment (CPT-M). PTSD and depressive symptoms improved slightly at the end of Phase 1 and improved further during Phase 2, except for those without PTSD who received CPT-M. These improvements were maintained one year later. Substance use significantly improved by the end of Phase 1 and was maintained throughout Phase 2 and at one year follow-up. Similar levels of symptom improvement were seen in participants in the trauma-focused Phase 2 treatment (CPT-M) as those in the non-trauma focused treatment (integrated CBT), but there was a slight advantage of CPT-M over integrated CBT in heavy drinking outcomes for participants with PTSD. They concluded that generally group integrated CBT followed by either individual integrated CBT or CPT-M seemed to be effective for veterans with depression, SUD and PTSD. An important limitation of the study was that the participants were mainly male and that the results may not apply to female veterans.

Kiluk, B. D., DeVito, E. E., Buck, M. B., Hunkele, K., Nich, C., & Carroll, K. M. (2017). Effect of computerized cognitive behavioral therapy on acquisition of coping skills among cocaine-dependent individuals enrolled in methadone maintenance. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 82(1), 87-92.

The development of coping skills has generally been considered to be a result of CBT for SUD but there is little statistical evidence to support this. The aim of this study was to reproduce and expand previous research on the quality of coping skills as a predictor of abstinence in substance users who had participated in a computerised CBT program. The participants were cocaine-dependent individuals enrolled in a methadone maintenance program. They were randomly assigned to treatment as usual (TAU) (n=54) or computerised CBT and TAU (n=47), which consisted of seven modules accessed on a special computer in a private room. They were interviewed by a research assistant at the beginning and end of treatment, twice weekly during treatments and 1, 3 and 6 months after treatment. Coping skills were measured using the Drug Risk Response Test (DRRT). At the 6 month post treatment point, 89 participants remained. They were unable to replicate the results of the previous studies, which may have been due to differences in the study participants. Their analysis did not support the acquisition of coping skills as a predictor of treatment outcome. However those assigned to computerised CBT and TAU, showed greater improvement in coping skills than those assigned to TAU only. A limitation in the study was the small sample size.

Morris, L., Stander, J., Ebrahim, W., Eksteen, S., Meaden, O., Ras, A., & Wessels, A. (2018). Effect of exercise versus cognitive behavioural therapy or no intervention on anxiety, depression, fitness and quality of life in adults with previous methamphetamine dependency: a systematic review. Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, 13(1), 1-12.

Methamphetamine is a psychostimulant used by approximately 52 million people globally and is extremely addictive. When used chronically it can cause adverse psychological, physical and neurological changes, including increases in depression and anxiety and decreases in fitness and quality of life. It has been suggested that exercise has the possibility of reversing these changes. This systematic review aimed to examine the available evidence on the effectiveness of exercise as opposed to CBT, standard care or no intervention on reducing anxiety and depression and improving fitness and quality of life in previous users of methamphetamine. The initial search identified 251 articles, which was first reduced to 14 potentially relevant studies, whose abstracts were reviewed. The final selection was three articles comprising two randomised control trials and one quasi-experimental pilot. The review concluded that depression and anxiety scores were significantly reduced with exercise as opposed to CBT. There were also significant improvements in quality of life scores in those exercising. It recommended that exercise be included in therapy for methamphetamine use. A limitation in this study was the small number of studies reviewed.

Zhang Z, Zhang L, Zhang G, Jin J, Zheng Z. The effect of CBT and its modifications for relapse prevention in major depressive disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Psychiatry [serial online]. December 1, 2018; 18(1):1-14. Available from: E-Journals, Ipswich, MA. Accessed March 25, 2018

CBT and its variations could be effective in preventing relapse in individuals with major depressive disorder (MDD). This review therefore aimed to evaluate the efficacy of CBT in preventing relapse in MDD. The researchers searched several databases to find relevant studies. They found sixteen studies investigating a total of 1945 participants, which met the criteria of the review. CBT was found to be more efficacious than control in reducing relapse in MDD individuals who were in remission. In those with three or more previous depressive episodes, mindfulness-based cognitive (MBCT) was more effective than control in reducing relapse. They concluded that using CBT in individuals with MDD may decrease the risk of relapse and that MBCT may only work for those MDD individuals with three or more previous episodes. The limitations in the study include the trial sizes in some of the studies evaluated and that the research was limited to MDD, rather than all depressive disorders.

Open Access articles can be accessed by clicking on the titles, others are available from our library datatbase for Healthy Options Australia staff and volunteers.

April PD

Professional development

You can add to the professional development post by commenting below or emailing the library.

Online resources

Webpage

Queensland Government  – Drug use: help and treatment

Read – professional reading

Available from the library database

  • Heward-Belle, S., Laing, L., Humphreys, C., & Toivonen, C. (2018). Intervening with Children Living with Domestic Violence: Is the System Safe?. Australian Social Work, 1-13.
  • Jiang, M. Y., & Vartanian, L. R. (2018). A review of existing measures of attentional biases in body image and eating disorders research. Australian Journal Of Psychology, 70(1), 3-17.
  • Kaplan, L. M., Greenfield, T. K., & Karriker‐Jaffe, K. J. (2017). Examination of associations between early life victimisation and alcohol’s harm from others. Drug and Alcohol Review.
  • Massey, S. H., Newmark, R. L., & Wakschlag, L. S. (2017). Explicating the role of empathic processes in substance use disorders: a conceptual framework and research agenda. Drug and Alcohol Review.
  • Pennay, A., McNair, R., Hughes, T. L., Leonard, W., Brown, R., & Lubman, D. I. (2018). Improving alcohol and mental health treatment for lesbian, bisexual and queer women: Identity matters. Australian And New Zealand Journal Of Public Health, 42(1), 35-42.

Open Access Articles

Open access online journal

Journal of Eating Disorders

A peer-reviewed open access journal exploring eating disorders

Open access textbooks

College open  textbooks: psychology

Useful resources

Australian College of Community Services Facebook page

ACCS is a not-for-profit Registered Training Organisation and national provider of professional development across various industries.

e-Book of the month

Howard, A., Katrak, M., Blakemore, T., & Pallas, P. (2016). Rural, Regional and Remote Social Work : Practice Research From Australia. London: Routledge.

This book gives voice to the direct practice experience of social workers working in rural and remote contexts using Australia as the primary case-study. The authors undertake a qualitative research project, conducting in-depth interviews to examine social work theory and practice against the reality of rural and remote contexts. Practice examples provide the reader with an insight into the diverse and complex nature of social work in rural and remote Australia and the role of contemporary social work. Through placing rural and remote social work in its historical, theoretical and geographical contexts, this work explores a range of considerations. These include isolation; ethical dilemmas when working with small and closely linked communities; climate, disaster relief and the environment; community identity and culture; working with indigenous communities in remote contexts; and social work education. Based on direct practice research, this book challenges existing theories of practice and reframes those to reflect the reality of practice in rural and remote communities. As social work must continue to critically reflect on its role within an ever changing and individualistic society, lessons from rural and remote settings around engagement, sense of place and skillful, innovative practice have never been more relevant. (abstract from EBSCO)

Free to download for all HOA staff from the library catalogue on work computers

Attend – informal learning sessions, journal club, seminar series

Insight Queensland

Free training sessions at Biala Community Health Centre in Brisbane, unless otherwise specified including:

  • April 6, 8:30-16:00 at Townsville: AOD Clinical assessment
  • April 17, 9:00-13:00: Crystal clear- responding to methamphetamine use
  • April 17, 9:00-16:30 at Bundaberg: AOD crash course- one day introduction to AOD
  • April 18, 9:00-16:30 at Bundaberg: Family inclusive practice in AOD treatment
  • April 24, 9:30-11:30: The problem gambling severity index- a screen for problem gambling in AOD and mental health populations
  • April 17, 9:00-16:30: Sensory approaches for AOD practice
  • April 26, 9:00-16:30 at the Gold Coast: AOD crash course- one day introduction to AOD

To register and for more details go their website

Online induction modules are a prerequisite to some of the courses. To access and download them visit www.insightqld.org

Attend – conferences 

Health in difference is Australia’s premier conference on the health and wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex, queer and sexuality, gender, and bodily diverse people and communities throughout Australia. Held at Sydney on 11-13 April costing from $345-780 for the full conference. Program details available and include mental health issues effecting the population. Register here

Write – presentations and papers

Get your work published in the Australian Journal of Psychology. Author guidelines are available here

 Listen – podcasts, webinars

Insight webinar: Overview of the ADIS service, April 18, 10:00-11:00

The Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) has operated for over 30 years as Queensland’s 24/7 hotline for anyone experiencing issues with alcohol or other drugs and their families. This presentation outlines service directions and insights from the ADIS dataset including over 540,000 calls across 14 years of data collection.

Presented by Dr Hollie Wilson – Allied Health Manager, Alcohol and Drug Information Service

Access at www.insight.qld.edu.au and enter participant code: 52365378

Insight presentation recordings available now on YouTube

Positive Choices drug and alcohol information webinars including:

Drug and alcohol and the maturing adolescent brain

How do mental health and substance use disorders affect young people?

 Assessed learning – short courses, certificates, diplomas, bachelors, post-grad

The Absurd Word: Creative Writing for Self-Supervision

Date: 24th April 2018, 9:30-16:30, $220 before 24/03/2018 and then $240

Venue: Lighthouse Resources Upstairs Training Room, Kyabra Street RUNCORN, QLD. 4113

This workshop uses creative writing to explore the challenges and successes in your practice. You will experience Five writing exercises that support self-awareness, critical reflection and potential lightbulb moments.  You may also unearth parts of yourself you had forgotten, not been aware of or had underestimated their impact on your practice.

Register here

My Heart Art: Image Making for Self-Supervision

Date: 30th April 2018, 9:30-16:30, $230 before 30/03/2018 and then $250

Venue: Lighthouse Resources Upstairs Training Room, Kyabra Street RUNCORN, QLD. 4113

This workshop uses painting, drawing and collage to explore the emotions of working in the human services field. You will experience art based exercises that support you to be aware of the emotions of your clients and of yourself, highlighting transference, countertransference and the dynamics of your working alliance. These exercises can be used for your own continued Self-Supervision and in your work with community members.

Register here