Clinical and Reliable Change in an Australian Residential Substance Use Program Using the Addiction Severity Index.

Clinical and Reliable Change in an Australian Residential Substance Use Program Using the Addiction Severity Index.

J Addict Dis. 2013 April-June; 32(2): 194-205
Deane FP, Kelly PJ, Crowe TP, Coulson JC, Lyons GC

Although the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) is one of the most frequently used measures in alcohol and other drug research, it has rarely been used to assess clinical and reliable change. This study assessed clients’ clinical and reliable change at The Salvation Army residential substance abuse treatment centers in Australia. A total of 296 clients completed ASI interviews on admission to treatment and 3 months after discharge from treatment. Clients demonstrated significant improvement on all seven ASI composites. The range of reliable change for each ASI composite varied from 30% to 70%. More than two-thirds of clients experienced clinically significant improvement for alcohol and drug problems. Psychiatric distress was clinically reduced in 44% of clients. This research indicates that residential substance abuse treatment can make important differences in client’s lives at a clinical and functional level. However, the research highlights the challenge of effectively targeting psychiatric comorbidity within alcohol and other drug abuse populations. HubMed – addiction


The Association Between Self-Reported Mental Health Status and Alcohol and Drug Abstinence 5 Years Post-Assessment for an Addiction Disorder in U.S. and Swedish Samples.

J Addict Dis. 2013 April-June; 32(2): 180-193
Trocchio S, Chassler D, Storbjörk J, Delucchi K, Witbrodt J, Lundgren L

This study compared whether self-reported mental health status was associated with likelihood of being abstinent from alcohol and drugs five years after baseline assessment for an addiction disorder in two representative samples; one from Sweden (n = 469) and one from the US (n = 667). Self-reported mental health status was measured through the ASI score of mental health symptoms and history of inpatient and/or outpatient treatment. Through logistic regression modeling the study controlled for demographic characteristics including age, gender, employment status and social network connection with individuals who do not use alcohol/drugs. For both the US and Swedish samples employment status and having a social network that does not use alcohol and drugs were associated with being likely to be abstinent from alcohol and drugs five years after initial assessment. For the US sample only, individuals who reported symptoms of anxiety were 50% more likely not to be abstinent from alcohol and drugs at follow-up. For the Swedish sample, current mental health status was not significantly associated with abstinence. However, reporting a lifetime history of inpatient psychiatric treatment at the baseline assessment was significantly associated with not being abstinent at 5 years post assessment; those with a lifetime history of inpatient mental health treatment were 47% less likely to report abstinence. While specific variables differ across Sweden and the US, psychiatric comorbid status, employment and social network are each associated with drug and alcohol abstinence cross-nationally. HubMed – addiction


Comorbid Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Opiate Addiction: A Literature Review.

J Addict Dis. 2013 April-June; 32(2): 168-179
Fareed A, Eilender P, Haber M, Bremner J, Whitfield N, Drexler K

Treatment of comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and opioid dependence has been a challenge for many clinicians. There are limited evidence-based guidelines for treatment of this comorbidity. Symptoms of PTSD and opiate dependence may converge, and it is sometimes difficult to differentiate between both conditions. For example, opioid withdrawal symptoms may mimic the hypervigilance and exacerbated startle response of patients with PTSD. A common neurobiologic circuit is suggested for the pathophysiologic mechanism of this comorbidity. There is evidence that opioid substitution therapy may improve treatment outcomes for opioid addiction in patients with comorbid PTSD and opioid dependence. Evidence-based psychotherapeutic intervention is recommended for this population to improve the psychological outcome as well. Combining opioid substitution therapy with evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy designed for individuals with comorbid PTSD and substance abuse (e.g., Seeking Safety) may improve treatment outcomes in this population. More research is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms for this comorbidity and to improve treatment response. HubMed – addiction


The Association Between Phencyclidine Use and Partner Violence: An Initial Examination.

J Addict Dis. 2013 April-June; 32(2): 150-157
Crane CA, Easton CJ, Devine S

The association between phencyclidine (PCP) use and violent behavior is unclear. The current investigation evaluated the association between PCP addiction and intimate partner violence, a specific violent behavior, using the substance abuse evaluations of 109 PCP, 81 cannabis, and 97 polysubstance (alcohol and cannabis) abusing offenders. Relative to both comparison groups, PCP users were more likely to receive inpatient referrals, have a significant legal history, and have perpetrated past-year general and intimate partner violence. Data suggest that PCP use may be associated with greater violence perpetration than cannabis use alone or in conjunction with problematic alcohol use. HubMed – addiction


Predictive Validity of Dynamic Factors: Assessing Violence Risk in Forensic Psychiatric Inpatients.

Law Hum Behav. 2013 Jul 1;
Wilson CM, Desmarais SL, Nicholls TL, Hart SD, Brink J

There is general consensus that dynamic factors ought to be considered in the assessment of violence risk, but little direct evidence exists to demonstrate that within-individual fluctuations in putative dynamic factors are associated with changes in risk. We examined these issues in a sample of 30 male forensic psychiatric inpatients using a pseudoprospective design. Static and dynamic factors were coded on the basis of chart review using 2 structured measures of violence risk: Version 2 of the Historical-Clinical-Risk Management-20 (HCR-20; C. D. Webster, K. S. Douglas, D. Eaves, & S. D. Hart, 1997, HCR-20: Assessing risk for violence, Version 2, Vancouver, BC, Canada: Mental Health, Law, and Policy Institute, Simon Fraser University) and the Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability (START; C. D. Webster, M. L. Martin, J. Brink, T. L. Nicholls, & S. L. Desmarais, 2009, Short-Term Assessment of Risk and Treatability [START], Version 1.1, Coquitlam, BC, Canada: British Columbia Mental Health and Addiction Services). HCR-20 and START assessments were repeated every 3 months for a period of 1 year. Institutional violence in the 3 months following each assessment was coded using a modified version of the Overt Aggression Scale (S. C. Yudofsky, J. M. Silver, W. Jackson, J. Endicott, & D. W. Williams, 1986, The Overt Aggression Scale for the objective rating of verbal and physical aggression, The American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 143, pp. 35-39). Dynamic risk and strength factors showed predictive validity for institutional aggression. Results of event history analyses demonstrated that changes in dynamic risk factors significantly predicted institutional violence, even after controlling for static risk factors. This is one of the first studies to provide clear and direct support for the utility of dynamic factors in the assessment of violence risk. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved). HubMed – addiction



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