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Research examines approaches to treating substance abuse among African-Americans
Date:10/17/2011

Montgomery added, "The task of the therapist in this situation would be to help the patient develop more reasons to change and identify more effective ways to reduce anxiety."

Previous research has suggested that the toll of substance abuse on African-Americans is greater than on other groups, not only in terms of health but also in the legal system.

The study compared the effectiveness of motivational enhancement therapy compared with counseling as usual over a 16-week period. The participants in the study were 194 African-Americans who were seeking outpatient substance abuse treatment at five different community-based treatment programs across the nation. The study included 146 African-American males (75.3 percent) and 48 females (24.7 percent), with the age of the participants averaging 37.5 years old. They were seeking treatment for issues such as cocaine abuse (25.8 percent), alcohol abuse (26.3 percent) and marijuana abuse (18 percent).

The study revealed higher retention rates among women in MET than in CAU. Men in MET and CAU did not differ in retention.

Among both genders, men and women in MET reported more days per week of substance abuse than participants in CAU.

"Previous studies have suggested that ethnic minorities in MET report more success in reducing substance abuse than non-ethnic minorities, but the studies combined several ethnic groups," explains Montgomery. "This research was examining the effectiveness of the treatment specifically for African-Americans."

"I think MET has a lot of value, in terms of being non-confrontational and non-judgmental as well as supporting self-efficacy," Montgomery says. "We found that the women stayed in MET treatment longer, but they didn't reduce their substance use. That's where my research is taking me now."


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Contact: Dawn Fuller
dawn.fuller@uc.edu
513-556-1823
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert

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