Center City, Minn., September 30, 2011Young adults undergoing addiction treatment arrive ready and willing to make the personal changes that bring about recovery, but it's the help and guidance received during treatment that build and sustain those changes, according to a longitudinal study published electronically and in press within the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. The study was conducted collaboratively by the Center for Addiction Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and the Butler Center for Research at Hazelden.
"This study suggests that strong motivation to change may exist from the get-go among young adults with severe addiction problems entering residential treatment, but the know-how and confidence to change come through the treatment experience," explains John F. Kelly, Ph.D., of the Center for Addiction Medicine who authored the study with Center colleagues Karen Urbanoski, Ph.D., and Bettina Hoeppner, Ph.D., and Valerie Slaymaker, Ph.D., of the Butler Center for Research at Hazelden.
Analysis focused on 303 young adults, age 18-24, attending multidisciplinary, Twelve Step-based residential treatment for alcohol or other drug addiction. The study measured the subjects' levels of change during treatment in key areas, including motivation, psychological distress, coping skills and commitment to participation in mutual support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. Self-efficacy, or a young person's confidence to stay clean and sober, was also assessed. Assessments were made at treatment intake, mid-treatment, at discharge and three months post-discharge.
When entering treatment, study participants reported high levels of motivation to remain abstinent but lower levels of coping skills, self-efficacy and commitment to mutual support groups. During-treatment increases in these measures predicted abstinence from alcohol or other drug use at three months p
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