Reports and publications (published elsewhere)

Improving substance abuse treatment outcomes for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in rural, community-based health settings

Posted on: 1 August, 2016
Issue: Vol 16 No 3, July 2016 – September 2016
Related to Social and emotional wellbeing Rural Alcohol use Illicit drug use

Shakeshaft A (2016)
Improving substance abuse treatment outcomes for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in rural, community-based health settings
Retrieved June 2016 from http://connections.edu.au/researchfocus/improving-substance-abuse-treatment-outcomes-indigenous-and-non-indigenous-australians

Previous studies have indicated that regional and rural Australians demonstrate disproportionately high rates of substance use and that this use is associated with serious physical and mental health issues. To address these issues, this research aimed to implement and measure the effectiveness of the community reinforcement approach (CRA); a version of cognitive-behaviour therapy, adapted for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Key findings of this project included:

  • substance use was statistically lower at three month follow-up for:
    • alcohol
    • cannabis
    • amphetamine type stimulants, including crystal methamphetamine
    • over-the-counter medications
    • cigarettes.
  • psychological distress was significantly reduced
  • empowerment was significantly increased
  • there was no evidence of a correlation between the number of CRA components received and alcohol outcomes, suggesting shorter CRAs are as effective as longer CRAs.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract