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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2004 Nov;30(4):711-48.

Outcomes with the ARISE approach to engaging reluctant drug- and alcohol-dependent individuals in treatment.

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  • 1University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, USA.


Our goal was to explore, through a Stage I NIH clinical study, the effectiveness of a manual-driven, timely response method for helping the "concerned other" get resistant substance abusers into treatment/self-help with minimum professional time/effort. A manual-driven protocol, "A Relational Sequence for Engagement (ARISE)," was applied with 110 consecutive, initial calls/contacts from concerned others; no cases excluded for research, refusal, or other reasons. The research was conducted at two upstate New York outpatient drug/alcohol clinics. Participants were concerned others who called regarding a cocaine, alcohol, or "other drug" abuser (N = 110); participating family/friends: 11 ARISE clinicians; and 110 substance abusers. ARISE is a graduated continuum starting with the least demanding option/stage, increasing effort as needed to engage substance abusers in treatment/self-help. Stage I: Coaching the concerned other to arrange a meeting of significant others, inviting the substance abuser; Stage II: 1 to 5 additional meetings (median = 2); Stage III: A modified Johnson "Intervention." Primary outcome variables were substance abuser engagement (or not) in treatment/self-help; days between first call and engagement; clinician time/effort. Predictors were concerned other, substance abuser, and clinician demographics; number of participants per case; and Collateral Addiction Severity Index. ARISE resulted in an 83% success rate (55% at Stage I). Median days to engagement was 7 (IQR = 2 to 14). Average total time (telephone, sessions) per case was 1.5 hours. Treatment/self-help chosen was 95% treatment and 5% self-help. Number of family/ friends involved correlated 0.69 with a success/efficiency index. Conclusions. A call from a family member or concerned other for help in getting a loved one into treatment is a rich opportunity for treatment professionals and agencies to engage substance abusers in treatment. These initial calls are similar to referral calls from EAPs or probation officers looking to get an individual started in treatment. ARISE provides an effective, swift, and cost-efficient option for engaging substance abusers in treatment or self-help. The more significant others involved, the greater the success of treatment engagement.

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