Article Details

Research Database: Article Details

Citation:  Gold, P.B., Meisler, N., DuRoss, D., & Bailey, L. (2004). Employment outcomes for hard-to-reach persons with chronic and severe substance use disorders receiving assertive community treatment. Substance Use and Misuse, 39 (13), 2425-2489.
Title:  Employment outcomes for hard-to-reach persons with chronic and severe substance use disorders receiving assertive community treatment
Authors:  Gold, P.B., Meisler, N., DuRoss, D., & Bailey, L.
Year:  2004
Journal/Publication:  Substance Use and Misuse
Publisher:  Informa Healthcare
Full text:   
Peer-reviewed?  Yes
NIDILRR-funded?  No
Research design:  Quasi-experimental

Structured abstract:

Background:  Individuals with the most chronic and severe substance use disorders receive little clinical and rehabilitative benefit from treatment programs.The majority drop out of intensive outpatient programs and therapeutic communities within 30 days of admission. Those who do complete planned treatment fail to generalize the benefits associated with abstinence and the development of other skills to employment. Less than one third work and those who do earn wages below poverty levels. This population may improve employment outcomes with long term integrated substance abuse rehabilitation and support services like the Assertive Community Treatment (ACT)approach. This team based approach will be expensive. Cost–benefit analysis is needed to persuade states to adopt this method.
Purpose:  The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the ACT approach with individuals who experience severe substance use disorders.
Setting:  The setting for the study was Ernest E. Kennedy Center, a private nonprofit center providing treatment for substance dependence serving Berkeley and Charleston counties in coastal South Carolina
Study sample:  The study sample included 35 individuals with severe substance use disorders.
Intervention:  The intervention was Assertive Community Treatment (ACT). The ACT model delivers an integrated package of treatment, rehabilitation, and support to reduce substance misuse and increase employment.Interventions include assistance with client-environmental interactions and medical interventions to manage substance abuse.
Control or comparison condition:  The study included a single-group design. Participants functioned as own controls.
Data collection and analysis:  A wide range of clinical, functional, and psycho-social processes and outcomes were measured. Measures were completed at three time-points: admission to the ACT program (baseline), and 6 months and 12 months post admission.
Findings:  Thirty four of the 35 clients completed the 2-year service demonstration project. Generally,clients modestly reduced substance misuse and increased employment.
Conclusions:  The project shows promising outcomes, however the sample size was small and limits inferences of causation and generalization of the process.

Disabilities served:  Alcohol and drug abuse
Populations served:  Gender: Female and Male
Outcomes:  Employment acquisition
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