Facilitators of Group Interventions Play a Vital Role in Reducing Drinking Among Young Adults Experiencing Homelessness

Skilled facilitators of an alcohol intervention based on motivational interviewing are key to promoting safer drinking behaviors among young adults experiencing homelessness, a new study suggests. The study is the first to examine the effects of the group process on emerging adults’ drinking outcomes using several different measures of group dynamics. Some young adults experiencing homelessness can access services at drop-in centers, but interventions must be brief and feasible in resource-stretched environments. Previous studies of AWARE, an intervention based on motivational interviewing in a four-session group format, found reductions in drinking in this vulnerable population. It is not well understood, however, which aspects of the group experience—process, structure, and clinician behavior—contribute to these outcomes. Research points to the importance of change talk (e.g., “I’m quitting for the summer”), cohesion (group bonding), climate (group engagement and mutual support), and

Hazardous Drinking in Young Adults: Personal Characteristics Can Help Identify Effective Interventions

Young adults whose drinking lands them in the emergency room respond differently to different interventions to reduce their hazardous drinking, and those differences may be driven by certain personal characteristics.

Trials of Alcohol Use Disorder Treatments Routinely Exclude Sex, Gender, Race, and Ethnicity from Consideration in Outcomes

The manifestation of alcohol use disorder (AUD) and its social, health, and psychological implications depend in part on patient demographics. Yet researchers routinely exclude those demographics from analyses of non-medicinal AUD treatment trials, a review of studies has found. Consequently, little is known about how sex, gender, race, and ethnicity influence the effectiveness of those treatments, or which treatments are indicated — or not — for specific patients and communities. This is despite the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act in 1993 requiring that NIH-funded studies include diversity of sex/gender and race/ethnicity in their participant samples and analysis. Problematic alcohol use, which has high prevalence and low treatment rates, is a leading contributor to preventable death and disease. Non-pharmacological treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing (MI), contingency management, twelve-step programs, and more. Inequalitie

Primary care-based resources can successfully address alcohol-use problems

Few patients with alcohol-use problems who might benefit from either pharmacotherapy or specialized addiction treatment typically receive care. That may now change owing to a pilot study which examined the feasibility of providing a real-time video consultation resource in primary care. The study’s findings will be shared at the 44th annual scientific meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA), which will be held virtually this year from the 19th – 23rd of June 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.