Aims: The study evaluated the effectiveness of an 8-week combined group plus individual 12-step facilitative intervention on stimulant drug use and 12-step meeting attendance and service.
Design: Multisite randomized controlled trial, with assessments at baseline, mid-treatment, end of treatment, and 3- and 6-month post-randomization follow-ups (FUs).
Setting: Intensive outpatient substance treatment programs.
Participants: Individuals with stimulant use disorders (n = 471) randomly assigned to treatment as usual (TAU) or TAU into which the Stimulant Abuser Groups to Engage in 12-Step (STAGE-12) intervention was integrated.
Measurements: Urinalysis and self-reports of substance use and 12-step attendance and activities.
Intervention: Group sessions focused on increasing acceptance of 12-step principles; individual sessions incorporated an intensive referral procedure connecting participants to 12-step volunteers.
Findings: Compared with TAU, STAGE-12 participants had significantly greater odds of self-reported stimulant abstinence during the active 8-week treatment phase; however, among those who had not achieved abstinence during this period, STAGE-12 participants had more days of use. STAGE-12 participants had lower Addiction Severity Index Drug Composite scores at and a significant reduction from baseline to the 3-month FU, attended 12-step meetings on a greater number of days during the early phase of active treatment, engaged in more other types of 12-step activities throughout the active treatment phase and the entire FU period, and had more days of self-reported service at meetings from mid-treatment through the 6-month FU.
Conclusions: The present findings are mixed with respect to the impact of integrating the STAGE-12 intervention into intensive outpatient drug treatment compared with TAU on stimulant drug use. However, the results more clearly indicate that individuals in STAGE-12 had higher rates of 12-step meeting attendance and were engaged in more related activities throughout both the active treatment phase and the entire 6-month FU period than did those in TAU.
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