AN ALTERNATIVE FOR INCARCERATED SUBSTANCE ABUSERS

Summary

Principal Investigator: EMIL J CHIAUZZI
Abstract: Innovative Training Systems proposes the development of a training program called the SMART Recovery Training Offender Program (SROP). SROP will be based on SMART Recovery, a recently developed self-help program for substance abusers. Such programming is critical due to the limited treatment availability and options for prisoners, but the dissemination of SMART materials in prisons has been slow. SROP will provide self- guided training in the SMART Recovery program for prison counselors, orientation videotapes for both counselors and prisoners, and a cognitive and coping skills workbook for prisoners. Phase I involved the gathering of feedback from prisoner and counselor focus groups, SMART Recovery counselors, acceptance tests, and prison treatment consultants to develop a SROP prototype (five-minute segments of prisoner and counselor videotapes, and samples of counselor manual and prisoner workbook). Phase II will consist of completion of SROP, an efficacy study comparing this program to a control treatment (prisoner recovery booklet), and acceptance and satisfaction measurements of SROP. We hypothesize the SROP will reduce prisoner substance use and improve their readiness for change, coping skills, and criminal thinking patterns in prison and at three-month follow-up. Positive and cost-effective results in the correctional population would ensure an extensive national market. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION The proposed program will provide a cognitive self-help program designed for incarcerated male and female substance abusers. Due to the large influx of substance abusers, limited treatment availability, prohibitive costs, and the need for treatment alternatives, this program can fill an important niche. It will be developed as a low-cost option that will dovetail with existing prison programs or expand available services. If such a program could demonstrate clinical efficacy in field trials with this high-risk population, the commercial potential would be extraordinary.
Funding Period: 1998-04-10 - 2003-09-30
more information: NIH RePORT