This research was carried out within the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and in three Drug Treatment Centres within the Addiction Services of the Heath Service Executive, Dublin North Central Drug Service, Ireland.
Brief interventions are effective in reducing alcohol consumption in opiate-dependent methadone-maintained patients: Results from an implementation study
Version of Record online: 15 SEP 2011
© 2011 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs
Drug and Alcohol Review
Volume 31, Issue 3, pages 348–356, May 2012
How to Cite
DARKER, C. D., SWEENEY, B. P., EL HASSAN, H. O., SMYTH, B. P., IVERS, J.-H. H. and BARRY, J. M. (2012), Brief interventions are effective in reducing alcohol consumption in opiate-dependent methadone-maintained patients: Results from an implementation study. Drug and Alcohol Review, 31: 348–356. doi: 10.1111/j.1465-3362.2011.00349.x
- Issue online: 19 APR 2012
- Version of Record online: 15 SEP 2011
- Received 23 November 2010; accepted for publication 28 July 2011.
- brief intervention;
Introduction and Aims.An implementation study to test the feasibility and effectiveness of brief interventions (BIs) to reduce hazardous and harmful alcohol consumption in opiate-dependent methadone-maintained patients.
Design and Methods.Before and after intervention comparison of Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT-C) scores from baseline to 3 month follow up. Seven hundred and ten (82%) of the 863 eligible methadone-maintained patients within three urban addiction treatment clinics were screened. A World Health Organization protocol for a clinician-delivered single BI to reduce alcohol consumption was delivered. The full AUDIT questionnaire was used at baseline (T1) to measure alcohol consumption and related harms; and in part as a screening tool to exclude those who may be alcohol-dependent. AUDIT-C was used at 3 month follow up (T2) to assess any changes in alcohol consumption.
Results.One hundred and sixty (23% of overall sample screened) ‘AUDIT-positive’ cases were identified at baseline screening with a mean total full AUDIT score of 13.5 (SD 6.7). There was a statistically significant reduction in AUDIT-C scores from T1 (, SD = 2.35) to T2 (, SD = 2.66) for the BI group (z = −3.98, P < 0.01). There was a statistically significant decrease in the proportion of men who were AUDIT-positive from T1 to T2 (χ2 = 8.25, P < 0.003).
Discussion and Conclusions.It is feasible for a range of clinicians to screen for problem alcohol use and deliver BI within community methadone clinics. Opiate-dependent patients significantly reduced their alcohol consumption as a result of receiving a BI. [Darker CD, Sweeney BP, El Hassan HO, Smyth BP, Ivers J-HH, Barry JM. Brief interventions are effective in reducing alcohol consumption in opiate-dependent methadone-maintained patients: Results from an implementation study. Drug Alcohol Rev 2012;31:348–356]