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Brief Motivational Interviewing Intervention To Reduce Alcohol and Marijuana Use for At-Risk Adolescents in Primary Care

NCJ Number
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology Volume: 86 Issue: 9 Dated: 2018 Pages: 775-786
Elizabeth J. D'Amico; Layla Parast; William G. Shadel; Lisa S. Meredith; Bachana Seelam; Bradley D. Stein
Date Published
12 pages
Since the primary care (PC) setting provides a unique opportunity to address adolescent alcohol and other drug (AOD) use, this article reports on a randomized controlled trial in four PC clinics from April 2013 to November 2015 to determine whether a 15-minute brief motivational interviewing (MI) AOD intervention, delivered in PC, reduced alcohol and marijuana use and consequences.

Adolescents ages 12 through 18 who came for an appointment during the 2.5-year study period were asked to be in the study and were screened using the NIAAA Screening Guide. Those identified as at-risk were randomized to the intervention, CHAT, or usual care (UC). Adolescents completed four web-based surveys at baseline, 3-, 6- and 12-months post-baseline. The sample (n-294) was 58 percent female, 66 percent Hispanic, 17 percent Black, 12 percent White, and 5 percent multi-ethnic or other, with an average age of 16 years. Compared to UC adolescents, CHAT adolescents reported significantly less perceived peer use of alcohol and marijuana at 3 months (p<0.0001: alcohol; p=.01: marijuana) and 6 months (p=0.04: alcohol; p=0.04: marijuana). CHAT adolescents also reported marginally fewer negative alcohol consequences experienced at 6 months (p=0.08). At 12 months, compared to UC, CHAT adolescents reported less perceived peer alcohol (p =0.04) and marijuana (p <.01) use and fewer negative consequences from alcohol (p - 0.03) and marijuana use (p-0.04). A brief MI intervention delivered in PC reduced negative consequences from alcohol and marijuana use 1 year later. Findings emphasize that adolescents can benefit from PC interventions that briefly and effectively address both alcohol and marijuana use. 5 tables, 1 figure, and 62 references (publisher abstract modified)