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Five Things About Substance Use Interventions

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2022
2 pages

This report briefly discusses each of five statements on substance use interventions rated by CrimeSolutions.



Based on a review and rating by CrimeSolutions of multiple meta-analyses, the first statement is “Medication-assisted treatment is effective for reducing opioid dependence.“ Such treatments for opioid dependence help patients with opioid addictions alleviate withdrawal symptoms, suppress opioid cravings, and reduce the illicit use of opioids. Based on a review and rating by CrimeSolutions of two meta-analyses composed of evaluations that used randomized controlled trials, the second statement is “Cannabis-use disorder can be effectively treated using psychosocial interventions.” Psychosocial interventions encompass many forms of therapy, including cognitive behavioral therapy, contingency management, and relapse prevention. Based on a review and rating by CrimneSolutions of two meta-analyses that used multiple randomized controlled trials, the third statement is “Strategies that reward positive behavior and withhold rewards when undesirable behavior is exhibited can reduce alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drug use.” The two meta-analyses found that participants in contingency management programs had lower rates of illicit drug use, alcohol use, and tobacco use compared with those who did not participate in such programs. Based on a review and rating by CrimeSolutions of a meta-analysis, the fourth statement is “Short-term interventions can reduce alcohol use or related problems for adolescents and young adults.” Based on a review and rating by CrimeSolutions of two meta-analyses, the fifth statement is “Juvenile drug courts do not have an effect on drug and alcohol offense recidivism or future drug use.” Although the focus of juvenile drug courts is on providing treatment to eligible youth who are involved with drug use, with the goal of reducing recidivism and substance abuse, evaluations of such courts have not shown they achieve this intended impact. For each of these five statements, this report suggests additional resources.