Evidence-Based Intervention for Substance use Disorder

Introduction to the Intervention

Substance abuse disorder is a major problem in society that creates issues in various areas of an individual, including mental and social health. As a result, attention is being given to evidence-based interventions to treat and manage the condition. Research reveals considerable progress in developing and standardizing psychosocial treatments (Jhanjee, 2014). One of the commonly used interventions is motivational interviewing which is effective in the treatment of substance use disorder.

Evidence of Effectiveness of the Intervention

Motivational interviewing enables people with substance use disorder to explore and solve their ambivalence, regarding the problem and make productive psychological and behavioral changes. The effectiveness of the intervention is based on its components such as reflective listening to reflect on goals or values and the flawed behavior. According to Jhanjee (2014), research reveals the success of the intervention in the treatment of alcohol abuse and dependence. Trials show that motivational interviewing supports adherence to treatment. A meta-analysis of 22 studies revealed the efficacy of the intervention for substance use and excessive alcohol use (Jhanjee, 2014). The intervention is highly effective with young patients, both as a stand-alone therapy and in combination with other psychosocial programs.

Implementation of Motivational Interviewing

Previous research shows that motivational interviewing is effective in helping young people to overcome substance abuse problems. The intervention is effective because it allows children and adolescents to reflect on their negative behavior, set goals, and work towards achieving positive behavioral outcomes. Research reveals cognitive and neurodevelopmental evidence of emotional and social readiness of young individuals to go through motivational interviewing to overcome substance use (Strait, McQuillin, Smith, & Englund, 2012). As long as the patient population is capable of processing information, the intervention can be useful in helping them overcome behavioral and mental health challenges.

Training to Use Motivational Interviewing

Therapists should develop relevant skills to implement motivational interviewing. Professional training enhances the acquisition of skillfulness, including the ability to support clients to reflect on the behaviors they desire to change. Motivational interviewing skills include effective communication, problem-solving ability, and capacity to develop a positive client-therapist relationship. Training also takes into account the professional standards and code of ethics to observe during therapy (Fortune, Breckon, Norris, & Eva, 2018). The success of an intervention depends on professional training as it prepares counselors to implement treatment programs and support clients to overcome their substance use problems. Research on the efficacy considers the implications for training and quality control of therapies.

Evaluating Intervention

Evaluation is an important part of the therapy since it provides data to assess whether the desired goals have been achieved. During the initial sessions of the therapy, the counselor supports the client to develop goals that should be met by the end of the treatment program. Therefore, after the intervention program, data is collected to test whether objectives have been achieved. For example, one of the goals of motivational interviewing for substance use disorder is to quit the behavior and prevent relapse. Therefore, data should be collected a month after completion to find out whether the person has quit the behavior completely.


Interventions for substance use disorder are critical to addressing the problem that is highly prevalent in society. Motivational interviewing is one of the effective therapeutic procedures to support people with such a problem. The intervention is proven effective in research to help individuals with substance abuse disorder. Besides, the treatment method is effective in the treatment of the problem for both adult and youth populations.

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