Special Issue "Social and Psychological Interventions to Reduce Alcohol and Drug Use and Related Harm"

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ruth McGovern
E-Mail Website
Chief Guest Editor
Population Health Sciences Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4AX, UK
Interests: alcohol; drug use; children and families; psychosocial interventions; social care; public health; intervention development and evaluation
Dr. Hayley Alderson
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Population Health Sciences Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4AX, UK
Interests: drug and alcohol use; intervention development; social care; young people in care; mental health

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Alcohol and drug use are common worldwide and are associated with a range of adverse health, social and psychological outcomes for the substance user, their family and wider society. Whilst the type of substance, the level of consumption and route of administration influence the nature and extent of harms, there remains a pressing need to understand how best to respond to this substantial public health problem. Psychological and social interventions are nonpharmacological complex interventions delivered to individuals or groups that seek to tackle the psychological, social, personal and relational problems associated with substance use. There are many different psychosocial interventions, with approaches and techniques that vary according to their theoretical underpinnings. Some of these approaches intervene with the individual user to reduce their substance use or the associated risks. Others intervene with the family or on a social level, either as a means of supporting the user or to address the needs of the affected others in their own right.

This Special Issue in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is focused on a wide range of topics relating to psychological and social intervention to reduce alcohol and drug use and related harms, including reviews and empirical research on psychological and social interventions delivered to the user and affected others, examining intervention development, effectiveness and implementation.

Dr. Ruth McGovern
Dr. Hayley Alderson
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • drugs
  • alcohol
  • psychological intervention
  • social intervention
  • intervention development
  • effectiveness
  • implementation

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Using Behavioural Insights to Improve the Uptake of Services for Drug and Alcohol Misuse
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(13), 6923; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18136923 - 28 Jun 2021
Viewed by 561
Abstract
In the U.K., 270,705 adults were in contact with drug and alcohol treatment services between April 2019 and March 2020. Within the same time period, 118,995 individuals exited the treatment system, and just over a third (36%) left treatment without completing it. The [...] Read more.
In the U.K., 270,705 adults were in contact with drug and alcohol treatment services between April 2019 and March 2020. Within the same time period, 118,995 individuals exited the treatment system, and just over a third (36%) left treatment without completing it. The latter includes individuals declining further treatment and unsuccessful transfers between services. The aim of this study was to explore the factors that affect drug and alcohol treatment uptake within a drug and alcohol service in North East England. A mixed-methods approach was adopted. The exploration of factors affecting treatment uptake was captured through a behavioural insights survey and 1:1 in-depth qualitative interviews with service users within one council area within the North East of England. There were 53 survey participants, and a further 15 participants took part in qualitative interviews. We triangulated data sources to report consistencies and discrepancies in the data. Findings show that treatment services aiming to reduce missed appointments and increase retention rates need to implement several strategies. Consistently distributing appointment cards, using text message reminders, displaying a timetable presenting all treatment options, and displaying information in a format to ensure it is accessible to individuals with lower health literacy and reducing wait times for appointments will all improve appointment attendance. Full article
Article
An Exploration of the Psycho-Social Benefits of Providing Sponsorship and Supporting Others in Traditional 12 Step, Self-Help Groups
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2208; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18052208 - 24 Feb 2021
Viewed by 752
Abstract
Sponsorship is a key feature of traditional drug and alcohol self-help groups. It is a source of interpersonal support provided by an individual who is in a more advanced stage of recovery to an individual at an earlier stage of recovery. Whilst it [...] Read more.
Sponsorship is a key feature of traditional drug and alcohol self-help groups. It is a source of interpersonal support provided by an individual who is in a more advanced stage of recovery to an individual at an earlier stage of recovery. Whilst it is widely recognised that sponsorship is beneficial to the person receiving it, little is known about the psychological and social benefits that sponsors derive from providing sponsorship to others. We conducted in-depth qualitative interviews with 36 long-term self-help users (6 months−10 years) with experience of sponsoring the recovery of others, recruited from three traditional types of self-help groups in the North of England. Interviews examined sponsors’ experiences of providing sponsorship within their own recovery process. Sponsors reported that providing sponsorship to others increased their own self-awareness, social skills, and social competence when it came to engaging with others. In addition, sponsors derived an increased sense of psychological wellbeing and positive social approval from helping others. Over the longer term, sponsorship becomes a meaningful and purposeful activity as it allows those providing it to be productive, make meaning and maintain a non-addicted identity. Additionally, sponsorship is a process which is beneficial for those who have little access to wider social networks. Full article

Review

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Review
Psychosocial Interventions to Improve Psychological, Social and Physical Wellbeing in Family Members Affected by an Adult Relative’s Substance Use: A Systematic Search and Review of the Evidence
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1793; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18041793 - 12 Feb 2021
Viewed by 875
Abstract
It is estimated that over 100 million people worldwide are affected by the substance use of a close relative and often experience related adverse health and social outcomes. There is a growing body of literature evaluating psychosocial interventions intended to reduce these adverse [...] Read more.
It is estimated that over 100 million people worldwide are affected by the substance use of a close relative and often experience related adverse health and social outcomes. There is a growing body of literature evaluating psychosocial interventions intended to reduce these adverse outcomes. We searched the international literature, using rigorous systematic methods to search and review the evidence for effective interventions to improve the wellbeing of family members affected by the substance use of an adult relative. We synthesised the evidence narratively by intervention type, in line with the systematic search and review approach. Sixty-five papers (from 58 unique trials) meeting our inclusion criteria were identified. Behavioural interventions delivered conjointly with the substance user and the affected family members were found to be effective in improving the social wellbeing of family members (reducing intimate partner violence, enhancing relationship satisfaction and stability and family functioning). Affected adult family members may derive psychological benefit from an adjacent individually focused therapeutic intervention component. No interventions fully addressed the complex multidimensional adversities experienced by many families affected by substance use. Further research is needed to determine the effect of a multi-component psychosocial intervention, which seeks to support both the substance user and the affected family member. Full article
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: HealtheMines: A virtual tool to support Australian mine workers manage alcohol use and mental disorders
Authors: Frances Kay-Lambkin Ross Tynan Sally Hunt Brian Kelly Carole James
Affiliation: School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle, Australia MH-READ Unit, Hunter New England Mental Health Service, Hunter New England Local Health District, Australia School of Psychology, University of Newcastle, Australia School of Health Sciences, University of Newcastle, Australia
Abstract: /

Title: The implementation of behavior change interventions to reduce alcohol and drug use in looked after children
Authors: -
Affiliation: -
Abstract: -

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