A Therapeutic Workplace for Alcohol Dependence
The purpose of this study is to determine whether the Therapeutic Workplace is effective in increasing and maintaining long-term drug abstinence in homeless, alcohol dependent adults.
|Study Design:||Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
|Official Title:||A Therapeutic Workplace for Alcohol Dependence|
- percentage of 30 day assessments that subjects reported alcohol abstinence
- percentage of heavy drinking days
- percentage of positive breath-alcohol tests
- percent of patients meeting criteria for current alcohol dependence
- percentage of urine samples negative for other drugs
- percentage of participants employed each month
- days employed per month
- employment income per month
|Study Start Date:||November 2001|
|Study Completion Date:||April 2006|
Few populations are beset with the constellation of economic, social and health problems that afflict homeless individuals. At the heart of much of this misfortune are staggering rates of alcoholism and drug addiction. While it is not clear whether substance abuse is a cause, consequence, or simply a correlate of homelessness, there is no question that substance abuse is among the most common and most serious problems facing the homeless. Given their unique set of serious and chronic problems, the Institute of Medicine has identified the homeless as a group of people in need of specialized substance abuse interventions. Prior research has shown that the Therapeutic Workplace intervention is effective in the treatment of chronically unemployed heroin and cocaine dependent individuals. The intervention integrates abstinence reinforcement contingencies of proven efficacy into a model supported work program. Under this intervention, patients are paid to perform data entry jobs in the Therapeutic Workplace. Those lacking needed skills are given intensive training in basic academic and job skills. To reinforce abstinence from alcohol and drugs, patients are required to provide an alcohol-free breath sample and drug-free urine sample to gain entrance to the workplace each day. In this way, patients can work and earn salary only when they abstain from alcohol and drugs. Patients are paid in vouchers instead of cash to reduce the chance they will use their earnings to purchase alcohol or drugs.
A randomized trial was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of this intervention in homeless, alcohol-dependent adults who completed an inpatient alcohol detoxification. After the detoxification, 124 participants were invited to attend the workplace for 6 months. They were randomly assigned to one of three groups that differed in the requirements for voucher reinforcement. One group received the full therapeutic workplace intervention in which vouchers were contingent on both abstinence and work (Abstinence and Work group). A second group was paid for work, but did not have to provide an alcohol-free breath sample or drug-free urine sample to gain access to the workplace; their vouchers were contingent on work only (Work-Only group). A third group was invited to attend the therapeutic workplace but received no vouchers for work performed or abstinence achieved during treatment (No Voucher group).
|United States, Maryland|
|Center for Learning and Health, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Campus, 5200 Eastern Ave., Suite W142|
|Baltimore, Maryland, United States, 21224|
|Principal Investigator:||Kenneth Silverman, PhD||Johns Hopkins/Center for Learning and Health|