Substance abuse is a nationwide health problem that continues to have a considerable social and economic impact on society. The treatment of substance abusers has become complicated because clients have been increasingly confronted with a wide range of medical, psychosocial, and psychiatric issues that may impede recovery. Unfortunately, substance abuse counselors, the primary staff assigned to these clients, are often lack the training and resources for delivering evidence-based treatments (EBTs) that can address these problems. Ongoing dissemination about effective treatment innovations is critical if adoption of new treatment practices is to take place, but technology transfer efforts have utilized methods which have been considered ineffective (workshops, print materials) and have progressed to methods that offer more promise (supervision, follow-up, alliances between researchers and clinicians). The use of the Internet offers much promise in addressing these needs, i.e., allowing people to work together, provide feedback, share effective treatment experiences, and learn from online mentors. Unfortunately, current efforts tend to rely primarily on downloads, online courses, and training announcements - all static methods. It is clear that the full potential of the Internet has not been realized. This could be enhanced through the use of social networking technologies, and that is the focus of this application. We are proposing the development of ASI-MV Counselor Solutions, which will provide tailored, real time treatment recommendations and skill-building lessons to substance abuse counselors. The tailoring will be driven by client responses on the ASI-MV, a widely used, self-administered, multimedia version of the ASI that has been extensively validated by Inflexxion with support from NIDA. ASI-MV Counselor Solutions will provide counselor support in identifying interventions and providing appropriate referrals for clients. In effect, ASI-MV Counselor Solutions expands the ASI-MV from an assessment tool into a true treatment planning, intervention, and training system. The successful deployment of such a system can have significant public health benefits through provision of effective treatments to substance abuse clients. In Phase I, we are seeking to demonstrate the feasibility of this innovation by achieving the following objectives: (1) telephone interviews with substance abuse counselors to determine program content and features;(2) concept mapping with substance abuse training professionals to determine program content, (3) content, design, and technology plan (4) Rapid Flash Prototype development (5) acceptance and usability testing with substance abuse counselors (6) acceptance testing with substance abuse training professionals.

Public Health Relevance

The treatment of substance abuser clients has become complicated because they have been increasingly confronted with a wide range of medical, psychosocial, and psychiatric issues. We propose to develop ASI-MV Counselor Solutions, which will provide evidence-based treatment recommendations and skill-building lessons to substance abuse counselors. By enabling evidence-based treatment on a more consistent basis, this program can have significant public health impact through improved treatment of substance abusers.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase I (R43)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-HDM-B (10))
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Kahana, Shoshana Y
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Inflexxion, Inc.
United States
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