What they want: Motivation and treatment choice in nontreatment-seeking substance abusers

Katherine Michelle Peavy, Bryan N. Cochran, John Wax

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: Although a variety of therapies exist for the treatment of substance use disorders, little emphasis is placed on allowing individuals to choose their own treatment trajectories. Considering the preference of a person for the type of substance abuse treatment; he or she would want to be made to feel important and in allowing the person to feel autonomous, which may impact the overall motivation for substance abuse behavior change. Methods: The investigators assessed 51 country detention facility inmates recently arrested on drug-related or alcohol-related charges, examining the motivational factors and treatment preference when presented with 2 hypothetical treatments. Results: The findings showed that the group was relatively evenly split in terms of the percent choosing each treatment. Furthermore, individuals who reported preferring an abstinence-based philosophy of treatment had higher levels of readiness to change than those choosing a harm reduction philosophy. Conclusions: The results of this study have implications for developing brief interventions that could help facilitate the entry of motivated substance users into 12-step groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-157
Number of pages8
JournalAddictive Disorders and their Treatment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • 12-step programs
  • Motivation
  • Patient preference


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