Bringing Alcohol Treatment to Driving Under the Influence Programs

Perceptions from First-Time Offenders

Published in: Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, Volume 35, Issue 2 (2017), pages 113-129. doi: 10.1080/07347324.2017.1288484

Posted on RAND.org on May 04, 2017

by Karen Chan Osilla, Magdalena Kulesza, Jeanne Miranda

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Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are common among persons with a first-time driving under the influence (DUI) arrest. Individuals with a DUI arrest may attend a DUI alcohol education program for license reinstatement. The authors evaluated the acceptability of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for AUDs adapted for DUI programs. Participants (N = 35) were enrolled in one of two DUI programs in Los Angeles and were an average of age 34.5 (SD = 11.9) years, 66% male, 37.1% African American, 34.2% Hispanic/Latino(a), and 20% non-Hispanic White. The authors analyzed data from 10 focus groups and 35 self-report surveys that evaluated the nine-session CBT group protocol. Overall, participants stated that the CBT philosophy was acceptable and helpful in thinking about how to prevent future DUIs. They also found the coping skills in the sessions relevant to other life events and decisions. Participants valued the personal disclosure and interactive role-play and group exercises embedded within each session, stating that these exercises helped with group cohesion and self-disclosure. Data from satisfaction surveys showed that participants reported high satisfaction ratings on the overall session, session content, and session facilitator. Future studies are needed to evaluate whether evidence-based treatment within DUI programs may increase access to evidence-based care among individuals who are at risk and who may not otherwise seek treatment for their AUDs.

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