Cover: Brief Treatment for Substance Use Disorders

Brief Treatment for Substance Use Disorders

A Guide for Behavioral Health Providers

Published Jan 25, 2016

by Karen Chan Osilla, Elizabeth J. D'Amico, Mimi Lind, Allison J. Ober, Katherine E. Watkins

Download eBook for Free

Full Document

Does not include Appendix G

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 6.5 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Apéndice G: Hojas de Ejercicios para los Pacientes (Appendix G)

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1.3 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Brief Treatment for Substance Use Disorders: A Guide for Behavioral Health Providers is a clinician guidebook that describes a six-session brief treatment for patients with alcohol and opiate use disorders who are screened in a primary care setting. The goal of this treatment is to reduce or stop substance use. The intervention uses a motivational enhancement/cognitive behavioral therapy (MET/CBT) approach to build motivation to initiate substance use change and maintain recovery; the approach employs motivational interviewing principles and relapse prevention strategies. The treatment places a strong emphasis on patient engagement in the early phases of treatment and is appropriate for those currently committed to change and those more ambivalent to change.

This tool was developed for use by licensed clinical social workers with limited expertise in substance abuse treatment. It can be implemented by mental health counselors from a variety of backgrounds (e.g., social work, psychology, addiction counseling, and nursing) in a variety of settings, such as primary care and specialty substance abuse clinics. This guidebook has been adapted from various evidence-based interventions developed by researchers at RAND. These interventions have been associated with decreased substance use outcomes at follow-up. The guidebook was developed iteratively by first adapting the session content for the patient population at Venice Family Clinic in California. Thereafter, three researchers outside RAND with expertise in motivational interviewing, relapse prevention, and substance abuse provided feedback. Clinicians from Venice Family Clinic also provided feedback while piloting the guidebook with their clients.

This report is part of the RAND tool series. RAND tools may include models, databases, calculators, computer code, GIS mapping tools, practitioner guidelines, web applications, and various toolkits. All RAND tools undergo rigorous peer review to ensure both high data standards and appropriate methodology in keeping with RAND's commitment to quality and objectivity.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.