Engagement in 12-step meetings and activities has been shown to be a powerful aid to recovery from substance use disorders. However, only limited attention has been given to ethnic and racial differences in attitudes toward 12-step and involvement.
This study utilized data from CTN-0031, “Stimulant Abuser Groups to Engage in 12-Step (STAGE-12),” a large multisite trial testing the effectiveness of a 12-step facilitation therapy (Twelve-Step Facilitation (TSF)) with stimulant-dependent treatment seekers. It compared baseline differences and treatment outcomes between African American and Caucasian participants.
The Pacific Northwest Node was the lead node for this study.
Results of the analysis found select few baseline differences (i.e., African Americans reported higher levels of spirituality than Caucasians; African American participants indicated more perceived benefits of 12-step involvement; Caucasians were more likely to endorse future involvement in 12-step). However, there were no outcome differences (e.g., substance use outcomes, 12-step meeting attendance).
Conclusions: The tested intervention, TSF, produced similar outcomes for both groups, indicating that it may be useful across racial categories. This finding is promising, given that much of the previous research on TSF treatments has focused on alcohol, and stimulant use may present unique problem profiles for African American and Caucasian individuals. That TSF performed equally well among the two study groups is important information for clinicians deciding which evidence-based practice might be best applied to a particular client.
Citation: Peavy KM, et al. A Comparison of African American and Caucasian Stimulant Users in 12-Step Facilitation Treatment. Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse 2016 (in press).