Effectiveness of psycho-educational group therapy to motivate change among addicts in the early stages of change

Mohd Rafidi Jusoh

M.R. Jusoh1, M.H. Abd. Halim2. 1National Antidrugs Agency, Malaysia; 2Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Malaysia

Background: Motivation to change is crucial in the context of drug treatment and rehabilitation in order to move addicts to a total recovery. Psycho-education program is identified in many researches as the contributor to the drug addicts’ treatment and rehabilitation effectiveness. This program was introduced through group therapy to identify its effectiveness to enhance readiness to change, self-efficacy and decisional balance among addicts with treatment experienced.

Methods: Using the experimental “pretest-posttest control group design, with follow-up test”, the effectiveness of Psycho-education Group Therapy (PGT) was investigated among heroin addicts who experienced relapse episodes (n=12), compared with control group (n=12). 15 sessions of PGT were introduced to the experiment group, plus treatment as usual (TAU) program, while the control group only following TAU program.

Results: Findings showed that PGT was effective in enhancing the addicts’ motivation. Results indicated that respondents moved to higher stages of changes (F=16.33, p<0.05), higher self-efficacy level (F=31.71, p<0.05) and decisional balance level, which was identified pros for change (F=5.90, p<0.05) as compared to before PGT treatment. Follow-up test also showed that the effects remained and maintained after three months.

Conclusions: This study reveals that psycho-education program using the group therapy method is effective in enhancing motivation among addicts who have relapse episodes, and suitable as a core program for early recovery institutional module-structured program. Findings from this research support the development of counselor’s role as an educator in the process of assisting clients’ recovery process and benefited to the clients in the long term of treatment efforts.

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East Asia
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