New research projects

Project RE-PIN: Receive, Encode, Process and INtegrate drug and alcohol treatment strategies for cognitive impairment

UNSW is evaluating the impact and outcomes of Lyndon’s Wattlegrove rehabilitation program. In 2016 the rehab program has been re-shaped to meet the needs of people with cognitive impairments. In 2012 we identified that 50% of the people in our residential programs had a cognitive impairment. In 2015 we received a grant from the Ian Potter Foundation to create the new program and trial it.

Currently, little evidence exists about modified behaviour change approaches for people with cognitive impairment and substance misuse.
A developmental evaluation is needed to establish an effective learning approach for people with cognitive impairment that will provide the evidence‐base from which to modify the existing treatment program and then measure outcomes and outputs of the new program. UNSW will work with Lyndon to evaluate an adapted psychosocial treatment model suited to the learning needs of people with cognitive impairment and to establish the organisational activities, outcomes and outputs that will be measured to determine if the program is effective.

The evaluation will be finished in December 2016.

Julaine Allan (2014) A hidden disability: Cognitive impairment and AOD treatment. Of  Substance. 12(3):18-20. Available from http://www.ofsubstance.org.au/images/archive/pdf/OS_November_2014.pdf

Julaine Allan, Michael Kemp & Annette Golden (2012): The prevalence of cognitive impairment in a rural in-patient substance misuse treatment programme, Mental Health and Substance Use,5(4):303-313 DOI:10.1080/17523281.2012.711767

Drug and Alcohol First Aid: Impact and effectiveness

Lyndon has developed two alcohol and drug first aid training workshops. One workshop is targeted at community members and the second is targeted at workplaces.

The workshops seek to improve participants’ knowledge, attitudes, and skills regarding alcohol and drug use. By teaching community members and employees about the effects and signs of use, and how to communicate with individuals who may be using, it is hoped that the community’s’ knowledge of drugs and their effects will improve and that those experiencing problem use will receive a supportive and useful response to their behaviour that promotes change.

Lyndon has commissioned the National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA) to evaluate these two workshops. Evaluation findings will provide essential information regarding how training programs can improve participants’ knowledge, attitudes, and skills regarding alcohol and drug use. This information can be used to modify and improve the current workshops (in order to promote better outcomes), as well as informing the development of future evidence-based training programs.

250 people have attended drug and alcohol first aid workshops in the second half of 2015.

In February 2016, early evaluation results from NCETA show that participants had significantly improved their
•              knowledge of drugs and alcohol
•              capability to respond to someone who uses drugs and/or alcohol.

The evaluation will be completed in July 2016.

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