Journal of Addictive Behaviors,Therapy & RehabilitationISSN: 2324-9005

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Initial Pilot Test of a Group- Texting Intervention to Sustain Opioid Abstinence Following Residential Detoxification and Treatment

Initial Pilot Test of a Group- Texting Intervention to Sustain Opioid Abstinence Following Residential Detoxification and Treatment

Relapse to opioids is common among detoxified patients following discharge from residential treatment. Mobile phone, group-texting technology offers an innovative method for delivering effective, lowcost aftercare during this critical period. Recent research suggests acceptance and mindfulness processes might be useful targets in opioid detoxification. An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) group-texting intervention was developed and tested in a small pilot study (N=10) with detoxified opioid patients in residential treatment (RT). Participants received 6 ACT-based group sessions while in RT and 4 weeks of ACT group-text messaging following discharge. Overall, the intervention was well received and feasible. Half of the participants received 5 or 6 RT sessions and replied to post-discharge texting prompts. Texting content was generally ACT-consistent, however, the frequency of texts was lower than expected. Two participants sent fewer than 10 texts, and three participants texted between 11 and 20 times during the monthlong intervention. Focus groups indicated acceptability and recommended adjustments to the intervention. ACT mechanisms changed in theoretically predicted ways: Experiential avoidance related to drug and other cues was reduced, and both acceptance and values-driven action were increased across treatment. Preliminary data suggest promise for the novel ACT-based grouptexting intervention, which ultimately, with further development, may be a successful adjunct to aftercare treatment for recently detoxified opioid dependent patients.

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