246753 Substance abuse counselor beliefs and barriers about smoking cessation programs within drug abuse treatment facilities

Monday, October 31, 2011

Jessica L. Muilenburg, PhD , Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Lillian Eby, PhD , Psychology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Keriann M. Conway, MPH , Project Merits III, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
The prevalence of smoking among individuals seeking treatment for a co-occurring substance abuse condition is very high, between 70%-95%. However, many drug treatment facilities do not encourage smoking cessation during treatment, even though patients often show interest in quitting smoking. The purpose of this study is to investigate the beliefs of those counselors treating patients in substance abuse treatment facilities. These facilities were randomly selected using the SAMHSA database. On-line surveys were completed by 150 counselors. Most respondents were female (61.8%), White (81.4%) and have an average age of 44. Most counselors agree that smoking cessation interventions should be tailored to a patient's readiness to quit (61.5%), that smoking cessation should be an integral part of the treatment program (51.1%), and that treating tobacco addiction is as important as treating other drugs (43.9%). However, the clinicians are neutral on whether or not patient attendance would be affected (35.6%). Further, counselors were not concerned with financial constraints related to the amount of smoking services available (35.6%), incorporating smoking cessation into treatment planning (33.1%), or supporting activities related to smoking cessation (44.1%). However, there was agreement that there are financial constraints for training and educational opportunities in smoking cessation for counselors (35.7%). This study indicates that not only are counselors willing to treat tobacco addiction along with other substances, but they also do not view financial constraints as a barrier. Policy changes in substance abuse treatment centers could change to support the counselors' willingness to provide smoking cessation to drug addicted patients.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Investigate the beliefs of substance abuse counselors of including smoking cessation along with drug treatment rehabilitation. Discuss the benefit of offering smoking cessation programs in conjunction with substance abuse rehabilitation.

Keywords: Substance Abuse Treatment, Smoking Cessation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PI of the grant
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.