Motivational Influences on Early Engagement and Treatment Satisfaction in Drug Court

Matthew L. Hiller, University of Kentucky
J. Matthew Webster, University of Kentucky
Michele Staton, University of Kentucky
Thomas F. Garrity, University of Kentucky
Carl G. Leukefeld, University of Kentucky

Studies of community-based substance abuse treatment show that motivation for treatment is important for retaining clients in the program and for their becoming personally engaged in their recovery process. Relatively little research, however, has examined the impact of motivation for treatment on personal engagement in Drug Court. As part of the NIDA-funded Enhancing Drug Court Retention in a Rural State project, data were collected from 350 drug court clients. Face-to-face interviews were conducted by research staff using elements of the Addiction Severity Index, Stages of Change Readiness and Treatment Eagerness Scale, and the TCU Motivation Assessment. Findings showed that initial motivation levels were associated positively during the first 30 days of drug court (including higher ratings of rapport with the case specialist, greater satisfaction with the case specialist and with the drug court program, and more positive ratings of their own personal progress in treatment), even after statistically controlling for additional factors that could have confounded these relationships. Targeted motivational interventions; therefore, are recommended for individuals who enter Drug Court with low motivation to improve the probability that this type of client will become personally engaged in the treatment process.

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Updated 05/20/2006