Recidivism and Drug Relapse After Treatment: Preliminary Findings on the Importance of Drug Avoidance Self-Efficacy

Lior Gideon, University of Maryland at College Park
Faye S. Taxman, University of Maryland at College Park

By using a blocked randomized design on recidivism risk, we examine the importance of the Drug Avoidance Self-Efficacy (DASE) scale on the ability to predict the odds of relapse to drug use (i.e, Cocaine, Amphetamines, Hallucinogens, Cannabis -- excluding alcohol), re-arrest, and criminal involvement in a sample of 120 offenders from Alexandria, virginia. These offenders were assigned randomly to control group through traditional supervision only, and "seamless sytem" through traditional supervision and treatment. No significant difference was found between the control and the seamless treatment group in regard to drug avoidance self-efficacy, which may imply that treatment alone cannot be counted for improvements in the DASE. By using multivariate logistic regression models, the 12-month follow-up available in our study reveals that using self-efficacy measures (DASE scale) improves the ability to predict drug relapse, since it improved the ability of the models examined by nearly twice of that it was before considering such factors. Although such improvement was not replicated in the other two nominal and dichotomous dependent variables, it was found that a consideration of self-efficacy issues may lead to further, better understanding and predictive ability for re-arrest and further criminal involvement. Such findings may imply that more emphasis should be given to the DASE measure before entering treatment as a measure of the client's motivation, and ability to avoid drug relapse, and hence further involvement in criminal activity.

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Updated 05/20/2006