Center for Interventions, Treatment, and Addictions Research (CITAR)

Reducing Barriers to Drug Abuse Treatment Services

The Reducing Barriers Project is a five-year, study funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01DA015690-02). Specific aims of the study include:

  • using a controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of two interventions - motivational intervention and strengths-based case management, on substance abusers' linkage with and engagement in substance abuse treatment,
  • identifying the operant barriers to treatment linkage and engagement,
  • conducting a quantitative investigation of the joint effects of the two interventions with individual and treatment level factors, and
  • conducting a qualitative/ethnographic investigation of the mechanisms of action in the two interventions and the processes that individuals go through in linking with treatment.

To accomplish these aims, almost 700 adults will be recruited into the study immediately following their assessment and referral at the county's centralized intake unit, Samaritan CrisisCare. Clients who are admitted to the trial either receive the typical services provided by Samaritan CrisisCare, one session of a motivational intervention or five sessions of strengths based case management. The primary outcomes of the study are linkage with treatment within 90 days of assessment and engagement with treatment, measured by the intensity and duration of treatment. Data are collected from subjects at baseline (immediately following the assessment) and then again at three and six months following assessment.

The Reducing Barriers Project is also the parent project for a NIDA-funded clinical trial, Cost-Effectiveness of Reducing Drug Treatment Barriers. This study was awarded to the University of Arkansas for Medical Services to compare the cost-effectiveness of the linkage and engagement interventions relative to usual care using disease-specific and general quality-adjusted life years (QALY) measures.

In addition to Samaritan CrisisCare, a division of Samaritan Behavioral Health, major community partners in the Reducing Barriers Project are Miami Valley Hospital's Born Free and Turning Point programs, WSU School of Medicine's Consumer Advocacy Model (CAM), Center for Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Services (CADAS), Project CURE, Daymont Behavioral Health, and NOVA House Inc.

Staff contact information

Richard Rapp, M.S.W., Principal Investigator (
Robert Carlson, Ph.D., Co-Principal Investigator (

Last edited on 01/28/2015.