Integrated Treatments for Substance Abuse Recovery and HIV Prevention

The BCM is a model on which several substance-abuse treatment programs and HIV-Prevention and treatment programs in Boston are based.

Boston ConsortiumThe BCM is a model on which several substance-abuse treatment programs and HIV-Prevention and treatment programs in Boston are based. The model was developed by IUHR Director Hortensia Amaro, and her collaborators at the Boston Public Health Commission’s Bureau of Addictions Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Support Services. Early research finding from Dr. Amaro’s previous work noted that people who were substance abusers often also had a history of trauma and other mental health disorders. The BCM focuses not only on the treatment of addiction, but also on the “co-occurring” conditions that often led to substance abuse, including post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety disorders. Program participants learn coping skills that support recovery from addiction, trauma and mental illness. They also have access to an array of services including counseling and case management as well as skills building groups on leadership training, economic planning and family reunification. Similarly, HIV-Prevention programs are integrated with HIV counseling and testing. Findings from a six-year study of the BCM showed that at six and 12-month follow-up, compared to women in treatment programs providing usual substance abuse treatment as usual, BCM participants had lower rates of drug use, trauma and mental health symptomatology and HIV risk behaviors.

In 2009, following a rigorous scientific and dissemination-readiness two-year review by a panel of experts, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) placed the Boston Consortium Model in the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices for substance abuse treatment. Inclusion in the SAMHSA list increases the likelihood that the integrated model will be replicated in other communities across the nation. The Boston Consortium Model grew from and continues to benefit from an ongoing collaboration between the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC), IUHR and the staff and patients at five local treatment centers. In an effort to maximize the effectiveness of the various programs based on the Boston Consortium model, IUHR researchers conduct quantitative analyses along with intensive interviews with program participants to learn about their experiences and to help inform improvements and adjustments to programs. For more information on the BCM, see the following link to the NREP web site: http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/ViewIntervention.aspx?id=86

Associated IUHRP Staff

Hortensia Amaro

Hortensia Amaro

Principal Investigator

Grant Support

The BCM was developed and tested in a six-year, $3.9 million study funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the Department of Health and Human Services.