Tennessee Medicine E-Journal


Background: The impact on individuals from the abuse of drugs (i.e., prescription and illicit drugs) is devastating. These highly addictive drugs represent a growing epidemic in rural Tennessee.

Objectives: This study sought to assess the effects of the Matrix Model in treating abuse of multiple substances in a rural area of Tennessee.

Methods: Individuals who abused substances were eligible to receive the Matrix Model treatment services for 16 weeks. The topics included early recovery skills, relapse prevention, social support, and transition. Participants were assessed at program entry, 6- and 12-months on substance use and daily functioning.

Results: In total, 93 participants completed a 6-month follow-up interview and 89 completed the 12-month follow-up interview. At the 6-month follow-up, program participants were less likely to report alcohol abuse in the past 30 days (OR = 0.37, p <.01) and 12 months (OR = 0.28, p < .01). Similarly, participants were less likely at 6 months (OR = 0.25, p < .01) and 12 months (OR = 0.15, p < .01) than at baseline to report use of other illegal drugs in the past 30 days. By 6- and 12- months after program entry, participants were less likely to report misuse of prescription drugs in the past 30 days (OR= 0.37, p = .01 and OR = 0.14, p <.01). Participants also demonstrated a reduction over time in experiencing stress and substance abuse impacting daily activities.

Conclusion: The study findings support application of the Matrix Model in treating rural populations who abuse substances.