Perceptions of professionals regarding interventions involving family members responsible for justice-involved youth with substance use disorders in santiago, chile.

Mónica Lobato*, Robbert Sanderman, Marcela Soto, Decio Mettifogo, Mariët Hagedoorn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Eliciting professionals’ experiences of current drug treatment programmes can lead to improvements of these youth-centred programmes through the involvement of the concerned youths’ families. We explored perceived barriers amongst professionals concerning interventions incorporating parents or guardians responsible for justice-involved youth with substance use disorders. Methods: We conducted semi-structured in-depth interviews with fourteen female and four male professionals, each representing one of eighteen programmes under the Chilean National Drug Treatment Programme (2016–2017), who were tasked with contacting and/or intervening in the families of justice-involved youth. Subsequently, we performed traditional content analysis. Results: The professionals identified four key barriers impeding interventions: (1) parents’ non-adherence to the treatment and issues relating to their role fulfilment; (2) tensions within the programme design that constrain the families’ involvement in the interventions; (3) the lack of a supportive professional network offering interventions that complement drug treatment; (4) the problematic and dangerous living contexts of these families that discourage family involvement. Additionally, professionals identified intervention needs for improving treatment outcomes. Conclusions: The negative perceptions of professionals regarding the interventions as well as families and family contexts of justice-involved youth, and the lack of support from other programmes, induced feelings of hopelessness and pessimism amongst the professionals regarding the effectiveness of the Chilean National Drug Treatment Programme. It is essential to consider professionals’ perspectives not only to benefit from their expertise, but also to assess whether their perspectives may hinder the implementation of changes when attempting to innovate drug treatment modalities aimed at improving their outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102996
JournalInternational journal of drug policy
Volume87
Early online date27 Oct 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Family intervention
  • Justice-involved youth
  • Professionals’ perceptions
  • Qualitative research
  • Substance use disorder

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