Pilot evaluation of a substance abuse prevention group intervention for at-risk bariatric surgery candidates

  • Ashton K
  • Heinberg L
  • Merrell J
 et al. 
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BACKGROUND: Concerns have been raised about an increased incidence of substance abuse after bariatric surgery. Alcohol use after surgery may be particularly problematic because of changes in pharmacokinetics leading to greater intoxication. The present study evaluated a substance abuse prevention group pilot intervention for at-risk bariatric surgery candidates. METHODS: Patients with a history of substance abuse/dependence or at-risk substance use applying for weight loss surgery (WLS; N = 86) were referred to a single-session 90-minute intervention (67.4% female; 65.1% Caucasian; mean age 46.2 years; mean body mass index 48.77 kg/m(2)). The session included education about the health effects of alcohol/substances on WLS outcomes, developing alternative coping strategies, identifying warning signs of misuse, and providing treatment resources. Patients completed a preintervention and postintervention questionnaire measuring knowledge of substance use health effects, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption Items, and items on motivation for abstinence. RESULTS: Patients reported a significant increase in knowledge regarding the negative effects of substance abuse after surgery (t = 42.34; P

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  • K Ashton

  • L Heinberg

  • J Merrell

  • M Lavery

  • A Windover

  • K Alcorn

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