Effectiveness of Psychosocial Interventions for Reducing Parental Substance Use

Psychosocial interventions are talking or practical activities, techniques or strategies that are delivered to individuals or groups.

The aim of this systematic review is to analyse the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions that are designed to help parents to change their drinking or drug use and address any related problems they are having regarding the care of their children. 

After completing a systematic search, the researchers analysed 22 pieces of research.

Key findings:

  • Psychosocial interventions tended to fall into two groups, either targeting parental substance use or the parent-child relationship
  • The majority of the studies evaluated interventions delivered to mothers.
  • Most of the studies had been conducted from the USA
  • Interventions that focussed on the parent's substance use at the same time supporting them to in their role as a parent seemed to be most effective at reducing parental drink and drug use.
McGovern R, Newham JJ, Addison MT, Hickman M, Kaner EFS. Effectiveness of psychosocial interventions for reducing parental substance misuse. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2021, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD012823. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD012823.pub2. Accessed 12 April 2021.