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Zerden evaluates substance abuse/HIV program

Visiting Instructor Lisa de Saxe Zerden, special assistant to the assistant dean for student affairs, recently completed an evaluation for the Carolina Alcohol and Drug Expansion Team (CADET).

CADET, funded by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), was designed to integrate substance abuse services into three HIV clinics in central North Carolina. The purpose of the evaluation was to enhance the continuum of care available to people living with HIV/AIDS who have suffered significant trauma.

The evaluation included focus group interviews with both providers and participants. The participants were attendees of a modified intensive outpatient program (mIOP), and providers were behavioral health specialists working to expand continuing care services once participants graduate from mIOP. Focus group participants had been active in CADET from anywhere between a few months to over four years.

Through this evaluation, several themes were identified by CADET participants as to why the program works well for them and what weaknesses should be modified. These findings will allow CADET staff to build upon positive components and better support people living with HIV/AIDS and dealing with substance abuse issues. Programmatic recommendations and future group curricula were established to enhance continuing care and culturally-sensitive addiction treatment with both short and long term treatment components.