This Evidence Check reviewed effective psychosocial interventions for the management of people with alcohol and other drug issues. The review also aimed to identify the most effective psychosocial interventions for special population groups. A range of psychosocial interventions were examined, including behavioural, motivational, psychodynamic, counselling, mindfulness-based and self-help approaches. A number of psychosocial interventions are supported by the literature, especially for alcohol and tobacco use. The review found evidence to support the effectiveness of Motivational Interviewing with and without Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for particular groups, including pregnant women, people with co-occurring mental health and alcohol and other drug issues, and people in the criminal justice system. The reviewers identified a number of gaps in the evidence base including the need for supports after treatment, research into substances other than alcohol and tobacco, and a need for a greater understanding of technology-based interventions.


Fisher A, Nepal S, Harvey L, Peach, N, Marel et al. Drug and alcohol psychosocial interventions: an Evidence Check rapid review brokered by the Sax Institute for the NSW Ministry of Health, 2020. doi:10.57022/sczj5829

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