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An Acute Post-Rape Intervention to Prevent Substance Use and Abuse

NCJ Number
Addictive Behaviors Issue: 28 Dated: 2003 Pages: 1701-1715
Ron Acierno; Heidi S. Resnick; Amanda Flood; Melisa Holmes
Date Published
15 pages

This article reports on the evaluation of a two-part video intervention developed for use in acute post-rape time frames to (a) minimize anxiety during forensic rape examinations, thereby reducing risk of future emotional problems, and (b) prevent increased post-rape substance use and abuse. 


Pilot study data for 124 rape victims indicated that the low-cost, easily administered intervention was effective in reducing risk of marijuana abuse at 6 weeks. Non-statistically significant trends were also evident for reduced marijuana use. Trends were also favorable for the intervention with the subgroup of women who were actively using substances pre-rape (among pre-rape alcohol users, 28 percent viewers vs. 43 percent non-viewers met criteria for post-rape alcohol abuse; among pre-rape marijuana users, the rates of post-marijuana use were 17 percent vs. 43 percent). (publisher abstract modified)