Objective: Chronic ketamine use is a significant public health and social problem in East and South East Asia and may lead to impairments in health and cognitive functioning. The study evaluated effects of an information, motivation and behavior skills (IMB) program on changes in motivational stage and ketamine use. Methods: Ketamine using individuals residing in the City of Taipei were recruited (N = 395): 279 selected an IMB program consisting of a 1-day workshop of six 50-minute interactive sessions provided in small groups. The remaining 116 participants selected an education-as-usual (EAU) program consisting of a 1-day workshop of six 50-minute didactic lectures provided in a large group format. Motivational stage of change and ketamine knowledge were assessed before and after the interventions. Participants were followed one year later to assess their ketamine use status. Results: No significant difference in knowledge increase between the IMB and EAU groups (p =.59). The proportion of participants who transitioned from the contemplation to preparation motivational stages was greater in the IMB group than in the EAU group (p <.01). A significant difference in the rates of ketamine lapse during a one-year post intervention follow up was observed between the IMB (50%) and EAU (75%) groups (p <.01). Conclusions: Interventions based on IMB principles may be more effective in supporting motivational stage transition and in prevention of lapses to ketamine use as compared to currently offered standard drug education programs. Policy makers should consider including IMB interventions in their rehabilitation programs addressing ketamine use problems.
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