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Motivational Assessment Program to Initiate Treatment (MAPIT)


MAPIT is a two-session web-based intervention for people entering probation with illicit substance use to address motivation for entering substance use treatment, completing probation, and getting tested for HIV.

Each self-directed MAPIT session lasts about 45 minutes, the first is completed at the beginning of probation and the second is completed 30 days later. Users complete MAPIT on a computer at their probation office. MAPIT provides personalized and normative feedback about participant behavior and motivation for behavior change. In the first session, users enter information about motivation for completing probation and to initiate substance use treatment. Users receive feedback about estimated probation outcome, modifiable and unmodifiable factors for probation outcomes, alcohol and drug use, and HIV risk and testing. In the second session, users compile coping strategies, receive suggestions for additional strategies, and identify supportive people and how to ask for help. At the end of each session, users receive a 3-4 page printed summary and may opt to receive email or text reminders about goals.


Theoretical Approaches:
Motivational interviewing
Cognitive behavioral therapy

Target Substance:

Target Outcome(s):
Motivation to change
Substance use
HIV risk behavior

Young Adults (18-30)
Adults (30+)



Remote Access

Geographic Location:



  • Effectiveness of a computerized motivational intervention on treatment initiation and substance use: Results from a randomized trial

    Lerch J, Walters ST, Tang L, Taxman FS. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 2017. 80: 59-66. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2017.07.002

    Summary: Researchers recruited 316 people recently placed on probation with illicit substance use or heavy alcohol use from 2 U.S. cities and randomized them to one of three conditions: MAPIT, a 2-session in-person motivational interviewing intervention, or supervision as usual. Participants completed a baseline assessment after giving consent and participants in either intervention group completed the first session after completing the baseline assessment. Participants reported on their substance use and initiation of substance use treatment at 2- and 6-months post-intervention. Participants in the MAPIT condition were 65% more likely than supervision as usual participants to initiate treatment at 2 months, but there were no differences in treatment initiation at 6 months. In-person motivational interviewing was not significantly related to treatment initiation or substance use behavior.

    Take Away: MAPIT may be effective at promoting initiation of substance use treatment early in probation, but does not show evidence for long-term promotion of treatment initiation.

  • The relationship between electronic goal reminders and subsequent drug use and treatment initiation in a criminal justice setting

    Spohr SA, Taxman FS, Walters ST. Addictive Behaviors. 2015. 51: 51-56. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2015.07.005

    Summary: Researchers examined relationships between participant goal setting, email or text message reminder use, and outcomes related to substance use and substance use treatment attendance. Using information from MAPIT group participants who completed both sessions and the two-month assessment (N=76), researchers collected data about number of goals set, type of goals set (system selected or personal), use of reminders, and type of reminders received (text or email). Researchers compared use of reminders to substance use and treatment attendance. Participant goals were primarily system-generated in the first session (89.5%); less than half of participant goals were system generated in the second session (45.3%) because participants set more personal goals. Almost half of participants opted to receive reminders at sessions one (45.0%) and two (49.6%). Use of reminders and numbers of goals participants set predicted substance use and attendance at treatment. Opting to receive reminders at both MAPIT sessions predicted fewer days of substance use than not opting to receive reminders or opting to receive reminders at one session. The more goals a participant set, the greater number of days in treatment and fewer days of substance use. Opting to receive reminders at both sessions was also related to more days in treatment than not opting to receive reminders.

    Take Away: Setting goals in MAPIT and opting to receive text message or email reminders through MAPIT was related to improved substance use and treatment attendance in people beginning parole.