Addiction careers and the natural history of change

The British National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) recently released a research report about addiction careers and natural change. Looking at addiction careers is a pretty new area of research and represents a shift toward looking at addiction as a chronic condition. When one starts to look at addiction this way, one possible outcome of treatment is a reduction in addiction careers.

Highlights from the report include:

  • A table of the “capture rates” of different drugs. How many people that try it eventually become addicted.
  • Discussion of the concept of natural recovery.
  • Discussion of the impact on maintenance interventions on careers.
  • The impact of treatment on careers.

It’s a great primer on “natural recovery.” We known for years that most people recover without treatment, we’re just now beginning to explore how these people change and why others are unable to change without help.

BTW – The NTA website is building a library of reports like this. Many are very good and concise. Worth browsing.