Addiction treatment mismatch: when what’s on offer isn’t always what’s wanted

“I never knew that rehab was available to guys like me”, he said to me just before he completed his rehab programme. He’d been in and out of` treatment for many years before he got to rehab. “Why did nobody tell me?” I was left struggling for an answer. This is one of the things … Continue reading Addiction treatment mismatch: when what’s on offer isn’t always what’s wanted

Is rehab effective? The results are in.

This summary of the research evidence provides verification that “that residential rehabilitation is associated with improvements across a variety of outcomes relating to substance use, health and quality of life”. Rehab is linked to improvements in mental health, offending, social engagement, employment, reduction in substance use and abstinence. There is little research that compares rehab with other treatments delivered in the community, but where there is, the evidence suggests that “residential treatment produces more positive outcomes in relation to substance use than other treatment modalities.” The review also suggests that rehab can be more cost-effective over time than other treatments

Polarisation, tension and hostility: just another day in the field of addictions.

Someone relatively new to the substance use disorder area asked me recently why I thought there was so much division and hostility in the addiction and recovery field, compared to other parts of health and social care. Do we really have more conflict than in some other healthcare areas? There are strongly held positions which … Continue reading Polarisation, tension and hostility: just another day in the field of addictions.

Rehab works!

When it comes to trying to improve access to residential rehabilitation in Scotland, one thing I’ve heard too often from doubters is: ‘there’s no evidence that rehab works’. Ten years ago I was hearing the same thing about mutual aid, which was recently (at least in terms of Alcoholics Anonymous) found to be as effective, if … Continue reading Rehab works!

Three things about recovery that are really worth knowing

1. Hope matters in recovery I’ve been musing a bit recently on the place of hope in addiction treatment and in recovery journeys. Researchers from the USA[1] identified that hope, although recognised as essential for recovery, was not well researched in terms of how it helps recovery progress. They used validated tools (questionnaires) to assess hope … Continue reading Three things about recovery that are really worth knowing

Sober living houses – life worth living

Recovery journeys can be long and involve several attempts in order for people to resolve their problems. Treatment can be part of this for many, but there are multiple factors outside of treatment that also influence outcomes. One of these is housing. Homeless people with substance use disorders have higher risks, exacerbated further if there … Continue reading Sober living houses – life worth living

Top ten of 2021 #1 – Nothing to mourn; just a drug addict

A tweet from a colleague affected me this week. The subject was stigma in substance use disorders and he related how, at the funeral of a relative who had died very young from a heroin overdose, a family member callously slandered the dead man and skillfully ‘othered’ him. The message was ‘he was not at … Continue reading Top ten of 2021 #1 – Nothing to mourn; just a drug addict