Good human relationships and social connections are potent protections against both physical and mental ill health. In an analysis involving hundreds of thousands of people researchers looked to see to what extent social relationships influenced the risk of death. They found that those who had stronger relationships were 50% less likely to die early. Loneliness and … Continue reading Peer recovery support: a bridge to hope and healing
Addiction to alcohol or other drugs is not always easy to recover from. However, there are many pathways to recovery, including through treatment. One group of patients does far better than most other groups. In fact, their results are so impressive that many commentators have urged us to learn from what’s different about their treatment … Continue reading Double standards in addiction treatment?
Addiction isn't a spectator sport; eventually the whole family gets to play. Despite this, the impact of addiction on the wider family is seldom considered in studies. This is not okay.
Recovery journeys are rarely linear, generally bumpy and often happen over many years. Treatment may or may not be part of the process. People can need several different treatment episodes over time, often re-presenting with different needs and goals. Despite a growing evidence base only a small percentage of treatment episodes take place in residential rehabilitation … Continue reading Why what happens after rehab is vital
Mutual aid organisations may be the closest thing we have to a free lunch in public health, but what's the reason the seats are so empty?
A few things related to recovery have caught my eye recently, things that I think are worth knowing and that ought to shape our practice.. Abstinence goals more reliable In a study from Swiss researchers involving more than 200 patients going through residential treatment, those who set clear goals for abstinence were much less likely to … Continue reading Three more things worth knowing about recovery from addiction
The tragedy of Scotland’s drug-related death figures has been in my mind this last week or so. The media may have largely moved on, but those of us who work in the field of addiction, those of us who know individuals who have died and those of us with lived experience of addiction will not … Continue reading Is Medication Assisted Treatment like the Hotel California?
I saw an exchange on Twitter the other day that on first reading raised my eyebrows and created empathetic frustration. An individual was apparently being refused rehab because “he continued to use drugs”. Surely that’s the best reason for going to rehab. We don’t refuse treatment to diabetics because their diets are problematic, or because … Continue reading When rehab is not right
“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
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