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

Pain management – cat among the pigeons

“Life is pain…anyone who tells you differently is selling something” William Goldman, The Princess Bride Pain and addiction are intertwined. Prescribed medication for pain can be a route into addiction. In practice I regularly see people on multiple medications for pain, making treatment of their addiction challenging. Last year Public Health England found that one in four … Continue reading Pain management – cat among the pigeons

Faith is given in sufficient quantities to communities

(This post was originally published on September 11, 2013) I recently listened to an interview with Nadia Bolz-Weber. There were a lot of keepers in the interview (even for a non-believer). She's described as a recovering drug addict. Her recovery shines through in this, "fake it till you make it" discussion: Ms. Tippett: So a sermon … Continue reading Faith is given in sufficient quantities to communities

Peer Support – does it make a difference?

In many places peer support has been integrated into addiction treatment services, often with enthusiasm. What do we know about the effect of peer support though? In my own service, introduction of a structured peer support programme was associated with a sharp increase in retention (treatment completion) rates – but that’s not evidence in the … Continue reading Peer Support – does it make a difference?

Too expensive? (2015)

I frequently point to health professional recovery programs when discussing the effectiveness of drug-free treatment when it's delivered in the appropriate dose, frequency and duration. They have stellar outcomes. (More details here.) The programs were abstinence-based, requiring physicians to abstain from any use of alcohol or other drugs of abuse as assessed by frequent random … Continue reading Too expensive? (2015)