2022’s #1 post: 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

2022’s #4 post: 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 2022’s #4 post: Polarisation, tension and hostility: just another day in the field of addictions.

2022’s #5 post: “None of them will ever get better”

Therapeutic nihilism “None of them will ever get better”, the addiction doctor said to me of her patients, “As soon as you accept that, this job gets easier.” This caution was given to me in a packed MAT (medication assisted treatment) clinic during my visit to a different city from the one I work in … Continue reading 2022’s #5 post: “None of them will ever get better”

2022’s #6 post: 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 2022’s #6 post: Three things about recovery that are really worth knowing

Double standards in addiction treatment?

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?

Why what happens after rehab is vital

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

Three more things worth knowing about recovery from addiction

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[1] 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