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

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

The tortuous routes to rehab

I’ve been reading a bit recently about the challenges of healthcare funding in the United States - an ‘international scandal’ according to Noam Chomsky. And although the problems are not the same, those issues have become linked with my thinking on the difficulties of accessing funding for residential rehabilitation in Scotland. The Lord Advocate’s recent statement allows … Continue reading The tortuous routes to rehab

Is rehab effective or a waste of time and money?

When the subject of residential treatment comes up in the addiction treatment field, there is a response I hear often (but not always). It's a frustrating refrain. It goes like this: ‘there’s no evidence that rehab works.’ This view can and should be challenged, but what is true is that complex interventions like residential rehabilitation … Continue reading Is rehab effective or a waste of time and money?