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
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 “None of them will ever get better”
A while back, David Best and Dan Lubman published an article called ‘The Recovery Paradigm: A Model of Hope and Change for Alcohol and Drug Addiction’. I had reason to read it again this week and found much to encourage me in it. Here are some key messages from the piece with my comments in … Continue reading Hope and change for addiction
Which teachers were the best when you were at school? Likely the ones who believed in you, connected with you, who had a vision for where you could go and who enthusiastically helped you get there. I remember struggling with maths at school - I was always a writer, not an adder. Unfortunately I needed … Continue reading Clinicians’ attitudes to recovery
There’s an urgent need to improve our response to Scotland’s drug problems. The focus has quite rightly been on harm reduction interventions, but some (including me) have also called for better access to residential rehab as part of the spectrum of approaches. While clearly not a panacea, could residential rehab make an impact on drug … Continue reading Rehab in Scotland: joining things up
Sean Fogler, a doctor in recovery writing on Stat, explains how his dual roles – that of a physician and that of a person with experience of addiction and recovery – gave him a unique insight into attitudes to patients with substance use disorders and mental health problems in health care systems. He gives evidence … Continue reading Weaponizing Stigma: ‘people don’t die from overdoses’
The majority of treatment for drug and alcohol problems is outpatient. Trying to achieve abstinence can be tough and some evidence suggests it is more likely to be the goal of clients than the aspiration of professionals for their clients. How well do clients do? This study by Gerald Cochrane and colleagues from New York looked at … Continue reading Add in mutual aid for better outcomes
Addiction is an equal opportunity condition. Families get to suffer alongside the person with the problem. But as Alex Copello and Jim Orford noted in a past Addiction editorial, there’s a paradox here that needs attention. Firstly, evidence suggests that when families are involved by treatment services, retention in treatment is better. Retention in treatment is … Continue reading Families: forgotten in addiction treatment?