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From the comprehensive treatment process data collected by a major national US study emerges the important lesson that retention in itself is not an active ingredient in post-treatment outcomes but reflects influences such having one's needs met (especially important for women) and developing a good relationship with the service and your key worker.
Conducted in England, this first study to test positive psychology approaches focused on strengths and wellbeing in the treatment of substance use problems found that a small group of young drinkers and drug users responded well, with substantial remission in alcohol dependence despite the non-substance focus of the group therapy.
The contemporary recovery movement in addictions and the positive psychology movement in the broader field of psychological health have recently grown in prominence but almost entirely in parallel streams, yet the overlaps and possible synergies between them suggest that an integration could be a step forward in recovery from addiction.
In its first report an independent body established by the Scottish government to monitor its drug strategy has called for concrete evidence that recovery from addiction is being pursued and achieved at national and local levels.
DOCUMENT 2012 HTM file
Has methadone been rehabilitated?
Arousing visceral opposition and passionate defence, prescribing opiate-type drugs for as long as needed has for decades been the mainstay of heroin addiction treatment in Britain. With the weight of government behind them, that position was challenged by ‘recovery’ advocates; in 2012 an expert report sought to reconcile the competing perspectives.
STUDY 2010 HTM file
A long term study of the outcomes of drug users leaving treatment
Support for the argument made by England's National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse that relapse is less likely if patients leave treatment after having successfully completed the programme rather than dropping out – but maybe staying in treatment for at least a few years is even better.
STUDY 2012 HTM file
Estimating the crime reduction benefits of drug treatment and recovery
England's National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse calculates the crime reduction dividend for society arising from effective addiction treatment at billions of pounds, meaning that any cuts in funding would be more than wiped out by the costs of increased crime.
DOCUMENT 2011 HTM file
Drug treatment and recovery in 2010–11
England's National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse argues that the efforts of users, workers and service providers to put recovery at the heart of treatment are paying off in the form of more drug dependent patients successfully completing and leaving treatment and not having to return after relapse.
Young adult multi-drug users in Belgium who often soon dropped out of treatment were much more likely to stay in counselling when their therapists structured sessions by feeding back assessments of their motivation and recovery resources.
At Philadelphia clinics seeing alcohol- (and often cocaine-) dependent patients, spending on average another nine minutes to offer counselling as well as progress checks during aftercare phone calls made the difference between a programme which did rather than did not consistently improve on usual arrangements, at least while it was operative.
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