The value of addiction treatment aftercare participation

addiction treatment aftercare participation

A 2017 study published in the Open Journal of Psychiatry found that the likelihood of a patient sustaining addiction recovery can be predicted by the behavior they exhibited during addiction treatment aftercare.

The study examined an aftercare treatment plan that lasted a year after patients left a substance abuse treatment center. During this period, monthly calls were made by the staff of the drug rehab center to clients who had graduated from the program to ask questions about the efficacy of the treatment received at the addiction recovery facility, whether or not they continued to avoid substance abuse and how closely they were adhering to their aftercare schedule. Responses to these calls were added to the client’s records.

An essential component in a complete recovery program, aftercare involves collaboration between the staff of an addiction recovery center and structured interactions with clients who have graduated from programs. The goal is to ensure that the client can transfer seamlessly from drug rehab to an independent and substance-free lifestyle.

These programs tend to be successful when patients participate in planning the schedule for aftercare treatment.

Because the study relied on self-reporting, there were some important additional elements to consider. In this case, in order to participate in the study, clients had to both answer the phone and respond honestly to the questions asked. However, the researchers found that while some individuals would consistently answer the phone, others wouldn’t.

In order to account for the fact that certain clients would not answer the phone when called, researchers divided the subjects into two categories: clients who answered the phone every time and responded without hesitation that they had not engaged in substance abuse were considered successful; and clients who  were considered to be less than completely successful.

The researchers reasoned that certain behavioral patterns could hold prognostic value for predicting the likelihood of recovery success, and sought to identify clients who were at higher risk of relapse. In order to create the broadest spectrum of poor treatment outcome indicators, behaviors exhibited by clients who did not comply with specific requirements for complete recovery were considered.

Ultimately, the researchers determined that clients who failed to answer the phone for scheduled calls on three or more occasions, during the twelve-month period, were most likely to… (continue reading)