Detox & Rehab: Latest Study Reveals How Effective They Are


There is a widely held myth in community services that impatient services, such as detox and rehab are ineffective. Only recently I read an extraordinary damning article that claimed that residential treatment services were no more effective than community based services. furthermore, unlike psychiatric hospitals, these service providers keep people in treatment for long periods of time simply for their own financial gain. This article did not cite one single research reference to support these claims and was unchallenged in its core assumptions.

The suspicion of residential services often emanates from a number of factors:

  • Residential services operate with different treatment philosophies to community based services amplifying a sense of difference between to the two sectors

  • There is a misunderstanding of the differences in clients profiles who benefit from community verses residential treatment

  • There is often an underlying suspicion of private health care provision in the UK

  • Historically, residential services had operated confrontational and harsh treatment regimes imported from the US that cast a long shadow over their integrity

Residential treatment services have changed enormously over the years. The old Concept ideas of breaking and re-building people through encounter groups has gone and developed into more humanistic approaches. Whilst residential services are expensive to operate due to their intensity, most rehabs have struggled to remain open in a very difficult economic times. They are certainly not wealth generating machines.

So I was interested to read this review published by Findings, regarding the actual data on the effectiveness of both inpatient detox and residential rehab in the UK. This reviews the data supplied over the last few years from NTDMS and describes the patient groups and proxy outcomes of attending these services. To read far more informed view of the effectiveness of these services, click here.


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