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What is ‘success’ in drug rehab? Programs need more than just anecdotes to prove they work

Stephen Bright and Nicole Lee write in The Conversation (13.4.17) that evidence of the so-called success of private drug rehabilitation clinics is anecdotal at best.

'This week’s Australian Story was a compelling narrative of redemption. After a long history of problem drug use and related crime, Peter Lyndon-James’s life was turned around and he went on to establish a private rehabilitation service in Perth, Shalom House.

'Shalom House calls itself the “strictest drug rehabilitation centre in the country”, portrayed as a military-style boot camp with a strong Christian focus. But evidence of its so-called “success” is anecdotal at best and warrants analysis.

'... One of the biggest issues in the alcohol and other drug sector is the lack of regulation of treatment services. There is no way of knowing exactly how many private services are operating, and no systematic monitoring of what they do or their outcomes.

'Government-funded alcohol or drug treatment services, and public and private hospital services, are at least required to maintain quality standards through established health accreditation processes.'


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