A new study from the John Hopkins University School of Medicine suggests that drug-free housing and day treatment programs could greatly improve the chances of complete recovery for people who have had substance abuse problems.
The team of researchers noted that addicts who underwent detoxification processes could increase their probability of total recovery and avoid relapses by up to ten times when drug-free recovery housing and day treatment programs are made available.
Lead researcher Michelle Tuten said that their study focused on those under opioids addiction such as heroin and prescription drugs use (painkillers like OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet). The process of opioid treatment starts with detoxification but most patients have relapse episodes just after a month of treatment. In fact, 65 to 80 percent of these addicts go back to their habits after detoxification alone.
Yet with the presence of drug-free housing facility and day treatment programs, the rates of abstinence after detoxification increase significantly. Those who receive drug-free housing provision posted an abstinence rate of 37% while those provided with the same housing facility coupled with day treatment program reached 50% abstinence rate. If neither of the two provisions is provided, only 13% become successful in quitting their addiction.
“It’s no surprise that opioid-dependent individuals stay off drugs longer when they live in a structured, drug-free environment after finishing detox. Drug-dependent individuals frequently report housing as their most pressing need,” says Tuten.
The team of researchers advised those who are trying to get rid of their prescription drugs abuse problems to at least give drug-free housing facilities a try if they are serious about getting sober again. Family members should also support their loved one undergoing treatment.
“If we want to help people stay off heroin and stop abusing prescription painkillers, we need to do more than help them initiate abstinence; we need to help them maintain abstinence and build a drug-free lifestyle as well,” Tuten said.