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Access To Aftercare Affects Sobriety

New research has revealed that people struggling with an addiction to drugs may be as much as ten times more likely to stay clean and sober when they have access to drug-free recovery housing and day treatment programs following detox.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore followed 243 patients after their release from a detox program. Eighty three patients received 12 weeks of rent-free recovery housing and were required to remain drug-free. Eighty more patients received 12 weeks of recovery housing plus 26 weeks of outpatient treatment. The final eighty patients received referrals for aftercare treatment. The researchers learned that the best outcomes were from those who stayed in recovery housing the longest. Access to day treatment tended to promote longer residencies.

“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. 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. Improved access to drug-free recovery housing and day treatment programs would clearly move us closer to that goal,” said researcher Michelle Tuten.

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