When it comes to recovery and addiction treatments, patients have the option of residential rehabilitation or out patient programs. Long term success between the two have been debated by many. It truly depends on the individual and what works best for them. Australia’s National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre performed a study looking at heroin rehabilitation outcomes over the course of 11 years.


The study looked at 615 heroin users, checking in with them at 3, 12, 24, and 36 months and 11 years laters. The goal was to look at drug use patterns, mortality, remission, overdose rates, suicide attempts, criminality, and mental and physical health over time. By the last year of the study, 10 percent had died, almost half were still in some form of treatment, and those still using heroin fell to a quarter. With less drug use there was less crime, less risk-taking and better overall health. In the end, residential rehab treatment for heroin addiction resulted in positive long term outcomes and was the only factor significantly associated with better physical health.


At the end of the first year of the study, residential and outpatient treatments seemed to be equally effective. But looking at the long term outcomes, residential treatments did result in the best long term outcomes. For whatever reason, heroin users seem to benefit from a prolonged controlled environment surrounded by support from peers and professionals.


This is not to discount outpatient treatment, but maybe there’s something specific to the residential environments that heroin users seem to respond to best. If you or a loved one is struggling with heroin, or another addiction, please contact a medical professional at Crownview Medical Group. We offer both residential and outpatient treatments for addiction.


Sources: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/where-science-meets-the-steps/201502/why-residential-rehab-matters-in-heroin-addiction