30 ,Nov, 2018

The starting point is to define what is “Success”. Is it completing the rehab, remaining abstinent (if that is the goal) for 3 ,6, 9, 12 months, relapsing once in the first 12 months post completing the program, moving a client into a harm minimisation program, etc, etc etc.

These measurements do not take into account that every client commences their drug rehab or alcohol rehab with a very different family and cultural background, varying lengths of usage, varying quantities of usage and they are in different levels of the stages of change. How can you possibly line them all up and place them into one basket and produce a credible “Success Rate”

Then you have the issue why are they in rehab. Was it a forced intervention by a spouse or work, are they in treatment as a result of a court order as an alternative to being imprisoned. Then you have the category that arrive in treatment absolutely shattered and to borrow a cliché from Alcoholics Anonymous, have hit rock bottom and are sick and tired of being sick and tired. This last group are far more likely to respond to treatment than the former groups referred to above.

With all these variables how is it possible to have a “success rate?”

Then you have intervening factors post the rehab which the rehab has no control over. For instance the living arrangements for the client once they leave Rehab, their family relationships, their ability to work and earn an income, their interpersonal skills, subsequent treatment for other mental issues by Psychiatrists, Psychologists and counsellors.

At 21Renew our primary measurements centre around client retention and client change during the residential component of the program. You need both to get a balanced success rate of the client. For instance you could have a 100% retention rate by turning the residential program into a holiday camp. That is why you should also measure the client’s progress while in the residential stage of their program.

Retention is easy to measure however their progress and change during the residential component requires a more complicated set of measurements. At 21Renew we have developed a set of criteria which allows us to come up with a score for each client’s progress.

At 21Renew when we are asked, “what is your success rate?” we talk about retention and change during the residential component of the clients program and then we talk about the longitudinal outcomes for each of our clients.

The bottom line is there are two critical stages for measurement.

  1. The residential component.
  2. The post residential component.