26 ,Apr, 2019

The phrase “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” was attributed to the British prime minister Benjamin Disrael who is said to have used it to describe the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments.

When it comes to Treatment Outcomes for those suffering with addiction it is virtually impossible to produce statistical data that can have a generic application.

Take the following group of 5 people we admitted into a recent Retreat.

1.Male 68 self employed

a. still functioning

b. no previous rehabs

c. drinking 8-10 glasses of alcohol most evenings and more on weekends

d. a settled home structure and work environment to go back into after the residential component of the program

2. A 32 year old female unemployed but held mid tier executive positions for all but the last year of her life.

a. Heavy user of “Ice” for the previous 12 months.

b. Living a nomadic existence in the drug world

c. A 5 year old son being brought up by her family who she had been barred from seeing

d. Multiple rehabs and removed from several for misbehavior

e. An unsettled structure to come back into once she left the residential component of the program.

3. A 38 year old male married with children

a. Business owner

b. Married with supporting wife and family

c. Heavy drinker and occasional substance abuser

d. Multiple rehabs

e. a settled home structure and work environment to go back into after the residential component of the program

4.   54 year old unemployed male. Heavy drinker and marijuana smoker for the past 35 years.

a. Long term use of heavy quantities of alcohol and marijuana

b. On a disability pension and unable to do any form of manual work

c. Supportive wife and family

d. Low levels of motivation

5.   42 year single female, mid tier executive with major company.

a. Long term user of Ice

b. Previous rehab for 60 days, relapsed after 8 months.

c. Supportive mother and father.

d. Issues with self confidence and appearance/weight

Here are some of the variables from this group from our 21Renew Program.

  • Age
  • Length of use
  • Substance/substances used
  • Married/single, relationships and level of toxicity of relationships
  • Male/female
  • Financial situation
  • Previous treatment facilities/rehabs
  • Other mental health issues e.g. depression, anxiety etc.
  • Learning style
  • Environment they are returning to after treatment.
  • Employment and type of employment (job satisfaction)
  • Level of self esteem
  • Level of self confidence
  • Psychological issues
  • Personality traits
  • The post residential plan and the ability of the client to implement it within his/her day to day structures including work and finances. Also the level of assistance provided to the client during this phase of treatment.

When I am asked, “Graeme what are your success rates?” my response is, “We have a 100% retention rate, no one has left during the program. Further, I can arrange for you to speak to some of our clients who have had similar issues to you and you can talk to them about what they got out of the program.”

This is the only measurement and response I can have any confidence in quoting to a perspective client or their family. To cite any other statistics in an attempt to woo clients to join the program would be misleading.