There is nothing like pure data to paint a realistic picture about the efficacy of an addiction treatment program. At Ashley Addiction Treatment, established in 1983 and headquartered in Havre de Grace, Maryland, we continually gather and evaluate data to improve patient outcomes and adjust our approach to treatment.
Collecting and analyzing the input of 863 individuals seeking treatment for a substance use disorder over one year yielded a treasure trove of useful information. Programs can gain many important insights when they make the effort to tap into a patient’s personal experience while in treatment.
Here are some interesting highlights revealed by the study:
- Representing 60% of patients, alcohol is the primary substance that people are seeking treatment for.
- A majority of patients did not “wait to hit bottom,” but chose to proactively improve their quality of life by seeking treatment for the SUD.
- A majority of patients presented with co-occurring mental health symptoms.
- A substantial percentage of patients, especially in the Emerging Adult segment, wished they were not alive before receiving treatment.
- More than half the participants had received treatment before.
Too often the mantra, “You can’t help someone until they hit bottom,” is followed too literally, which can result in the person’s death. The powerful message that emanates from this report is that you do not have to hit bottom before taking steps to turn your life around.
Ashley’s treatment completion rate of 87% is significantly higher than the national average of 53%. Patient engagement that persists until the end of the treatment program is a key factor for recovery success. The exit surveys of Ashley patients who completed the program overwhelmingly expressed the perceived positive effects they achieved through treatment.
Inpatient Treatment Outcomes
A vast majority of individuals who sought treatment at Ashley met the diagnostic criteria for a severe substance use disorder. This is based upon the eleven criteria provided in the DSM-5. Fifty-one percent of the participants had 6-10 of these symptoms, and an additional 35% had all eleven symptoms, for a total of 86% meeting the definition of a “severe” SUD.
After completing treatment, 75% of patients stated that they were “very satisfied” with the treatment they received, and an additional 18% were “somewhat satisfied.” Patients from the Primary (adult) cohort, the Chronic Pain cohort, and the Relapse cohort all reported rates of about 83% as “very satisfied,” and 66% of the Emerging Adult cohort reported being “very satisfied.” When asked if they felt they had met their treatment goals, 90% responded, “yes.”
Co-Occurring Mental Health Disorders
One of the most compelling aspects of this study is the impact that treatment had on improving mental health. A majority of the patients reported severe symptoms of one or more co-occurring mental health disorders. According to the intake data, 64% of patients struggled with symptoms of depression, 60% had anxiety disorders, and 56% had PTSD, among other disorders. The Emerging Adult cohort reported the highest number of coexisting mental health disorders.
As treatment progressed, there was a dramatic decline in the mental health symptoms. Symptoms were reduced by about 2/3 on average when compared with the initial symptoms reported. The vast improvement of mental health while in treatment is a significant finding.
The results of patient data research help Ashley continue to improve our methodology, and engaging our own localized patient set helps us further refine our evidence-based approach to treatment.
Quantifying the actual patient results of a SUD treatment program can allow a provider to identify what is working well, and to also make adjustments to the program as warranted by the input. Ashley Addiction Treatment, after nearly forty years in operation, continues to provide the highest level of care to its patients.
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Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders and is accredited by The Joint Commission. We offer holistic care that encompasses the mind, body and spirit through inpatient and outpatient treatment, and provide drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Our driving principle – “everything for recovery” – reinforces our mission to transform and save lives through the science of medicine, the art of therapy and the compassion of spirituality, and is complemented by our philosophy of healing with respect and dignity. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call (866) 313-6307.