Residential rehabilitation: powering up in 2021
By Dr David McCartney (@DocDavidM), Addiction Medicine Specialist, Clinical Lead of LEAP (NHS Lothian) and Chair of the Scottish Government’s Residential Rehabilitation Working Group
“Rehab? What’s the point of it? There’s no evidence that it works. I don’t refer anyone to rehab. Do you?”
The addiction worker was talking to a colleague – another practitioner working in the field. What he didn’t know was that his workmate was in long term recovery from addiction and felt he owed his recovery, at least in part, to his three months in rehab several years before.
When I heard this, my initial response was a tight smile at the irony of the situation. But as the clinical lead of an NHS residential rehabilitation service (LEAP), I also felt frustration at our colleague’s contempt for the option of rehab as a treatment intervention. In practice, his own beliefs would be a barrier to his clients accessing rehab. Our own attitudes can profoundly affect those we have pledged to help.