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Therapeutic communities for addictions: a review of their effectiveness from a recovery-oriented perspective

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Abstract
Therapeutic communities (TCs) for addictions are drug-free environments in which people with addictive problems live together in an organized and structured way to promote change toward recovery and reinsertion in society. Despite a long research tradition in TCs, the evidence base for the effectiveness of TCs is limited according to available reviews. Since most of these studies applied a selective focus, we made a comprehensive systematic review of all controlled studies that compared the effectiveness of TCs for addictions with that of a control condition. The focus of this paper is on recovery, including attention for various life domains and a longitudinal scope. We searched the following databases: ISI Web of Knowledge (WoS), PubMed, and DrugScope. Our search strategy revealed 997 hits. Eventually, 30 publications were selected for this paper, which were based on 16 original studies. Two out of three studies showed significantly better substance use and legal outcomes among TC participants, and five studies found superior employment and psychological functioning. Length of stay in treatment and participation in subsequent aftercare were consistent predictors of recovery status. We conclude that TCs can promote change regarding various outcome categories. Since recovering addicts often cycle between abstinence and relapse, a continuing care approach is advisable, including assessment of multiple and subjective outcome indicators.
Keywords
RANDOMIZED-TRIAL, FOLLOW-UP, METHADONE-MAINTENANCE, RESIDENTIAL PROGRAMS, ILL CHEMICAL ABUSERS, DRUG-ABUSE TREATMENT, SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS, QUALITY-OF-LIFE, TRIAL COMPARING DAY, INVOLVED OFFENDERS

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MLA
Vanderplasschen, Wouter, et al. “Therapeutic Communities for Addictions: A Review of Their Effectiveness from a Recovery-Oriented Perspective.” SCIENTIFIC WORLD JOURNAL, 2013, doi:10.1155/2013/427817.
APA
Vanderplasschen, W., Colpaert, K., Autrique, A., Rapp, R., Pearce, S., Broekaert, E., & Vandevelde, S. (2013). Therapeutic communities for addictions: a review of their effectiveness from a recovery-oriented perspective. SCIENTIFIC WORLD JOURNAL. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/427817
Chicago author-date
Vanderplasschen, Wouter, Kathy Colpaert, Annemarie Autrique, Richard Rapp, Steve Pearce, Eric Broekaert, and Stijn Vandevelde. 2013. “Therapeutic Communities for Addictions: A Review of Their Effectiveness from a Recovery-Oriented Perspective.” SCIENTIFIC WORLD JOURNAL. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/427817.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Vanderplasschen, Wouter, Kathy Colpaert, Annemarie Autrique, Richard Rapp, Steve Pearce, Eric Broekaert, and Stijn Vandevelde. 2013. “Therapeutic Communities for Addictions: A Review of Their Effectiveness from a Recovery-Oriented Perspective.” SCIENTIFIC WORLD JOURNAL. doi:10.1155/2013/427817.
Vancouver
1.
Vanderplasschen W, Colpaert K, Autrique A, Rapp R, Pearce S, Broekaert E, et al. Therapeutic communities for addictions: a review of their effectiveness from a recovery-oriented perspective. SCIENTIFIC WORLD JOURNAL. 2013;
IEEE
[1]
W. Vanderplasschen et al., “Therapeutic communities for addictions: a review of their effectiveness from a recovery-oriented perspective,” SCIENTIFIC WORLD JOURNAL, 2013.
@article{3137822,
  abstract     = {{Therapeutic communities (TCs) for addictions are drug-free environments in which people with addictive problems live together in an organized and structured way to promote change toward recovery and reinsertion in society. Despite a long research tradition in TCs, the evidence base for the effectiveness of TCs is limited according to available reviews. Since most of these studies applied a selective focus, we made a comprehensive systematic review of all controlled studies that compared the effectiveness of TCs for addictions with that of a control condition. The focus of this paper is on recovery, including attention for various life domains and a longitudinal scope. We searched the following databases: ISI Web of Knowledge (WoS), PubMed, and DrugScope. Our search strategy revealed 997 hits. Eventually, 30 publications were selected for this paper, which were based on 16 original studies. Two out of three studies showed significantly better substance use and legal outcomes among TC participants, and five studies found superior employment and psychological functioning. Length of stay in treatment and participation in subsequent aftercare were consistent predictors of recovery status. We conclude that TCs can promote change regarding various outcome categories. Since recovering addicts often cycle between abstinence and relapse, a continuing care approach is advisable, including assessment of multiple and subjective outcome indicators.}},
  articleno    = {{427817}},
  author       = {{Vanderplasschen, Wouter and Colpaert, Kathy and Autrique, Annemarie and Rapp, Richard and Pearce, Steve and Broekaert, Eric and Vandevelde, Stijn}},
  issn         = {{1537-744X}},
  journal      = {{SCIENTIFIC WORLD JOURNAL}},
  keywords     = {{RANDOMIZED-TRIAL,FOLLOW-UP,METHADONE-MAINTENANCE,RESIDENTIAL PROGRAMS,ILL CHEMICAL ABUSERS,DRUG-ABUSE TREATMENT,SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS,QUALITY-OF-LIFE,TRIAL COMPARING DAY,INVOLVED OFFENDERS}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  pages        = {{22}},
  title        = {{Therapeutic communities for addictions: a review of their effectiveness from a recovery-oriented perspective}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/427817}},
  year         = {{2013}},
}

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