Conquer Addiction, an organization that grew out of founder Joanna Conti's frustration in seeking reliable information about treatment centers when her daughter needed care, has announced the first recipients of an annual award to facilities for their patients' post-treatment abstinence rates.
Formally announced last week at Foundations Recovery Network's Moments of Change conference, the 2019 Excellence in Treatment awards went to Renaissance Ranch of Idaho, Elevate Addiction Services in Santa Cruz, Calif., Alta Mira Recovery Programs in Sausalito, Calif., and AToN Center in San Diego. Renaissance Ranch offers intensive outpatient and other outpatient levels of care, while the other three organizations all have some residential treatment services.
Conti presented a separate workshop session at last week's conference in which she unveiled results of her Vista Research Group analysis of post-treatment outcomes for more than 3,000 patients across the country. That analysis found that between 30 and 40% of patients contacted after a substance use treatment stay reported abstinence from substance use six months and one year post-treatment.
The inaugural awards from Conquer Addiction used the criterion of the percentage of patients who were reachable and reported no past-month drug or alcohol use six months post-treatment. The percentages were 65.5% for gold award winner Renaissance Ranch, which is part of Brick House Recovery; 45.5% for silver award recipient Elevate Addiction Services; and 42.9% and 42.6% for bronze award honorees Alta Mira Recovery Programs and AToN Center, respectively.
Conti tells Behavioral Healthcare Executive with regard to these abstinence rates, which are based on patient self-report, “If their 12-month post-treatment results remain as good as their six-month results indicate, all of the award recipients will have one-year post-treatment abstinence rates substantially above those for treatment centers included in the last major federally funded addiction treatment research, the DATOS study in the early 1990s.”
She adds, “Therefore, we can confidently recommend any of the award recipients to consumers searching for excellent treatment.”
Sixteen abstinence-based treatment centers applied for the award this year. Conti explains that use of a maintenance medication treatment within an abstinence-based program would meet the definition of abstinence. She adds, however, “We focused on abstinence-based treatment this year because none of the [medication-assisted treatment] programs we've talked to over the last year or two follow up with patients who drop out of treatment.”
Conti reports that in 2020, Conquer Addiction will launch separate Excellence in Treatment award categories for harm reduction programs and for programs that treat professionals.