Research Publication Title

Harm Reduction Factors and Satisfaction Following Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Treatment

Major

Psychology

Faculty Mentor

Lee Gillis

Keywords

OBH, Adventure Therapy, Substance Use Disorder, Drug Relapse, Post-Treatment Care

Abstract

Substance use disorder (SUD) affects millions of adults lives (Lipari, Van Horn, 2017). The treatment for SUD has primarily been abstinence only, creating a dichotomy between different treatment methods, including harm reduction. Harm reduction focuses on reducing the frequency and severity of risky behaviors, rather than entirely removing these behaviors. The aim is to minimize the negative effects from substance use while also supporting clients to use less. Enviros Shunda Creek is a voluntary 90-day Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (OBH) program located in Alberta, Canada that focuses on mindfulness and harm reduction for young adult males aged 18-24. OBH has shown promising results for treating SUD by preparing the client for the difficulties of life outside of treatment (Bolt, 2016). OBH succeeds by placing clients in a therapeutic outdoor location that differs greatly from the one in which they primarily use. In order to keep track of the success of its alumni, Shunda uses a system of continued contact through the use of surveys and calls. Thanks to Shunda Creek's alumni tracking, former residents have access to continued connection with the treatment center, regularly calling officials, as well as receiving check-in calls from clients. This call-based connection helps to give clients a continued support system after treatment and allows Shunda Creek to keep track and record various aspects of the clients’ satisfaction in life. The amount of satisfaction that a client has with their own life can affect their decision on whether they choose to use substances after treatment (Laudet, Becker, & White, 2009). We will investigate the correlation between the number of calls made between alumni and Shunda Creek staff, alongside the client’s self-reported measure of severity of their first relapse, as well as their current levels of satisfaction in life.

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Harm Reduction Factors and Satisfaction Following Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Treatment

Substance use disorder (SUD) affects millions of adults lives (Lipari, Van Horn, 2017). The treatment for SUD has primarily been abstinence only, creating a dichotomy between different treatment methods, including harm reduction. Harm reduction focuses on reducing the frequency and severity of risky behaviors, rather than entirely removing these behaviors. The aim is to minimize the negative effects from substance use while also supporting clients to use less. Enviros Shunda Creek is a voluntary 90-day Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare (OBH) program located in Alberta, Canada that focuses on mindfulness and harm reduction for young adult males aged 18-24. OBH has shown promising results for treating SUD by preparing the client for the difficulties of life outside of treatment (Bolt, 2016). OBH succeeds by placing clients in a therapeutic outdoor location that differs greatly from the one in which they primarily use. In order to keep track of the success of its alumni, Shunda uses a system of continued contact through the use of surveys and calls. Thanks to Shunda Creek's alumni tracking, former residents have access to continued connection with the treatment center, regularly calling officials, as well as receiving check-in calls from clients. This call-based connection helps to give clients a continued support system after treatment and allows Shunda Creek to keep track and record various aspects of the clients’ satisfaction in life. The amount of satisfaction that a client has with their own life can affect their decision on whether they choose to use substances after treatment (Laudet, Becker, & White, 2009). We will investigate the correlation between the number of calls made between alumni and Shunda Creek staff, alongside the client’s self-reported measure of severity of their first relapse, as well as their current levels of satisfaction in life.

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