26 February 2018

Understanding remote Aboriginal drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation clients: Who attends, who leaves and who stays?

This study examined the client characteristics of two remote  residential rehabilitation services over a five year period from 2011 to 2016. The average length of stay for clients was 56 days, with one in three (36%) discharge-going within the first month. A third (32%) completed their rehabilitation, 47% self-discharged and 20% were house-discharged from the program. Older clients were significantly more likely to readmit, and stay longer. Clients were most likely to have been referred from the criminal justice system, significantly increasing from 79% of clients in 2011-2012 to 96% in 2015-2016. The report concluded with a range of key recommendations including  integrating the study's empirical observations with staff and client perceptions to co-design a model of care for clients, introduce procedures to standardise data collection and routinely following-up clients to monitor treatment effectiveness.