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8th International Conference on Addictive Disorders and Alcoholism

Singapore City, singapore

Jacqueline Hollows

Jacqueline Hollows

Beyond Recovery CIC, United Kingdom

Title: Is addiction a state of mind issue rather than a disease issue?

Biography

Biography: Jacqueline Hollows

Abstract

Statement of the Problem: Addiction is prolific in the UK Criminal Justice System with 64% of prisoners having used Class A drugs at some point in their life and 22% having drunk alcohol every day in the four weeks before they were admitted to custody. Substance misuse continues whilst people are residing in custody leading to increased violence, debt, family breakdowns and chaotic lifestyles. Mental health issues are closely linked to these problems and people classed as duel diagnosis can often find it difficult to obtain help as many interventions aim to assist one or the other rather than both.

Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: Using a new approach known as the Three Principles, Beyond Recovery designed a study comparing participants receiving the new approach to participants receiving all other interventions but not the new approach. This comprised of one 3-hour session per week for 10 weeks; six separate programs were run. 75 prisoners started and 53 completed the full course; the others dropped out, were transferred to other prisons or were released.

Findings: Prisoners who participated in the program had significant increases in all of the four key factors measured: Thought recognition, innate health via a clear mind, well-being; and purpose; significant decreases in three of the further tests measuring anxiety, anger and depression (with depression being the only one with no significant improvement). Dramatically improved behavior was also recorded by prison staff.

Conclusion & Significance: The conclusion of this study is that the approach used by Beyond Recovery is effective in a prison setting, resulting in improved well-being and behavior. Although this is not a perfect research study (very few are, particularly in prison) it is well-designed using impartial and well-respected psychological measures and supports the view that the Three Principles approach can be effective in prison settings.