Tag Archives: Research Studies

National Addiction Treatment Industry Events 2018 2019 - ECHO Recovery

Addiction Treatment Industry Events for 2018 and 2019

Professionals in the substance abuse treatment field touch on various aspects of medicine, mental health treatment and numerous other disciplines in their work. Continuing education is absolutely crucial for substance abuse treatment professionals.

New treatment methods, medications, counseling techniques and other advances happen seemingly every day, so there is always something new to learn that could benefit clients in recovery. Rehab professionals should take advantage of addiction treatment workshops and other industry events to stay up to date on the latest trends and methods in the addiction treatment industry.

Late 2018 Addiction Industry Events

The year is drawing to a close, but there are still several important drug rehab conferences and other industry events in the last few months of 2018. If you work in the substance abuse treatment industry in any way, these events can be a great way to continue your professional education and stay current on the latest trends.

National Conference on Corrective Healthcare

From October 20 to 24, the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas will host the National Conference on Corrective Healthcare. The National Commission on Correctional Healthcare (NCCHC) sponsors five days of clinical education seminars, networking opportunities among industry professionals, and addresses from some of the greatest minds in the addiction treatment world.

California Addiction Conference (CAC)

The fifth annual CAC takes place from October 25 through 28 at the Hyatt Regency in San Diego, California. In addition to groundbreaking presentations for new concepts, products and treatment methods in the substance abuse recovery industry, the CAC will also feature several fun Halloween-themed events, such as a costume contest and raffles. Take advantage of this fun event to network with other industry professionals and for cutting-edge presentations and breakout sessions.

Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA) Annual National Conference

From November 8 through 10, the InterContinental Mark Hopkins in San Francisco will host the 42nd Annual AMERSA National Conference, one of the largest gatherings of mental health and addiction recovery professionals in the world. This event will be a fantastic opportunity to discover new treatments and industry innovations and to meet other rehab professionals and key figures in the addiction treatment world.

American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting

The 2018 APHA Annual Meeting & Expo takes place November 10 to 14 in San Diego, California. More than 12,000 substance abuse recovery professionals, public health advocates and mental health specialists will attend this event, so early registration is a good idea.

Registering for the APHA Annual Meeting will also include admission to various poster sessions throughout the event, as well as the Public Health Expo. Attendees also have the option to register for the pre-conference Learning Institutes.

American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium

From December 6 through 9, you can attend the AAAP Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium in Bonita Springs, Florida. This event will be a fantastic opportunity for networking, sponsorships and exhibitions. You can also attend specialized conferences and special interest group workshops.

This event will also be a great chance for health care professionals and addiction treatment specialists to expand their clinical skills through educational workshops and advanced courses in pharmacology and office-based opioid treatment. The AAAP Annual Meeting is a wonderful chance to explore multidisciplinary addiction treatment studies and specialized courses that bolster your clinical education.

2019 Addiction Rehab Industry Events

If you are unable to attend any of the events taking place over the last few months of 2018, then you should start looking into some of the upcoming 2019 events and preregister if possible.

Rehab owners can learn more effective addiction treatment protocols and stay abreast of the latest industry advancements, but these events are valuable to substance abuse treatment professionals of all disciplines.

The Evolution of Addiction Treatment Conference

You can attend the Evolution of Addiction Treatment Conference from January 24 through 27 at the Sheraton hotel in Los Angeles, California. This event focuses on cutting-edge addiction treatments and new therapeutic inventions, catering to professionals in the substance abuse treatment industry.

The Evolution Conference will feature several keynote speakers, workshop presentations and more than 70 exhibits from presenters of various disciplines. This conference will be a fantastic chance to meet with physicians, nurses, innovators, psychologists, and countless other professionals with diverse backgrounds in medicine, addiction treatment, and counseling.

Addiction Rehab Industry Conferences Events - ECHO Recovery

National Association for Court Management (NACM) 2019 Conferences

The NACM has a pivotal position in the administration of justice in the United States, providing educational materials, networking opportunities and strategic development to court systems all over the U.S. It is the largest court management professional organization in the world, and these events are fantastic opportunities to learn more about the role the criminal justice system can play in addiction recovery.

There are two NACM conferences happening in 2019:

  • The “midyear” conference takes place February 10 to 12 at the Marriot in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • The 2019 annual conference takes place July 14 to 18 in Las Vegas.

International Drug Policy Reform Conference

The International Drug Policy Reform Conference takes place in St. Louis, Missouri from November 6 through 9 in 2019. This biennial event features attendees from all over the country committed to developing alternatives to the ongoing and ineffective war on drugs.

Speakers will discuss revenue reallocation, government interference in private citizens’ lives, harm reduction and school-level advocacy. The keynotes, workshops, and exhibits during the Reform Conference will revolve around advocacy, compassionate addiction recovery strategies, and clinical education.

Seek Addiction Treatment Industry Events Near You

While these large events are sure to draw crowds from all over the country, you may not be able to attend all or any of them. You should also investigate smaller events at the local level. There are countless grassroots campaigns, advocacy programs and substance abuse-related workshops all across the country.

National-level events are fantastic networking opportunities and can help you stay updated on the latest trends in the addiction treatment industry. However, smaller local events can help you stay informed about the effects of addiction in your own community.

ECHO Recovery is a network of advocates, professionals, survivors and people still struggling with addiction who offer their advice, knowledge and experiences to others. Our network is committed to community education on addiction and recovery with the aim of reducing the social stigma surrounding substance abuse.

Read About Our Community Education Efforts

Sober Living Home Success Rates - ECHO Recovery

Sober Living Home Success Rates

Do sober living homes provide value when it comes to substance abuse recovery? Of course, we will always reply, “Yes,” to this question, but can we quantify it?

There are a lot of variables in play when it comes to sober housing and determining what constitutes success. Nevertheless, we will draw upon a longitudinal study as well as other relevant statistics in order to demonstrate the great benefit of sober living homes.

If you’re looking for the universal success rate, there’s not one easy number to point to, but we can provide several related stats and facts that help paint a pretty close picture.

Sober Living Longitudinal Study in California

One of the most wide-ranging studies of sober homes came out of California last decade. Douglas L. Polcin, Ed.D., led a group of researchers who studied two different models of sober living houses from 2005 to 2010. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) funded this study, called “the first examination of sober living house residents using a longitudinal design.”

The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs published Polcin and co.’s findings in December 2010. The study tracked the results of 300 individuals who entered one of the two sober living communities on which Polcin’s team focused.

The two disparate models of sober living homes were:

  • A group of homes located in Berkeley, California with a direct connection to an outpatient addiction treatment program. At the time of the study, there were four houses and 58 beds in total.
  • A community of 16 “freestanding” houses (136-bed capacity) in Sacramento County, California. The first 30 to 90 days of residency were heavily structured, while residents enjoyed more personal freedom if they stayed longer than that. All residents had to abide by a curfew and attend 12-step meetings.

The research team interviewed all participants within their first week at one of the two sober living communities, and then conducted follow-up interviews at the 6-, 12- and 18-month marks. The study noted, “Average lengths of stay in both types of sober living houses surpassed the National Institute on Drug Abuse recommendation of at least 90 days to obtain maximum benefit.”

The average length of stay in the Berkeley sober living community was 254 days. The Sacramento County community boasted a still-impressive average length of stay of 166 days.

Sober Living Home Success Rates: The Findings

In the Berkeley sober living community, only 11 percent of interviewees said they were completely abstinent from drugs and alcohol over the six months prior to their initial (“baseline”) interview. During their stay in the sober home, that rate improved to:

  • 68 percent at the 6- and 12-month marks
  • 46 percent after 18 months

That’s right: The rate dropped between 12 and 18 months, but the researchers noted it was still significantly better than the baseline rate.

In the Sacramento County sober homes, 20 percent of interviewees said they were completely drug and alcohol abstinent over the six months prior to first entering the home. Over time, that rate improved to:

  • 40 percent at 6 months
  • 45 percent at 12 months
  • 42 percent at 18 months

Yes, the rate decreased here between 12 and 18 months, also. Why? The study noted that 68 percent of the Berkeley participants and 82 percent of the Sacramento County participants had left the homes by the 12-month mark. Arguably, the residents who stayed past that time may have been the ones who were struggling more with complete abstinence and needed extra time, driving down the rate over that final six-month period.

Sober Living Benefits: Additional Takeaways

The study noted that the alcohol and drug severity was already low among residents first entering one of these sober homes.

“Because severity was low there was limited room to improve on these measures. Nevertheless, we found significant improvement at 6 months for both alcohol … and drug (abstinence). Those improvements were maintained at 12 and 18 months,” the report said.

The researchers also found no statistically significant differences in outcomes among demographic subgroups (age, gender, ethnicity, education level, etc.) and different referral sources (self, family member, criminal justice, inpatient program, etc.)

The study also noted, “By 18 months nearly all had left, yet improvements were for the most part maintained.”

Researchers could not conclude that one model of sober living was better than the other, due to the differing demographics and objectives each model had. Ultimately, it comes down to what’s best for the individual.

In general, however, the researchers concluded that sober living houses are beneficial for people who are:

  • Completing residential treatment
  • Attending outpatient treatment
  • Seeking non-treatment alternatives for recovery (a sober, structured environment)
  • Entering a community after recent incarceration

Longer Programs Equal Reduced Relapse Rates

A related study worth pointing out has to do with the length of addiction treatment programs. For those who went to treatment for 90 or more consecutive days, the relapse rate was only 15 percent within the first year after completing treatment, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Compare that to the nearly 40 percent relapse rate within the first year among those who only received 30 days of treatment. Findings like these are why the NIDA has declared 90 days to be the new gold standard for addiction treatment program lengths.

The NIDA has never stipulated that patients need to complete all 90 days in an inpatient rehab facility. A combination of inpatient and outpatient treatment, uninterrupted, can be just as effective, especially if the individual takes advantage of sober living accommodations while participating in an outpatient program.

Even the previously mentioned NIAAA-funded study concluded, “there are several significant advantages” when pairing outpatient treatment with sober living accommodations. Among the many benefits is the lack of arbitrary discharge dates by the program, allowing the individual to decide when he or she is ready to transition to greater independence.

“Some residents probably benefit from the mandate that they attend outpatient treatment during the day and comply with a curfew in the evening,” according to Dr. Polcin and his research team.

Sober Living on the East Coast

ECHO Recovery believes strongly in helping people find access to recovery homes that are tied to structured outpatient programs. Through the generous donations we receive, we also may be able to offer financial aid to certain clients to cover a portion of their costs for staying in a sober home.

Whether you’re brand new to rehabilitation or currently in an inpatient program, ECHO Recovery can help you find sober living accommodations on the East Coast along with ongoing outpatient treatment. Contact us if you’re ready to start or continue your journey to addiction recovery.

Learn the Rules of Sober Homes

The Concerning Reason an International Alcohol Study at Johns Hopkins University Was Called Off

The Concerning Reason an International Alcohol Study at Johns Hopkins University Was Called Off

A high-profile international alcohol study with a local connection has been grounded.

Recently, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) cut off funding of a multimillion-dollar study of the effects of one drink of alcohol a day.

The primary research had been taking place in the Johns Hopkins ProHealth Clinical Research Center in Baltimore. Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine were involved, as were 15 other institutions from around the world, such as Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and the University of Copenhagen.

Why Was the International Study Halted?

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Health InfographicNIH stopped funding the study, formally known as The Moderate Alcohol and Cardiovascular Health Trial (aka MACH15), because the lead researcher and a few agency employees appeared to be “too cozy with the industry.” And by “industry,” we mean alcohol industry.

Concerns were initially raised back in March when The New York Times investigated the alcohol industry’s influence over this Johns Hopkins-based study.

The Times’ article suggested that some NIH employees actively courted the alcohol industry’s involvement in the study, and that these employees were already insinuating that the results of the trial would endorse moderate drinking as healthy.

The trial’s lead researcher, Dr. Kenneth Mukamal of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, retorted that the framing of the study had “no input or direction whatsoever from private sponsors, who have had no contact regarding MACH15 with any study staff member since the trial began.”

Other Reasons the Study Lost Its Funding

There were a couple of other reasons cited by NIH in its decision to halt the funding of MACH15:

  • NIH found that employees of its National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism were in such constant communication with Dr. Mukamal that it undermined the scientific integrity of the trial.
  • An NIH investigation also found that its employees and MACH15 researchers appeared to frame the study in a way that its findings would support moderate alcohol consumption, which was what The New York Times’ report suggested, as well.

How Was the Trial Being Funded?

Yes, funding for the trial was coming from the National Institutes of Health, but it’s more complicated than that. More specifically it was coming from a private foundation that raises money for NIH. And, this private foundation was taking donations from Anheuser-Busch InBev, Heineken and other alcohol corporations.

NIH investigated this foundation recently and found no signs of foul play in how it raised money for the MACH15 trial.

What Exactly Were They Studying?

The researchers of MACH15 were testing to see if one alcoholic beverage per day decreases the risk of heart diseases and diabetes. It was supposed to be a 10-year trial, and the study had garnered 105 participants, many of whom were approached in Baltimore by Johns Hopkins researchers.

The trial began in mid-2017, and had eaten up $4 million of its $100 million budget prior to NIH’s decision to call it off. The Baltimore Sun reported that it will still take several months for the researchers to wind down and close out the trial.

NIH has said it will take action against the employees who violated procedures, but the agency did not specify the extent of such discipline.

So What Conclusion Can We Draw?

Although it’s not entirely conclusive that NIH and MACH15 researchers colluded with the alcohol industry in this study – and the results will never come out, anyway – it still calls into question the purity of similar studies – in years past and yet to be conducted.

The Dangers and Risks of Drinking Alcohol

Every year or so, it seems like a new study comes out that has a conclusion such as, “One drink a day is good for you,” or, “One drink per day will shorten your life span.” For example, many U.S. and U.K. news outlets reported on a Finnish study in 2016  and proclaimed that a glass or two of wine with dinner boosts mental and physical health.

However, those publishers overlooked that these results had much to do with lifestyle factors: Wine drinkers tend to make better nutritional choices, and many come from well-off backgrounds, meaning they have access to healthier foods.

What happened with the MACH15 trial does make you wonder if there are outside forces influencing the outcome of alcohol and drug studies.

The Independent reported on a Mediterranean Neurological Institute, Pozzilli review in 2016 and concluded, “A Pint of Beer a Day Could Protect You from Heart Attacks.” However, The Independent and other news outlets overlooked that an Italian beer trade association funded the study.

Latest Parallel to the MACH15 Trial

While we will never know the results of the MACH15 trial, there was a study that wrapped up earlier this year that has several similarities. An international team of researchers analyzed data on nearly 600,000 people in 19 countries, with self-reported data reaching as far back as 1964.

The Lancet medical journal published the study, and new agencies had slightly different takes and degrees of alarm based on the findings. Here are a few of the headlines:

From NBC News: “More than 5 Drinks a Week Could Shorten Lives by Years”
From CNN: “Even One Drink a Day Could Be Shortening Your Life Expectancy”
From CBS News: “For Longevity, Have No More than One Drink a Day”

Our Take

No matter what studies have come out or will come out, we don’t need to wait for them to tell us that alcohol is risky and can harm one’s health if abused. We’ve seen it, and we’ve helped many people find their way in beating this addiction.

And while a drink here or there isn’t the end of the world for most people, we do know that if you go out of your way to get in at least one or two drinks each day, then that can develop into an addiction before long.

So if you’ve found yourself struggling to go a day without drinking or you have a family member who’s battling alcoholism, learn what the full process of recovery requires and how we can help you find appropriate treatment.

Explore the Addiction Continuum of Care