How “Graduation” Ceremonies Affect Addition Treatment

Posted by | Alcohol and Drug Use, Treatment Programs | February 03, 2015

A recent study published in Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly addresses the topic of “graduation” ceremonies from addiction treatment programs and their effects on recovery success. Addiction clinician and researcher Izaak L. Williams has called for a reevaluation of these types of commencement ceremonies due to lack of evidence that they provide any positive impact. He explains further that both of the terms suggest that there is a final ending to a process, but for recovering addicts, this process never truly ends. If many are incentivized to complete drug treatment programs to “graduate,” these individuals may not be focused upon individual growth and the journey that will bring them long-term results. Williams explains:

“This counterproductive shift is reinforced by potential sources of funding and insurance providers in their push towards a standardized process that obscures the addiction-as-disease model. Given this apparent failure of the status quo, Williams suggests a re-branding of graduation as a “life in recovery transition day,” built around a commitment to a long term recovery plan, and reinforced by the recovering person’s support network.”

Click here to read the full study writeup from Science Daily.

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