An intensive treatment program for physicians with alcohol and drug addictions has a remarkable success rate – 78 percent of participants have stayed clean and sober for five years. What’s the secret?
The doctors participated in between four and 12 weeks of residential treatment, based heavily on Twelve-Step programs, but were also given extensive follow-up care, including frequent drug and alcohol testing with very meaningful rewards and consequences.
Although doctors are an unusual group in terms of education and affluence, they can also be uniquely susceptible to relapse due to job stress and access to medications. It’s possible that the follow-up care, testing, and rewards and consequences are the key to preventing relapse, and the same principles can be applied to addiction cases more broadly.