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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Factors affecting the drug addicts treatment involvement Dryden, David Lloyd George

Abstract

Since the Narcotic Addiction Foundation of British Columbia opened its doors in 1958 it has been successful in contacting a large number of drug addicts in the Vancouver area. There has, however, been some concern expressed by the agency treatment staff over the high ratio of patients who discontinue treatment after the first few contacts. The authors of this exploratory study have undertaken the task of determining some of the factors which might influence the drug addict's continued treatment involvement at the Narcotic Addiction Foundation. This study sets the base for a projected three year study of the stated problem. The study was divided into two phases. The first is the retrospective study which utilizes the Paulus Study (55) conducted in 1964. Though pursued for different reasons, this study provides a convenient, and suitable sample of 105 addicts (50 male and 55 female) for the present research. The immediate aim of this retrospective study is to identify certain factors which are discernible at the time the addict presents himself for treatment and to relate them to the addict's subsequent treatment involvement. The second phase, a longitudinal study, will utilize the specific factors which emerge from the retrospective study as being significantly related to the addict's continued treatment involvement. The longitudinal study, to further prove the validity of each factor, has been projected to cover a twelve month period from the time the addict first presents himself for treatment. The results of the study point out some of the difficulties and areas of concern regarding the treatment of the drug addict and some recommendations pertaining to follow-up studies of this kind. While the drug addict exhibits some characteristics similar to clients of any agency, he is unique in many ways. The factors discerned in this study clarify some of this uniqueness and, it is hoped, (using the significant factors brought out,) that they will eventually lead to better prognostication of the addict's future success for continued treatment involvement. It should prove to be especially helpful to the staff of the Narcotic Addiction Foundation and other agencies geared to treating the drug addict in guiding changes in the treatment program and organization.

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