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Evid Based Nurs 2:28 doi:10.1136/ebn.2.1.28
  • Qualitative

Therapeutic communities helped people to recover from substance abuse and implement “new lives”


 
 Question How do people recover from substance abuse in long term therapeutic communities?

Design

Grounded theory.

Setting

3 university sponsored, nurse managed, long term residential clinics in southwestern US. The goals of the clinic programme were to help participants change attitudes; assume responsibility for actions; and work towards congruence of behaviour, feelings, values, and attitudes for a drug free lifestyle. Using behaviour modification, encounter groups, occupational therapy, recovering addicts as cotherapists, and resocialisation, participants took up to 30 months to progress through orientation, treatment, and re-entry.

Patients

13 adults with substance abuse problems (4 with cocaine, 4 with alcohol, 1 with heroin, 1 with marijuana, and 3 with mixed substances). 9 adults were men; age range was 22–42 years; 6 were African-American, 5 were white, and 2 were Hispanic; substance abuse range was from 6–27 years; facility residency was from 4–28 months; and 3 had graduated from the programme.

Methods

Participant observation and semistructured interviews lasted 1.5–2 hours. Audiotaped interviews were transcribed …

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