Research Articles on Addiction Treatment | Castle Craig Outcome Studies

Castle Craig Library | UK Addiction Research | Alcohol & Drug Research Papers

On this section of the site we are making available a number of addiction treatment research reports that we think are relevant to those interested in learning more about the disease of addiction, as well as seeing the detailed evaluations about Castle Craig Hospital.

All these addiction treatment reports and papers are available to download in PDF or Word format.

Addiction Research Papers

A Review of the “Anonymous” Self Help Groups and their Utilisation in Professional Settings

Presented at the ICAA International Conference in Trieste 1992 (revised 2007) by Peter J McCann, Chairman and Co-Founder of Castle Craig Hospital.

Self help groups (AA was the first, in 1936) continue to have a huge influence on the way that addiction is treated by professionals. Key elements are the Therapeutic Community, the commitment of treatment staff to the ‘Anonymous’ self-help groups, and the understanding that a form of ‘spiritual awakening’ akin to a conversion is needed, to achieve lasting change. Self help groups are highly relevant at all stages of recovery from pre-treatment through treatment itself and in long-term aftercare.

Evaluation of Patient Outcomes 2015

Outcomes evaluation for 116 drug and 107 alcohol dependent patients from the Netherlands entering Castle Craig Hospital between 17th July 2011 to 13th December 2012 and staying in treatment for more than 1 day. This study, as with previous studies, finds complete abstinence in over 60% of cases.

It concludes that not only do a vast number of patients leaving Castle Craig show significant improvements in their quality of life, and drug and alcohol using habits, but that these changes continue for extended periods of time. A secondary finding is that patients readmitted to treatment following a relapse are significantly more likely to achieve a good outcome.

Outcomes for Patients at Castle Craig Hospital 2010

Outcomes evaluation for one patient with a primary gambling addiction, 89 drug and 66 alcohol dependent patients from the Netherlands entering Castle Craig Hospital between 7th May 2007 to 16th December 2008 and staying in treatment for more than 1 day. This study finds complete abstinence at follow up in over 61% of cases.

Outcomes for Cocaine Addicted Patients at Castle Craig Hospital 2007

Outcomes evaluation for all cocaine addicted patients admitted between 15th January 2004 and 31st July 2006 and staying in treatment for more than one day. This study finds complete abstinence at follow up in 66% of cases.

Outcomes for Lanarkshire Patients at Castle Craig Hospital 2004

Outcomes evaluation for 28 drug and 61 alcohol dependent patients (48 males, 41 females) from the Lanarkshire area admitted between 5th August 2002 to 20th February 2004 and staying in treatment for more than 3 days, who left follow-up contact addresses or telephone numbers with the hospital. The study finds complete abstinence at follow up in 45% of cases.

Outcomes of Alcohol Dependent Patients at Castle Craig Hospital 2002

Outcomes evaluation for 60 alcohol dependent patients from the Fife Health Board area admitted between 12th December 1999 to 12th March 2002 and staying in treatment for more than 3 days. The study finds complete abstinence at follow up in 45% of cases.

Extended Care Unit Follow Up Study 2000

Outcomes evaluation of 206 clients referred to the Extended Care Unit at Castle Craig between 31st September 1997 and 31st August 1999. All clients, including those leaving without completing treatment were included in the study, no one was excluded.

The study finds that 31% of the total group had achieved continuous unbroken abstinence, and an additional 13% of the total group were classified as in a good outcome category, (i.e. no more than 3 brief relapses and with a minimum period of 3 months continuous abstinence prior to assessment.) As well as detailed statistics, the paper contains a discussion on the cost-effectiveness of residential treatment for addiction.

Extended Care Unit Follow Up Study 1999

Outcomes evaluation of 96 clients who had been referred to the Extended Care Unit before 1999, representing all those on the computerised database at that time. 75 clients responded, who form the basis of these statistics.

The study finds that 41% of the responding group had achieved continuous unbroken abstinence, and an additional 19% of the responding group were classified as in a good outcome category, (i.e. no more than 3 brief relapses and with a minimum period of 3 months continuous abstinence prior to assessment.)  There are further comments on the cost-effectiveness of residential treatment.

Methadone Increases Craving for Heroin

A study of chronic opiate users receiving methadone substitution treatment.

By H. Valerie Curran et Al, Department of Psychology, University College London. The Camden and Islington NHS Trust, London, UK. The project took place at the Camden and Islington Substance Misuse Services, an out-patient service in London.

Aims: To assess the acute-on-chronic effects of methadone on drug craving, mood and cognitive and psychomotor functioning in patients on long-term methadone substitution treatment.

Design and participants: A double-blind, cross-over design was used to compare the effects of a 33% increase in patient’s daily dosage of methadone with a matched placebo linctus. Eighteen patients completed the study; all were assessed pre- and post-drug on two separate testing days.

Findings: Methadone significantly increased both positive craving (expected positive effects) and negative craving (expected relief of withdrawal discomfort) for heroin. Patients were unable to distinguish between methadone and placebo treatments. No differences between treatments emerged in cognitive or psychomotor effects. In terms of mood, patients were more alert and more contented following placebo than following methadone.

Conclusions: Additional methadone may “prime” cravings for heroin in methadone substitution patients.

Addictions Psychiatry in Practice, Summer 1997

A paper by Dr Margaret McCann CEO and Co-Founder of Castle Craig Hospital.

Supported by statistics, it gives a comprehensive overview of the UK’s addiction problem and the resources and methodology available to meet this growing challenge. The underlying message is that recovery is certainly possible and ‘virtually all studies show patients are better off after treatment than before.’

The Lord President’s Report On Alcohol Misuse And The Implication For Alcoholism Services In Scotland

Presented to : 36th International Congress on Alcohol and Drug Dependence Glasgow August 19, 1992.

this paper reviews the specialist alcoholism residential services in Scotland for each Health Board Area following the publication of the Lord President of the Councils report “Action Against Alcohol Misuse”. A comparison is made of Scotland’s existing services with those in Norway and Alberta.

The report concludes that the extent and the seriousness of the illness of alcoholism together with alcohol related harm in Scotland are greatly underestimated and states:

‘Doctors, Health Boards and the government must have more compassion for the sick alcoholic who deserve treatment and are worthy of our care.’

The Impact of the NHS Reforms in Scotland on a Non-NHS Patient Facility which uses the ‘Minnesota Model’ Approach to Treatment

This report by Peter J McCann, Chairman and Co-Founder of Castle Craig Hospital, dates from around 1995. It details the evolution of funding for treatment from public health sources in the light of the various NHS reforms that have taken place, since the Hospital’s foundation in 1988. It makes the point that running costs at that time were comparable with costs in the NHS for similar services.

The Effectiveness of Residential Rehabilitation Services in the Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Problems

The Effectiveness of Residential Rehabilitation Services in the Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Problems by Neil McKeganey, Professor of Drug Misuse Research, University of Glasgow, Jan 2011.

The report reviews and compares the extent of the Drug and Alcohol problems in Scotland and England and the treatment available at that time.  It highlights the dearth of funding for residential treatment in certain regions of Scotland and the absence of patient choice. It concludes:

‘It is clear on the basis of the research that has been undertaken that abstinence based residential rehabilitation services can have a significant beneficial impact on facilitating individuals recovery from dependent drug and alcohol use. ‘