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Exploring the role of consumer participation in drug treatment , By Loren Brener’ Correspondence 2009.


Information about the author Loren Brener, Email the author Loren Brener, Ilyse Resnick, Jeanne Ellard, Carla Treloar, Joanne Bryant.


Despite recognition of the benefits of involving consumers in their own treatment, there is little research on consumer participation in drug treatment. This paper focuses on clients who use illicit substances and the role of consumer participation in their self-reported satisfaction with their drug treatment and sense of goal achievement in that treatment. As part of a secondary analysis, the data from 492 participants who had previously or who were currently engaged in drug treatment were analysed to assess the importance of consumer participation in drug treatment. Participants who had a history of opiate or psychostimulant use were recruited at various treatment services and healthcare facilities for drug users located in five urban and rural/regional sites in Australia. They were asked to complete an interviewer-assisted questionnaire assessing a range of variables including five questions about consumer participation. Findings from this study illustrate that clients’ opportunity to participate in drug treatment is independently associated with greater satisfaction with drug treatment and a greater sense of achievement of treatment goals. This research provides evidence to support the importance of consumer activity in drug treatment and should encourage drug treatment programs to afford clients appropriate levels of consumer participation.


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