Patient Pathways

10 May 2018

In 2017 Turning Point published the latest findings from one of Australia's largest and most ambitious research programs on treatment systems and pathways, funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health. The paper describes treatment pathways and outcomes for nearly 800 clients accessing publicly funded alcohol and other drug treatment services across WA and Victoria.

The findings provide further evidence on the effectiveness of alcohol and other drug treatment in terms of substance use outcomes and reduced use of acute healthcare services and suggest that continuity of care and engagement in mutual aid can enhance treatment outcomes.

The original 2015 report found that while alcohol and other drug treatment remained episodic, fragmented, and delivered in isolation, the nature of addiction meant that individuals often presented with multiple, severe and complex problems. As they moved through a cycle of treatment, recovery, relapse and repeat, Australia’s treatment system remained structured to provide episodes of care rather than a continuing, integrated program that matched need to intervention.

The report provided 13 recommendations for improving treatment and best practice; prompting continuity of care; accessibility to long-term residential care; care coordination; promotion of aftercare and mutual aid/peer support; treatment intensity and client-tailored pathways; as well as future research.

Download the Patient Pathways National Project report (1MB .DOC)