Treatment Program Evaluation: Asking and answering the call for a public health approach
On June 1, 2022 a new book by Allyson Kelley, DrPH will be released - Treatment Program Evaluation Public Health Perspectives on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders.
Nobody wants to suffer from untreated mental health/substance abuse disorder/co-occurring disorders, but they do. I have suffered, and most of our world has suffered or witnessed this suffering in some way. And after more than a decade of working in prevention, treatment, and recovery organizations…I was left with a big question.
What works, for whom, why, and in what context? Why so many theories? Research studies? Degrees and certifications? Prescriptions? Why do we continue to invest time and money in approaches that do not work?
Over the years, people have asked what treatment programs will work…friends and family have asked for themselves and their loved ones. What's the best treatment program? How long do I need to stay there? If I can make it 90 days sober after treatment, will this be enough? Will I be healed? Why are medication assisted treatments so expensive? What about interventions that take me away from my family? What will work for me this time? AA meetings, outpatient, peer support, meds? I did not have a good answer then, but I have a better idea about how to answer that question now.
Treatment Program Evaluation Public Health Perspectives on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders was an opportunity to explore and answer these questions.
A public health approach to treatment program evaluation never really ends. It begins with defining the problem, understanding the causes, testing what works, and sharing effective programs and treatment approaches with others.