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Research findings

A pilot study to evaluate the utility of applying the LP concept to SUD (the TRP) was undertaken with the Lifeline community drug service in Tower Hamlets, 22 participants with a variety of drug use issues were recruited to the study.

On follow up at 3 months 91% (n=20) had reduced usage as measured by the NDTMS Treatment Outcomes Profile (TOP); these were broken down into 7 groups based on the drug used pre course; Methadone, Buprenorphine (Subutex), heroin, cannabis or cocaine or alcohol, ketamine, or abstinent, see table below.

 N=22 Pre TRP Reduced after TRP Abstinent after TRP Unknown after TRP
Methadone 5 3 1 1
Buprenorphine (Subutex) 1 1 0 0
Heroin 3 1 2 0
Cannabis, cocaine and alcohol 9 5 4 0
Ketamine 2 1 0 1
Abstinent 2 0 2 0
Totals 22 11 9 2

Measures of days at work, college of voluntary work were also recorded using the TOP forms, with only 3 being engaged in any of the activities prior to the TRP, and 16 involved in them at 3 months post intervention. A qualitative element was also included in the study, which identified participants experience of improvements in self-esteem, calmness, confidence, relationships, housing, optimism about future, quality of sleep, motivation, health and energy; and included clients expressing positive experience of the intervention ‘I found the training empowering’, ‘Amazingly, it was really fun’ and ‘I really enjoyed it’.

The study is the first to evaluate the TRP, supports the finding of the studies into the other applications of the LP intervention, and adds to be evidence base by being run in a service environment, often with participants with long experience of drug treatment approaches and little recovery capital. It is limited by the absence of a control group, the small sample numbers, who were possibly unrepresentative of the drug service population, as they elected, or were suggested by key workers, to join the programme, but suggests further, randomised controlled research should be undertaken.

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