SHALOM HOUSE UNDER SCRUTINY: P4
EXPERT QUESTIONS REHABILITATION SUCCESS RATE
“Not just for a small number of people, but for the majority of those with a particular problem.”
Dr Bright said there needed to be government regulation of alcohol and other drug treatment services sector.
“There is no way of knowing exactly how many private services are operating and no systematic monitoring of what they do or their outcomes,” he said.
“Government-funded alcohol or drug treatment services, and public and private hospital services, are at least required to maintain quality standards through established health accreditation processes.
“But anyone can set up a private rehab clinic and the ABC has previously reported how some unscrupulous operators prey on people who are desperate for help and unable to access the overstretched, underfunded public system.”
Dr Bright said there was little evidence hard-line confrontational approaches, such as boot camp-style rehab and interventions, were effective.
“They may even be harmful to some people,” he said.
“The drug treatment field moved away from these types of interventions more than 30 years ago because we realised they just don’t work.”
Shalom House founder Peter Lyndon-James declined to comment on the claims on the grounds they were “uninformed”.
“Anyone making a comment based on a half-hour TV segment and media reports is not being wise or constructive,” he said.
“Every response I make provokes more uninformed comments by people who have not taken the time to check out the program themselves. If they can find faults and flaws in what we do or how we do it I will do my best to take on board what is said and also try to do what I am doing better.”
Dr Bright said anyone concerned about a service could contact the Health Complaints Commissioner or Health Ombudsman in WA.
ECU’s Dr Stephen Bright.