The Importance of Early Recovery

Study confirms vital role of The Lodge Program

The Lodge Program at the Dan Anderson Renewal Center on the campus of Hazelden in Center City, Minnesota, offers immersive Twelve Step support for individuals at all stages in their recovery. Over the years, through informal surveys and anecdotal feedback, the leaders and staff of The Lodge Program realized that their programming was providing a transformative experience for participants. However, a recent study completed by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation Butler Center for Research (BCR) has moved beyond confirming what they already knew to indicating measurable, significant improvements in the recovery rates for individuals who participate, early in their recovery, in The Lodge Program.

The purpose of the study was to determine whether participation in The Lodge Program, immediately after discharge from a residential program, significantly improved recovery outcomes. The report was compiled by Bethany Ranes, PhD and research scientist at the BCR, and the study compared one-, six-, and 12-month recovery outcomes between patients who enrolled in The Lodge Program no more than seven days after their discharge from a residential program and a control group of patients released from the same residential program during the same span of time who did not participate in The Lodge Program.

In analyzing the data, the research study identified the following positive outcomes as a result of participation in The Lodge Program:

  • When compared to the control group, The Lodge Program participants are significantly more likely than expected to report having an AA sponsor at one month post-discharge. 78.43 percent of Lodge participants reported that they had an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), NA (Narcotics Anonymous), or other Twelve Step sponsor one month after leaving The Lodge Program. This compared to only 57.88 percent of patients who reported having a sponsor one month after discharge from primary treatment without Lodge participation.
  • Six months after discharge, The Lodge Program participants report significantly higher levels of recovery quality and motivation to maintain or engage in an active recovery program than patients from the control group. Improvements in Quality of Life Outcomes became more apparent for Lodge participants at six months post-discharge, as 77.08 percent rated their recovery as "good," "very good," or "excellent," as compared to only 68.41 percent of the control group. Similarly, Lodge participants reported significantly higher ratings of their motivation to engage in or maintain an active recovery program. All Lodge participants (100 percent) reported high levels of motivation to engage in active recovery as compared to 91.88 percent of the control group.
  •  Twelve months after discharge, The Lodge Program participants are significantly more likely to report being members of AA than patients from the control group. A year after treatment, 94.87 percent of Lodge participants reported that they were members of AA as compared to only 58.84 percent of non-Lodge participants.
  • Data indicates that the difference between Lodge and non-Lodge participants reporting continuous abstinence from alcohol between six and 12 months post-discharge is approaching significance. The Lodge Program participants reported higher levels of continuous abstinence from alcohol during their 12-month follow-ups (87.18 percent of Lodge participants reported continuous abstinence versus 79.64 percent of non-Lodge participants). This data indicates a very promising trend.

"We are excited to have these evidenced-based outcomes that not only confirm the existing Lodge programming and philosophy, but also serve as a foundation for our future programming," said Janelle Wesloh, executive director of Recovery Management at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. "The Lodge Program fits well within the framework of recovery management and our full continuum of care. With a focus on providing immersion in the practical application of core Twelve Step principles and practices, The Lodge Program establishes the critical connection that is essential in the early stages of recovery."

For more information, see The Lodge Program.

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