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Residential Treatment for Substance Use Disorder: A Review of Clinical Effectiveness

Published on: January 4, 2019
Project Number: RC1052-000
Product Line: Rapid Response
Research Type: Devices and Systems
Report Type: Summary with Critical Appraisal
Result type: Report


  1. What is the clinical effectiveness of residential treatment for individuals with substance use disorders?

Key Message

Two systematic reviews and one randomized controlled trial were identified describing the clinical effectiveness of residential treatment for individuals with substance use disorders. In addition, three randomized controlled trials describing ineligible comparisons, but reporting eligible before-after data (and therefore assessed as non-randomized studies) were included in the report. No eligible studies examined the clinical effectiveness of residential treatment in Indigenous populations. Evidence of limited quality from the included studies suggested that residential treatment may improve substance use, severity of substance misuse, and associated cravings. Furthermore, residential treatment was equally or more effective than other less intensive treatment modalities.


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