Desired Outcomes of Drug Treatment Beyond Abstinence: Normative and Individual Meanings

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 18:06
Oral Presentation
Alfred GRAUSGRUBER, Linz, Austria
Robert MOOSBRUGGER, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria
Health care service providers are offering solutions to recognised problems. By setting treatment goals it is defined what “good outcome” is. Especially in Social Psychiatry – as drug treatment – success of an intervention goes beyond simple recovery and implies aspects of inclusion and empowerment. There is a certain set of beliefs on how inclusion and empowerment takes place and these meanings are implied by and on different actors using symbolic power and therefore contribute to the understanding of what is desirable (Bourdieu 1989).

In the context of a five-year-evaluation of an abstinence-oriented drug treatment facility in Austria available quantitative data from the patients at the beginning (n=129), at the end (n=56) and one year after the therapy was analysed (n=41). To gain a better insight on treatment processes, additionally, qualitative interviews (n=20) were conducted with patients (current and former – successful and not successful), professionals associated with the treatment facility and professionals associated with clients after or during treatment (Grausgruber & Moosbrugger 2017).

These data allows an approximation to the following questions from different viewpoints:

  • How is desired outcome defined by different actors? What kind of inclusion do different stake-holders mean? To which extent are these definitions in accordance?
  • Which processes within and outside the actual treatment are regarded as essential for reaching desired outcomes beyond recovery; which are regarded as hampering?
  • How are these processes interrelated as well as related with the “official goals”?


Bourdieu, P. (1989). Social space and symbolic power. Sociological Theory, 7, 14-25.

Grausgruber, A. & Moosbrugger, R. (2016). Evaluierung Abstinenzorientierte Drogentherapie Erlenhof (EADE). Research Report. Johannes Kepler University Linz.