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LVM – motivating adults with substance abuse to continue their treatment

In Sweden there are around 300,000 adults with serious problems of substance abuse. Of these, roughly a thousand are taken into care each year under the Care of Substance Abusers (Special Provisions) Act (LVM) and admitted to one of our LVM homes. They have many years of serious misuse behind them, involving alcohol, controlled drugs or prescription drugs, or a combination of these. In addition to their substance abuse, they often have significant social and psychological problems.

Three out of four admissions to LVM homes occur in emergency, life-threatening situations and may therefore save lives.

The purpose of LVM care is to break a life-threatening pattern of substance abuse and to motivate clients to seek change and voluntary treatment. Care can continue for a maximum of six months.

We offer all clients an assessment. An analysis of the client’s misuse and any criminal behaviour, as well as their psychological, medical and social circumstances, increases the chances of finding the right interventions for each individual. This assessment forms the basis for planning subsequent care and treatment, which is done in consultation with the client. As soon as possible, clients are given the opportunity to try, for example, care in a foster home or various community-based interventions.

Methods of treatment are tailored to the individual needs of clients. Motivational Interviewing (MI), Relapse Prevention (RP), the Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) and 12-Step programmes are some of the methods we use.

Long-term substance abuse requires long-term treatment and support. For the interventions at an LVM home to be effective, they have to be part of a chain of care and be followed by professional interventions post-discharge. For this reason we work during the placement with the client’s own personal network and with the social services making the placement.