Substance Abuse and Addiction Treatment Programs in India: Exploring the Voices of Indian Treatment and Research Professionals

Date of Completion

January 2011


Health Sciences, Mental Health|Psychology, Counseling|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies




Due to enormous damage caused by substance abuse and addiction, nations are vigorously engaged in developing efficacious treatment strategies. The United States-based treatment programs are globally known for advanced and innovative techniques and the largest number of research publications. Treatment programs from postcolonial countries, including India, have been historically neglected in the Western addiction treatment research literature. To create space for treatment programs from the postcolonial world, this study looked at India's contribution to addiction treatment. Through a specially developed questionnaire, based on a mixed-method descriptive survey research design, the treatment and research professionals associated with all the eleven regional resource training centers (RRTCs) in India were asked to respond to questions in three areas: their perception on current treatment practices in India; their perspectives on the most-important treatment practices; and their rationales for these opinions. The analysis and discussion is based on 112 survey responses. The findings report vital information on currently available treatment programs in India, and the gap between actual and ideal treatment settings there; innovative clinical practices being implemented and recommendations for further treatment enhancement; contribution to research literature on treatment programs from postcolonial settings; and information useful to global addiction treatment community and policy makers. ^