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Substance Abuse Treatment

February 10th, 2012

What works, what doesn’t and what not to do.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Alliance’s Treatment Episode Data Set there were 1.9 million people that enrolled into a drug rehab program. This is a small percentage of the 23 million people that are currently addicted to drugs. Hundreds of thousands of drug and alcohol treatment programs exist for substance abuse treatment so one might ask why so many are not checking into rehab.

A recent New York Times article describes treatment for some as a joke and a revolving door citing that the government spends 15 billion on treatment plus another 5 billion that comes from insurers. The problem: many are not getting results with treatment.

Experts in the drug rehab field report that some clients call in for help and have done up to 15 substance abuse treatment programs without success. However many cases also exist where a drug addict or alcoholic does recover from substance abuse and their treatment is a success.

Part of being a success instead of a failure statistic is following this protocol:

1. Research the success rate of the program you are enrolling in. Many programs don’t even know their success rate while others are below 10%. The success rate determines how much the treatment will help the individual.

2. What your insurance covers is not always the best choice for the patient. What often happens when looking for a program is that your insurance company will list out what facilities you qualify for without knowing the type, success, or length of treatment. It is best to research what kinds of programs are available and the costs associated with them to find what is right for the individual.

3. Make sure that the program length is long enough to create a positive result. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that residential programs that last an average of 6 months are the most effective choice for treatment.

4. Treat the addiction by handling all issues associated with it. Many treatment programs will use replacement drugs or other drugs to treat substance abuse. This is a costly and ineffective approach to handling addiction. Not to mention the fact that replacement drugs carry with them dangerous side effects and a further potential for addiction.

Choosing the right type of substance abuse treatment is what will determine the outcome. For more information call us today.

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