AddictionThousands of people across the nation need help for drug or alcohol addictions today, but many of those who undergo treatment relapse as soon as they get back into the environment that contributed to their addiction.  There are countless reasons for their failure, but one of the main ones is that the treatment program they chose did not offer the most current approaches to treatment that are proven to work.  Before choosing a treatment facility or program, some research must be done and questions asked.  Unfortunately, many people do more research on buying a cell phone than they do when choosing treatment for substance abuse.

Why Is Research Necessary?

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse issued a report that states:

“…the vast majority of people in need of addiction treatment do not receive anything that approximates evidence-based care.  Only a small fraction of individuals receive interventions or treatment consistent with scientific knowledge about what works. People with a chronic form of addiction need treatment that is individualized and offered continuously or intermittently for as long as they need it.” 1

Their findings indicate that far too many treatment programs still use methods that were used in the 1950s rather than the up-to-date, innovative methods available today, and they consider this a form of medical malpractice, depriving the individual of the chance to make a full recovery from their addiction.  Addicts who use these treatment programs end up wasting tens of thousands of dollars and still have their addiction problem.

This situation could be avoided simply by doing some research.  There are a variety of resources available to help someone determine which treatment programs offer a comprehensive approach to treatment that includes the following:

  • Detoxification
  • Open-ended, residential programs
  • A flexible program that can adapt to individual needs
  • Group and individual counseling
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Skills training, role-playing, active participation in group activities
  • Relaxation techniques such as massage therapy, acupuncture, meditation, etc.
  • Exercise and fitness routines, martial arts, yoga
  • Nutritional guidance, vitamins, and wholesome meals
  • Options for holistic, traditional, or faith-based approaches to therapy
  • Equipped and trained to treat dual-diagnosis clients
  • Accredited staff and licensed facility
  • Aftercare or continuing care programs

 

If a facility doesn’t offer the above, then it is not going to provide the level of care an addict needs for overcoming their addiction. To be truly effective, the program must be able to address the individual’s physical, psychological, spiritual, and environmental needs.

Understanding the Stigma About Addiction

A large number of Americans still believe addiction is a character flaw that could be controlled with adequate willpower and self-control.  This false perspective keeps many addicts from getting the care they need before it’s too late.  Although the initial choice to try the drug is a voluntary decision, the drug soon takes over and leaves the person unable to control the cravings.  Scientific studies and research have proven that addiction is the result of chemical changes created in the brain and body that cause the person to continue compulsively using the substance.  At this point, they will need professional treatment to manage withdrawals and successfully detox before rehabilitation can take place.

To better understand how addiction is not simply a matter of personal choice, some of the following facts might bring the matter into a different perspective.  It is difficult to believe these high numbers of people are all choosing to endure the misery brought on by addiction.  For example:

  • 40 million people over age 12 are addicted to nicotine, alcohol, prescription or street drugs.
  • Addictions affect more people than diabetes, cancer, or heart disease.
  • Over 80 million people are risky users of various substances.
  • Only $28 billion was spent to treat addicts, compared to $44 billion spent on diabetes treatment, $87 billion to treat cancer, and $107 billion to treat heart conditions.

Clearly, the stigma regarding addictions has had an effect on the number of people being treated.  As a society that boasts about their intelligence and affluence, we should not be allowing these unfortunate addicts to continue to suffer or needlessly die because they couldn’t withdraw on their own.

If you or someone you love are in need of help for addiction, call now to find out how our treatment program is the best one for you unique needs.

Sources:

1.  The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University: Addiction Medicine

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