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Drug Treatment

Although drug addiction is a very complex disease, it is a treatable one. The markers of a person addicted to drug are compulsive drug craving, seeking, and use. For many individuals who abuse drugs, it becomes a chronic illness where relapses are possible even when the users have abstained from the drub for long periods of time. In the case of chronic drug use, the addict may need to be treatment several times before she can achieve complete abstinence. By receiving the treatment that best suits her needs, the addict can recover and lead a progressive life.

Statistics show that in 2006, 23.6 million individuals aged 12 or older required drug treatment or treatment for alcohol dependency. Of this amount, 2.5 million received treatment at a treatment facility. Additionally, 21.2 million individuals aged 12 or older needed treatment for a drug or alcohol problem but did not receive it. These estimates mirror the ones for 2005.

Requiring but not receiving treatment for substance abuse and addiction causes significant costs to families and communities. Drug addicts often contribute to violence and property crimes, prison expenses, court and criminal costs, emergency room visits, child abuse and neglect, lost child support, foster care and welfare costs, reduced productivity, and unemployment, ultimately costing society billions of dollars annually. For these reasons, among others, drug treatment is essential.

In combining drugs, alcohol and tobacco, societal costs exceed $500 billion including healthcare, criminal justice, and lost productivity. By enrolling (and attending) in a treatment facility, individuals can receive successful treatment, reducing the staggering costs of related crime, and the transmission of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases.

Treatment facilities often include medication and behavioral therapy in their drug treatment program. These methods are effective either alone or in combination, providing an overall therapeutic process, which begins with detoxification; thereafter, treatment and relapse prevention techniques are administered. Patients can undergo inpatient care or outpatient care. The latter is most frequently used–the individual undergoes the process of “getting clean” outside the treatment facility, provided a sober individual is present to assist her. She must also check in regularly with the treatment facility so her progress can be monitored. Inpatient care is often suggested in more severe cases, where the addict may have health risks, and needs to be consistently monitored.

Along with administering the necessary medication and therapy, drug treatment allows the addict to realize that he is not alone in his endeavor. Many treatment facilities offer emotional support as well as physical support. Additionally, treatment facilities are useful in helping the individual realize the importance of staying absent from high-pressured situations or environments that may induce a relapse. Additionally, he is taught how to not rely on drugs as his means of escape from the harsh realities of life.

Drug Enforcement Agnecy (DEA) – http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/index.htm
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) – http://www.samhsa.gov/
National Institue of Health (NIH) – http://www.nih.gov/