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DRUG ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAMS

The 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, sponsored by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reports that over 20 million Americans of all ages need but do receive treatment for substance abuse. Many are not ready to quit using, many are afraid of social censure by seeking treatment, many don’t know where to turn. The Access to Recovery program begun in 2003 provides vouchers for treatment services, allowing far greater access to drug abuse treatment programs and alcohol recovery. In every state, a high percentage of all drug treatment centers receive some sort of public funding, giving citizens choices of care.


There are many types of drug abuse treatment programs, which vary in their approach. Not all address every component of drug addiction. The chart below shows how those who sought treatment for drug abuse in 2007 approached the problem:


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2007 National Study on Drug Use and Health, SAMHSA


Self-help support groups like Narcotics Anonymous remain very popular, and can provide essential emotional support to people struggling with addiction. While they can refer addicts to the proper programs, they are not in general set up to provide clinical services themselves. Detoxification and counseling are both required to start addicts on the road to long-term recovery, to address both the physical problems inherent in drug abuse and the emotional dependency created by it. Drug abuse treatment programs administered through private or public treatment centers address all aspects of addiction, either in-house or by contracting services with other agencies.


The most common reasons for not seeking treatment for substance abuse are shown below. However, due to the increasing focus by all states on the need for treatment, as well as the increasing social awareness and empathy for such problems, perceptions among drug abusers as to cost and “what people will think” may shift over time.


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2007 National Study on Drug Use and Health, SAMHSA


What will not shift is the need for immediate treatment for all types of substance abuse. State and federal studies have repeatedly shown that the earlier drinking or drug use begins, the greater the likelihood that it will evolve into a habit involving drug and alcohol treatment at some point. This is especially true when children are introduced to drugs or alcohol before age 14. Note from the chart below that the incidence of illicit drug abuse is highest among people under 25, yet other reports show that the average age of people seeking treatment for drug abuse is 39. That is many productive years lost to drugs.


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2007 National Study on Drug Use and Health, SAMHSA


There are over 13,000 drug abuse treatment programs and facilities in the United States. Between 40% and 90% of them receive state, local, or federal funding to operate. Users with a desire to quit therefore have no shortage of programs either in their community, their state, or within a few hours’ drive. Patients should begin with visit to a doctor for an evaluation to determine which is right for any particular individual.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As with many crimes and addictions one of the strongest weapons available is prevention and this is why alcohol prevention posters have been introduced into society.  Instead of waiting for our children to become alcohol dependent or to be involved in an accident or crime involving alcohol we should be taking proactive measures to stop it happening.
By teaching children and their parents about the dangers associated with alcohol we could well be saving their lives.  Without this educational schooling of the dangers, there is every chance that our child or children could become one of the five million people who suffer from the progressive illness that is alcoholism.
Whilst you may be thinking that children don't pay attention to posters warning them of dangers, we must take every chance we have to try and educate them that alcoholism is a real danger and there is a real possibility that it could effect them. 
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