Designer Drugs: Treatment and rehabilitation

Last modified: Saturday, 30. May 2009 - 3:06 pm

Generous funding of drug treatment programs is costly and politically challenging but absolutely essential. A 1995 study by the Rand Corporation found that every dollar spent in drug treatment saves society seven dollars in crime, policing, incarceration, and health services.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) confirms that the most successful drug rehabilitation programs are those that tailor treatment to the user, not the other way around. While there is no single treatment program that works successfully in every circumstance, programs that have the highest success rates are those that take into consideration differences in age, nationality, race, sexual orientation, gender, economic status, and education level.
Once these are factored in, therapeutic efforts can target the needs, problems, and pressures unique to that individual’s life experience. As any recovering addict will attest, getting over the attachment to the drug is only the beginning of a much longer journey.
People turn to drugs to escape, fit in, feel better about themselves, or just to feel better — ending that dependency often means replacing the place drugs used to occupy with something stronger. The goal of every successful drug treatment program is to identify what that something is, and to give individuals the tools they need to achieve it.
Therapies help users devise their own coping strategies for confronting temptation and opportunity and preventing relapse. Even if relapse does occur, people may be taught how to tap into a network of support that will help them out of that situation as well.
With these difficulties in mind, drug treatment programs do surprisingly well at keeping people on the road to recovery. The NIDA says the treatment of addiction is as successful in 2002 as the treatment of other chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and asthma.

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