A survey revealed that in 2012, 23.5 million Americans were addicted and were in need of addiction treatment. Only a fraction of them received the addiction treatment they needed. The main goal of addiction treatment is to return individuals to being productive in the family, workplace, and the society. According to research which tracked individuals in treatment for long periods, a majority of people who start treatment and remain in treatment stop their use of drugs. They also improve socially and psychologically and decrease possible criminal activity.
For instance, using methadone during treatment has been shown to both increase participation in therapy such as behavioral therapy and also decrease both criminal behavior and drug use.
Like any other chronic disease, addiction can be managed and treated successfully. This treatment enables people to get rid of the addiction’s powerful and disruptive effects on the human brain and behavior and help them to regain control of their lives.
Unfortunately, when there is a relapse, many people deem addiction treatment a failure. However, this is not the case. A successful treatment normally requires a continuous evaluation and appropriate modification, just like the method used for most chronic diseases. For instance, when a patient with hypertension is receiving active treatment and the symptoms decrease, the treatment will be deemed to be successful, even if the symptoms recur after the treatment is discontinued. In the case of an addicted individual, a lapse back to drug abuse does not indicate failure. Rather, it signifies that the treatment needs to be adjusted or reinstated, or that there is a need for alternate treatment.
How can you ensure that addiction treatment is effective?
• All treatments have different effects on different recovering addicts- the different treatments for addiction may not work on every addict, this should be considered before concluding that the treatment has failed.
• Treatments must be readily available- at the earliest possible time, treatments must be started just like any other chronic illness to combat the disease effectively.
• The other needs of the patient must be addressed- needs such as psychological, legal, vocational, medical and social needs need to be addressed to prevent the recovering addict from relapsing. These factors are more likely to push the patient back to using drugs or other substances to avoid his/her problems.
• Time of treatment- the treatment may vary from patient to patient. However, the studies have shown that three months is an appropriate period to continue treatment. In light of this, the treatment must be continued for at least three months to ensure that it is effective.
• Behavioral therapies- such as group and individual counseling which may play the crucial role of changing the focus of the addict and helping them build some skills which may help them resist the use of drugs. The recovering addicts are engaged in productive and constructive activities which can help them focus on interpersonal relationships. These groups also offer support from peers which help the recovering addicts to remain clean.