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Methadone Treatment Facts

Posted on :  April 28th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

As a synthetic opioid, methadone was initially developed for the treatment of pain during World War II. Being part of the opioid family of drugs, it is currently considered as the most commonly used treatment for addiction. Aside from this, it is also used for the treatment of chronic pain as well as pain that is closely associated with terminal sickness. The use of methadone to address drug dependency was only developed during the 1960s. Methadone Maintenance Treatment or MMT is considered as a form of treatment for drug addiction rather than a cure.

How does it work?

The Methadone Maintenance Treatment is used to provide both social and medical support to recovering addicts to allow them to improve and stabilize their lives so that they can be integrated into society as productive members. In recent years, the number of patients that have undergone MMT have risen. In Ontario alone, the number rose from 3,000 in 1996 to more than 50,000, which is about four times the per-capita rate of the United States.

MMT works by individuals contacting a treatment provider either directly or by referral. The referral is normally made by a social service provider or a community health worker. The patients will initially receive a comprehensive assessment to verify if methadone is the right treatment for them. When the patient is admitted into the treatment program, regular contact is maintained with the physician including the treatment staff. The staff is normally composed of case managers and counsellors.

Aside from providing urine samples, the patients need to go to the pharmacy every day to receive medication that will be supervised by a pharmacist. Some may receive medication from the clinic with a nurse supervising the entire process. For patients that have reaches a certain level of stability, the number of visits to the pharmacy for their required dose may be reduced. Remaining doses for the week may be taken home in carries and stored inside a locked box.

How long will a patient be under MMT? That would depend and vary largely based on the person needing treatment. What is sure though is that the longer the patient remains in treatment, the better results are achieved with the possibility of relapsed greatly reduced. This is the reason why this program is referred to as the Methadone Maintenance Treatment.

To ensure that the treatment is not abused, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario along with Health Canada developed best practice guidelines for the implementation of the treatment. The guidelines are in addition to the Program Standards and Clinical Guidelines for the delivery of methadone services.

Is it effective?

Hands down, MMT is considered as the most effective treatment to date to address opioid dependency. The significant benefits that a patient receives while under treatment translates to benefits for the community as well. In essence, MMT has been known to reduce deaths caused by overdose, transmission of certain diseases (hepatitis B and C, and HIV), and similar public health risks that are related to drug use.

Those who undergo the program also display improved mental and physical health. After a while, the patient regains social functions and the ability to retain employment. The treatment has also been associated with the reduction in usage of other illegal substances and activities that may result in crime.

Along with these social benefits are the cost benefits. The MMT treatment is widely acknowledged as being cost-effective with each dollar spent on the program resulting in a savings for the community anywhere from $4 to $13. If you take into account the social cost for one untreated drug dependent, factoring in crime victimization, productivity loss, law enforcement, and cost of healthcare, the annual amount would reach $45,000. When the person enters MMT, the amount drastically drops to $6,000 per year.

A key to achieving these benefits is finding the right treatment center to administer MMT. Contact Towards Recovery Clinics today to find out how they can help curb addiction.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness

Posted on :  April 27th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Despite the varying points of view, it is difficult to dismiss the effectiveness of the methadone maintenance treatment in the reduction of heroin use of addicts. In fact, there have been studies that revealed that the methadone treatment program is more effective than the 180-day detoxification programs, which is founded on a series of counseling services. Just how effective is the methadone treatment program?

Comparison with the Alternative

Methadone maintenance treatment is a popularly used, but often controversial method of stopping heroin addiction. Compared to its alternative, the 180-day methadone assisted detoxification, the methadone maintenance treatment resulted in lower usage rated with less drug-related HIV risk behaviors like needle sharing for example.

Based on a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association, 179 participants were enrolled in the study and were assessed every month for a period of one year. Collected urine specimen was used as the basis for testing. Addicts in the methadone maintenance treatment were given stable doses. An hour-long group therapy per week was part of the program, which participants attended during the first six months.

Participants in the 180-day detoxification treatment were given 120 days of methadone treatment that was followed by 60 days of methadone dose reduction. This continued to the point where they no longer took methadone. For the first six months the participants attended a two-hour group therapy for substance abuse and an hour of cocaine group therapy if they used the drug. Individual group therapy was also part of the treatment program.

Not only did the methadone maintenance treatment retain more patients, but it was also more effective in reducing heroin use. Cocaine addicts were more likely to drop the 180-day program compared to the methadone treatment program.

Reduced Usage

Aside from treatment retention, another possible gauge of effectiveness is the reduction of opioid use. This has been the subject of research ever since the methadone maintenance treatment was introduced to cope with opioid dependence.

In 1998, the Marsch meta-analysis found that there was a consistent statistical relationship between the reduction of opioid use and methadone maintenance treatment. In 2007 a more recent meta-analysis was introduced and it supported the findings of Marsch. Randomized controlled trials showed reduced abuse of opioid.

Despite establishing the reduction in opioid use with the methadone maintenance treatment, it should be noted that the reductions are dependent on whether the addict receives adequate dosage levels or not. The reductions were also maintained for as long as addicts received methadone treatment. The conclusion was that addicts were less likely to be involved in heroin usage as long as the proper dosage of methadone was received.

Cost Benefits and Effectiveness

When we take into account the cost of untreated dependence on opioid, the cost of delivering methadone maintenance treatment is dwarfed by its benefits. Are you aware that the cost per annum of the treatment is significantly lower compared to the cost of drug-free treatment programs, untreated heroin usage, or incarceration? In fact, social costs of the criminal activities that are associated with heroin use are four times higher than the methadone treatment.

In the United States, every dollar spent on the delivery of the methadone maintenance treatment program translates to a savings of anywhere from $4 to $13 for the community. The same cost benefits are now being observed in Canada, particularly in Toronto where it is estimated that the average social cost of having untreated opioid dependents can reach roughly $44,600 a year. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto further estimates that the annual cost of providing methadone maintenance treatment would be about $6,000 every year.

The higher retention rates combined with lower delivery costs of the methadone maintenance treatment program compared to other treatment programs for opioid dependence makes it a considerably cost-effective solution. The cost effectiveness of the methadone treatment program compared to other programs produced a benefit to cost ratio of 4.4 is to 1 based on one study.

Towards Recovery Clinics can help you find an appropriate treatment program for addiction that will yield an effective result based on their holistic approach. Call them.

Methadone Treatment Controversy

Posted on :  April 26th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

In case you weren’t aware of it, the use of legal opiate as a way to reduce the intake of illicit drugs has long been plagued with controversies. This is despite scientific evidence has supported the treatment as a cost-effective and practical strategy that will prevent illnesses and deaths associated with street drug usage. It also allows people with addiction to get back their lives. If this is so, why is there a methadone treatment controversy?

Replacing the Addiction

Methadone as a legal substitute for morphine, heroin, and other painkillers is a type of long-acting narcotic. The treatment makes use of methadone to replace the opiate that is the source of the addiction in order to prevent physical withdrawal, reduce cravings, and create a euphoric high. It is in this context that one of the controversies is anchored on. Many opponents of the treatment believe that the addiction is only replaced and not resolved.

The Ontario medical watchdog, College of Physicians and Surgeons, regulated methadone way back in 1996 after the responsibility was devolved to the provinces by the federal government. It is quite noteworthy to understand that the program was initially introduced when there were a lot of controversies surrounding the treatment of addicts and the increased access to the treatment.

Is there really any difference between methadone and the other opiates being prescribed by doctors? Doctors would prescribe Demerol, Percocet, Tylenol 3 and 4, and codeine for example, without any controversy. The ironic thing is that these often cause the addiction requiring the patient to turn to the methadone treatment.

When we come to think about it, shouldn’t the concern be directed to those who are using drugs and not seeking the proper treatment, rather than those who are on the methadone treatment? There is no doubt that many have benefited from the treatment. Unfortunately, such controversies are only stigmatizing methadone as well as those taking advantage of the treatment.

Addicts Keep on Using

Although some say that it is a better way of treating heroin addiction, some contend that how could it be better if addicts are still using? Their point being that what is the use of an addiction treatment where addicts do not really quit?

Methadone treatment may not be for everyone, but when it comes to harm reduction that policy makers are trying to get to, it has helped reduce instances of certain illnesses like HIV for example. The treatment would not be as controversial if it is understood that the part of the idea of the treatment is to help people live healthier and more productive lives while reducing health risks that are associated with heroin and other opiates.

So even if addicts don’t get completely clean, the reduction in HIV and hepatitis C that can spread with the use of dirty needles is something worth considering. There is also the benefit of crime reduction in the areas of theft and prostitution that are used in funding the habits of drug addicts.

Cost of Treatment

There are some quarters that insinuate that the cost of providing methadone treatment is just too high. What makes up the cost of the treatment anyway? In a gist, the estimated cost for the delivery of methadone maintenance treatment comes from laboratory costs, pharmacy costs, physician costs, and methadone costs. The pharmacy costs also covers markups and dispensing fees.

A study involving 9,479 patients, it was discovered that the average age that sought treatment was 34.3. And 62.3% of these patients were male. A total of 6,425,937 patients were involved in treatments for the study with the cost coming out to a total of $99,491,000. Out of this amount, 46.7% went to laboratory screening, 39.8% for pharmacy costs, 9.8% went to physician billing, and 3.8% for methadone. If we were to take this study as a reference point, we would come up with an average cost per day of $15.48 for the treatment or $5,651 each year. This of course is based on the assumption of continuous treatment for patients.

When you put this amount into context, the cost of delivering methadone treatment in Ontario is virtually the same as the estimates for both Australia and the United States. There shouldn’t be too much controversy with that.

If you would want to know more about effective methadone treatment, get in touch of Towards Recovery Clinics.

How Does a Methadone Treatment Work?

Posted on :  February 27th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

As a drug, methadone has been known to treat chronic pain aside from opiate addiction. It was originally developed during World War II in Germany and introduced in the United States in 1947. After 1950 it was used for the treatment of withdrawal symptoms from heroin and morphine addiction. Although similar to opiates, it is not the same because instead of coming from opium poppies, it is synthesized in labs. It also has longer pain-killing effects compared to natural opiates.

Treatment Delivery

How is the methadone maintenance treatment delivered?  Usually, a national level regulatory framework is in place for the prescription of methadone. In Canada, the Office of Controlled Substances work with provincial governments as well as medical licensing bodies. This is to help in facilitating the access to the treatment program.

There are numerous guidelines developed in the use of opioids for the management of opioid dependence. These guidelines also cover the training for practitioners who are interested in delivering the methadone maintenance treatment. Even if provinces are increasingly involved in outlining the conditions who are allowed to prescribe methadone, Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act explicitly identify that only those with exemption can do so.

There are a variety of conditions where the methadone treatment program can be delivered. This can include the following:

  • Substance use for inpatient and outpatient treatment;
  • Community-based health centers;
  • Private medical clinics;
  • Community pharmacies and physician’s offices;
  • HIV/AIDS services;
  • Hospital-based clinics;
  • Correctional facilities; and
  • Mental health agencies.

The delivery of methadone treatment programs is not limited to those with medical disciplines and backgrounds. Many practitioners come from diverse fields like social work, mental health, and substance use treatment for example.

Factors like program setting, qualifications, geographic location, and available resources result in varying roles. In the same way that there will be differences that exists among the programs in the manner of services delivered, clients served, program philosophy, policies, settings, and level of client involvement.

Philosophy and Treatment Goals

What is program philosophy? It is the principles and goals where the treatment is based. This is why it is extremely important to have a clear declaration of the program philosophy, which will serve as a starting point for the development of an accessible and effective methadone treatment program.

The concerns on drug use and its related crimes have greatly influenced the various goals where the methadone treatment programs and its delivery approaches have been based. But the different goals for treatment can result in how its definition for success can be interpreted. You also need to take into consideration that goals will change depending on the progress of the treatment.

In the eyes of policy makers, such a treatment program should be able to deliver long-term positive results that will reduce threats to society brought about by opioid dependence.

For practitioners, more specific focus on specific clinical benefits can be expected like reduced opioid withdrawal symptoms for example.

From a patient’s point of view, success can be measured in different terms like the reduction of the risk of infection, improved family relations, better job performance, or better methods of treatment while imprisoned for example.

The methadone treatment programs must be able to examine and clarify its expectations in terms of substance use, opioid dependence, and the treatment goals that will be implemented. The program philosophy should be extremely clear to all patients as well as the members of the program team expected to oversee the implementation.

The overall program philosophy should be made up of specific procedures and policies that are consistent with it. On the other hand, the goals of the program must not only reflect the needs of individual patients, but also respect the goals.

When it comes to program philosophy, few are better than one that focuses on helping individuals take control of their addiction while helping them rebuild their lives and careers.

Get in touch with Towards Recovery Clinics today to get a better understanding of how the methadone treatment can work for you.

The Side Effects of Methadone Use

Posted on :  February 25th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Strange as it may sound, but in order to treat opiate abuse, another opiate must be used as a support when the drug abuser stops the original drug used. The purpose is to try and limit the intense drive to seek and abuse opiates like heroin for example. In this instances, the usual choice would be methadone primarily because it is widely available and comparatively cheap. Unfortunately, it can be abused and comes with its own set of side effects. What are the potential methadone treatment side effects that may be experienced?

Major Side Effects

Are you aware that there are about 5,000 people that die from methadone abuse every year? This normally occurs when the drug integrates with substances like benzodiazepines and alcohol. The major side effects can be just as bad as those manifested by heroin. Even the injectable form of methadone can result in side effects especially when needle is shared or used in multiple doses. Here are some of the major side effects that may manifest:

  • Bleeding gums;
  • Black, tarry stool;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Blood in stool or urine;
  • Soft and bulging spot on head of infant;
  • Difficulty in distinguishing colors, especially yellow and blue;
  • Skin color changes;
  • Chest pains or difficulty in breathing;
  • Convulsions;
  • Feeling of confusion;
  • Chronic coughing, sometimes with pink frothy sputum;
  • Decreased amount of urine;
  • Noisy or wheezing breathing;
  • Dilated neck veins;
  • Difficulty in swallowing;
  • Feeling of dizziness, lightheadedness or faintness;
  • Dry mouth;
  • Extreme fatigue or weakness;
  • Headaches;
  • Slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat;
  • Skin rashes, itching, or hives;
  • Sweating;
  • Frequent thirst;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Muscle cramps or pain;
  • Vomiting or nausea;
  • Tingling sensation in the hands, feet, or lips;
  • Pale colored skin, lips, or fingernails;
  • Red spots on the skin;
  • Swelling of around the eyes, lips, tongue, face, fingers, or legs;
  • Seizures;
  • Difficulty sleeping;
  • Unexplained bruising or bleeding; and
  • Weight gain.

Minor Side Effects

There will also be some side effects that do not necessarily need medical attention. These are usually symptoms of your body’s adjustment to the methadone treatment, which should go away after some period. Healthcare professionals may give advices how these minor side effects can be minimized or prevented. Here are some effects that you may experience during the treatment:

  • Irregular menstrual periods;
  • Blurry, double, or loss of vision;
  • Feeling anxious or confused;
  • Constipation
  • Decreased sexual appetite or erection problems;
  • Affects color perception;
  • False sense of well-being;
  • Seeing halos around lights;
  • Irritable or feeling restless;
  • Feeling weak;
  • Night blindness;
  • Swelling, redness, or soreness of the tongue;
  • Tunnel vision;
  • Welts; and
  • Unexplained weight changes.

Short-Term Effects

Aside from the major and minor side effects, there are also some short-term effects with varying intensity. Normally, these can last up to 24 hours. However, if these effects last longer or become more intense, you must seek medical attention immediately. What are these short-term effects?

  • Feeling of extreme happiness or relaxation;
  • Drowsiness; and
  • Sedation

Overdose Symptoms

Although similar to heroin, methadone does not create an effect that is the same as that of heroin. It is still open to abuse just like any type of opiate. Therefore, it can still have a potential to do harm, but, based on its track record, more good is done for the people that undergo methadone treatment.

Reduction of the dosage can be done safely even if it remains relatively safe even when used in high doses. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why it is highly recommended for maintenance therapy. Just to help you to be aware, here are some of the overdose symptoms that can be experienced when taking methadone:

  • Difficult or shallow breathing;
  • Low or high blood pressure;
  • Twitching of the muscles;
  • Sudden nausea or vomiting;
  • Bluish appearance of the lips and fingernails (cyanosis); and
  • Coma

To know more about methadone treatment side effects and other effective ways to get rehabilitated, get in touch with Towards Recovery Clinics Inc. now.

The Numbers on Drug Abuse Treatment

Posted on :  February 22nd, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Aside from stopping the abuse, one of the envisioned goals of drug abuse treatment is to successfully return users as a productive member of society. This can only be done if treatments are successful, which is why keeping track of individual progress is very vital. It is important to point out though that individual results will vary depending on how extensive the dependence of the individual is and the type of drug that is abused. You also have to consider the suitability of the treatment including the quality of interaction the user receives for the duration of the treatment. Let us take a look at some drug abuse treatment statistics.

Age and Ethnicity

Why are these factors important? If we subscribe to the idea of individualized or personalized treatment of abusers, then we have to know from what age and which segment of society they come from.

Based on the figures from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), in 2009 there were approximately 23.5 million people needing treatment for abuse who are 12 years old or older. What is alarming with this figure is that only 11.2% or about 2.6 million abusers received the treatment they needed from a specialty institution. The highest number of admissions was for the age group of 25 to 29 at 14.8%.

Among those admitted, 60% were White, 21% African-American, 14% Hispanics, 2.3% American Indian, and 1% Asian. The survey did not indicate whether financial capability had something to do with the percentage of admission per ethnicity.

Cost of Abuse

Is it really important to focus on the treatment and rehabilitation of drug abusers? Why is it necessary to reintegrate them into society? Let us take a look at the financial burden that drug abuse brings.

In the United States alone, the cost of abuse reaches an approximate amount of $137 billion for health care. The cost estimate does not take into account the lost in productivity and the criminal aspect of the abuse. If we were to factor these in, the amount would go well beyond the $600 billion mark or roughly 17.1% of the federal budget!

Staggering, right? Wait, there’s more to sink your mind into. The statistics on the drug problem indicates that it is on an upward trend. Considering those aged 12 years and older, in 2002, there were 13% that used drugs, by 2012 the number had risen to 13.2%. What is 0.2% you say? Well, that small percentage translates to an increase of more than 4 million drug users! For people 50 years and older, the figure more than doubled during the same period.

Cost of Abuse Treatment

With these alarming statistics, is the cost of treatment worth it? As far as successful treatment programs are concerned, they have shown to reduce the associated social and health costs compared to the actual cost of abuse treatment.

The emergence of treatment strategies present cost effective alternatives to incarceration, resulting in lowering the cost of drug abuse. What does this mean? Let us take a user undergoing methadone treatment, the cost for a year amounts to $4,700. This is significantly lower compared to the $24,000 spent on every drug abuser that is put in jail for a year.

Conservative drug abuse treatment statistics also reveal that for every dollar that is used to fund addiction treatment programs, the return in anywhere from $4 to $7. The return is based on the reduction of drug-related offenses, cost to the criminal justice system, and possibly theft.

When you factor in the saving to the healthcare costs, the total savings significantly increases to an astounding ration of 12 to 1. You also have to consider the reduction in interpersonal conflicts, fewer drug-related incidents, and the increased productivity of the treated user.

If you would like to know more about significant drug abuse treatment statistics, get hold of the Towards Recovery Clinics, Inc. today.

Youth Drug Abuse Treatment, a Controlled Outcome Study

Posted on :  January 11th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

A recent study looked into the potential of a new behavioral method designed to treat illegal drug abuse especially among the youth. It attempted to compare the results from supportive counseling to that of the behavioral techniques. This is significant considering that drug use normally starts at a very early age and the effectiveness of this program can put a stop to the abuse before reaching adulthood. What can be learned from the study?

Evaluation of Method

The new behavioral method introduced for treating drug abuse took into account 26 young people from 13 to 18 years old. Each was randomly assigned to either the supportive counseling or the new behavioral treatment method.

Each assigned group will be subjected to the designated treatment for a period of 6 months. The core of the behavioral program was anchored on the restructuring of family and peer relations. This was part of the treatment to help abate urges of the youth to use addictive drugs. To evaluate the usage, urinalysis was used as measurement and supplemented with self-report and family reporting.

In looking at the outcome, there was a drastic difference. From the group that was receiving supportive counseling, only 9% of the participants remained abstinent while a high 73% of the youth from the behavioral treatment group abstained from drug use.

Confirmation of the reduction in the use of drugs was confirmed from the urinalysis data obtained. The basis was the number of days per month of drug use or the overall number of months that the youth remained abstained. What was notable was that the youth group using behavioral treatment showed signs of improved functioning.

Better work or school attendance, higher youth-parent relationship satisfaction, decreased incidence of depression, less frequency of use and better conduct ratings were observed as a result of the behavioral treatment method.

Lack of Controlled Studies

The controlled outcome study remains significant because although there are a number of treatment methods used for young adolescents having drug use problems, there are very little known well-controlled studies.

This can make establishing the efficacy of the new behavioral treatment method a bit challenging. However, if the observed results would be used as a basis to determine if such method can be effective in addressing the rising drug abuse problem among the youth, then it can be concluded that it is indeed successful.

Keys to Success

What the newly designed behavioral treatment method reveals is that to achieve significant success in address drug abuse among the youth, there are certain factors to take into consideration. These factors make up the core treatment modalities. What are these?

  1. Family-based and multi-systemic interventions;
  2. Behavioral therapy;
  3. Cognitive behavioral therapy;
  4. Pharmacotherapy; and
  5. Twelve step approaches.


It is equally important to ensure that the adolescent-specific standardized assessment instruments come into play. The inclusion of these instruments can help to further improve future treatment methods as well as comparison studies to come up with better methodologies.

With such promising results, there is no doubt that the inclusion of family-based and multi-systemic therapies along with cognitive behavioral therapy can help gain a lot of headway in combatting drug abuse among the youth and young adolescents. This however does not mean that one treatment approach is necessarily more effective than other treatment methods for drug abuse among the youth.

It is important in understanding these keys to success that drug abuse may be expressed in a number of ways. The application of the varied methods only enforce the need to use several approaches to the drug use and abuse problem as every individual can be considered different.

This also highlights the need for treatment centers to explore the different methodologies much like what Towards Recovery Clinics Inc. does in helping its patients to recover, become more productive, and eventually be successful in their personal lives. Pick up the phone and call them today!

Drug Abuse Treatment vs Punishment

Posted on :  January 6th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

The experience is unique for every municipality when it comes to drug abuse. However, whatever differences they may have all points to one commonality that majority of criminal cases have a connection to drug abuse. Did you know that about 77% of cases presented in court in one county in Pennsylvania has been linked to drugs?

Drug Use and Crime

It cannot be denied that there is an existing link between crime and drug use. Are you aware that there are at least 5 kinds of drug-related offenses? What are these?

  1. Drug possession or sales;
  2. Actions related to obtaining drugs like stealing for drug money;
  3. Association with known drug offenders or drug markets;
  4. Abusive and violent behavior leading to assault (physical or sexual); and
  5. Driving under the influence resulting in damage, accidents, or fatalities.


These actions are punishable under the law and can lead to incarceration. In 2012 alone, there were about 7 million adults punished by the criminal justice system and sent to federal and state prisons (including local jails) for drug related offenses. With another 5 million placed under probation or parole supervision. These are very alarming statistics especially when you consider that roughly 1 in 4 of violent offenders were under the drug influence during the commission of the crime.

Changing Attitudes

Are you aware that despite these glaring statistics, as many as two-thirds of Americans prefer that these drug offender be placed under rehabilitation programs rather than be punished with incarceration? This changing attitude was reflected in a survey of 1,821 adults conducted by the Pew Research Center. What does this changing perception mean? Is it possible that people are seeing drug addiction as a health issue rather than a criminal one?

Based on the survey, the people still view the drug abuse problem as a serious one, but what has changed is how people want the problem to be handled. More and more people believe that treatment rather than punishment should be the way to go.

In 2001, 47% believed that mandatory sentences for drug crimes should be done away with; this number rose to 63% in 2014. What has swayed the shift in opinion? Many experts believe that more and more Americans prefer to help drug offenders and the community in a way that is more relevant than simply locking them up.

The U.S. Sentencing Commissioner put forth a proposal that will reduce average prison sentence for non-violent drug crimes by 11 months. This will affect as many as 70% of offenders and will cut 6,550 prisoners out of the system in about 5 years.

Cost of Punishment

The cost of punishing drug offenders does not come cheap. This is especially true for high profile cases that rely on huge law enforcement manpower and numerous court hours. The financial burden to the criminal justice system even extends to the training and education of law enforcement.

Considering that many of those punished are repeat offenders point to the fact that the justice and correctional system is simply continuously spending huge amounts of money on people who are not being rehabilitated. This means drug offenders may be doing time, but they are not getting back the quality of life that will allow them to become productive members of society. In the end we are looking at huge investments without the proper returns.

Benefits of Rehabilitation

Many would try to insist that rehabilitation also has its failures. This may be true to a certain extent, but, this further highlights the need to use the right treatment methods done by the proper recovery clinic.

When you put all these factors together, you will have an effective treatment program that is more effective than any incarceration or punishment. By providing these drug offenders with the treatment to get them cleaned up, you are creating individuals who will have a life beyond drugs. This is the only way to stop the vicious cycle they have put themselves in.

Probably, it would be more expensive up front, but at least, you will be investing in something that will have a return. You will get back a person who has been equipped with the necessary tools to have a drug-free life.

Towards Recovery Clinics Inc., invests in continuously helping individuals to rebuild and take control of their lives beyond drugs. Call them today to help you get back on the right track!

Drug Abuse Treatment vs Incarceration

Posted on :  January 4th, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Do you agree that drug abusers should be sent to treatment programs rather than prison? Did you know that doing so is a more effective crime deterrent that allows for billions of dollars in savings? These savings supposedly would come from immediate drop in the cost of incarceration while addressing the addiction in a better manner. What do you think?

Drug Imprisonment

What is the problem if we incarcerate drug offenders or those with drug related offenses? Although in our justice system it is but right for a person to face the consequences of his actions, the more important thing to ask when it comes to drug addiction is, are we getting to the root of the problem?

Did you know that 50% of those sentenced in federal facilities from 2001 to 2013 were convicted of drug related offenses? The cost of incarceration according to a 2011 report of the National Drug Intelligence Center was around $113 billion. According to the same report, the cost for treating drug abuse was only about $14.6 billion.

More than the cost difference, which is staggering, it is believed that incarceration does not get to the root of the drug problem. This is evidenced by the fact that most of those serving sentences in prisons today are repeat offenders. In comparison, treatment is a more cost-effective way of not only reducing the crime incidents, but more importantly, reviving the user to the point where he becomes more productive in his life and career.

In this context, drug imprisonment seems a less efficient way of dealing with the drug abuse problem.

Saving Billions with Treatment

Using treatment to address the drug abuse problem will not only save huge amounts of money, but more importantly, it makes use of a holistic approach that gets to the real cause of the problem. It should be understood that every drug user is unique in the sense that their abuse triggers and dependence can vary.

By choosing drug abuse treatment, we get the benefit of choosing the proper treatment method to be used based on the actual cause of the dependency. This allows us to peel off the covers and see what lies underneath causing the drug dependence that may eventually lead to crimes. When we successfully do this, we will drastically cut down the incidents of re-arrest and re-incarceration.

Think about this, if we send just 10% of eligible offenders to effective treatment programs, the drop in spending would be $4.8 billion on the average.

Why Support Drug Abuse Treatment

To sum it all up, there are 4 basic reasons why drug abuse treatment should be supported over incarceration. What are these?

  1. Save a Life – isn’t it better if we could save a life by treating the drug user to the point where he becomes an active and productive member of society? How valuable is it for the community to see a person get back on his feet and rebuild a life that is drug-free?
  2. Monetary Savings – even if only 40% of those eligible receive drug abuse treatment instead of incarceration, the criminal justice system will be saving close to $13 billion. That money can go to other projects that are equally worthy and beneficial. What more if we go for 100%?
  3. Reduction in Crime – many of those incarcerated are guilty of crimes that are higher than mere possession. Normally, the crimes were done to get money to buy drugs. So even if they are released, they go back to their old ways and commit the same type of crimes again. By treating the problem we reduce the volume of crime and make our streets safer.
  4. Cure the Illness – incarceration does not work because experts believe that drug abuse and addiction is an illness. It can even be considered as an epidemic because of the sheer number of dependents. So as an epidemic, the solution is to treat its cause rather than contain it.


Although it may seem clear that when it comes to drug abuse treatment vs punishment, treatment is preferred, it is vital that the right treatment center handle the rehabilitation to ensure the desired outcome.

Call Towards Recovery Clinics Inc. today to get the highest quality and most effective drug treatment programs.

Drug Abuse Treatment Act of 1972

Posted on :  January 2nd, 2017  |  By :  towardsrecovery

President Richard Nixon said, “Today I am pleased to sign into law the Drug Abuse Office and Treatment Act of 1972.”  The bipartisan bill was designed to tackle head on the problem of drug abuse in the country. The federal legislation that led to the adoption of the bill shows that there are numerous approach to resolve the problem of addiction. This also marked the clash between those who supported medical intervention and those who preferred punishing the offenders.

The History

Did you know that during the 1920s many private doctors were arrested because they prescribed maintenance doses for the treatment of addiction? This was at a time when lawmakers were looking into the rehabilitation of drug users while increasing punishment for trafficking of narcotics.

Two narcotic farms were established in Kentucky and Texas. These were intended to confine and treat addicts who were sentenced to federal prison. These farms remained in operation until the early 70s. It was not until the 1960s that addiction was considered as a treatable disease.

Such renewed popularity resulted in the passage of the Narcotic Addict Rehabilitation Act of 1966. Civil process treatment and rehabilitation began to take place. Amendments were eventually passed in 1968 and authorized federal grants that will help states and private organizations to develop treatment and rehabilitation facilities.

Eventually, various federal drug policies became clearer with the creation of a single statute by congress that resulted in the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970. The purpose was to deal with the prevention and treatment of drug addiction including the banning of drug trafficking. An allocation of $3.5 million was given to the Office of Education and another $1 million to the National Institutes of Health to be used for the implementation of research, education, and training covering drug abuse.

Network of Treatment Programs

The desire of congress to have a diverse network of drug abuse treatment programs across the country was enforced by the Drug Abuse Office and Treatment Act (DAOTA) in 1972. The Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention was created under this law along with the establishment of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); which was under the umbrella of the National Institute for Mental Health.

What was the role of the federal government? The federal government was supposed to take charge of the coordination, training, and allocation of seed money that will help fund the drug abuse prevention activities of each state. There was a significant reduction observed in the rate of drug abuse, but its continued spread was an indication for the need for more effective and visible role for the federal government.

Federal Leadership

The federal leadership began to assert itself via periodic amendments to the 1972 law, particularly through the extended prevention, education, and treatment programs. This was significant since there was a shift in the use of different drugs across the country.

The adjustment in the strategy of the federal government allowed the drug abuse programs to focus on the needs and priorities of the offenders using cost-effective methods. Indicators showed that drug abuse was growing extensively, and as such, there was a need to respond with intervention and program methods that can effectively reach more people.

The revitalized programs intended to penetrate high risk population groups like that of women, the elderly, and the youth. This puts emphasis on the need for high-level coordination to effectively curb the problem of drug abuse. Localities with high drug abuse rates had to step up and become actively involved not only in the planning but also in the coordination of efforts to abate the drug abuse problem.

Today the changing patterns of drug abuse continue, hence the need for more innovative and responsive programs from various treatment centers. To effectively respond to these changing patterns, the Towards Recovery Clinics Inc. relies on a comprehensive assessment and individualized treatment plan to help drug abusers regain their lives.

Contact Towards Recovery Clinics Inc. today to know more about their programs.

Who We Serve ?

  • Individuals using/abusing street narcotics (e.g. heroin).
  • Patients abusing prescription narcotics(i.e., Codeine, Talwin, Percocet/Percodan, Dilaudid, Morphine or Demerol, et cetera).
  • Individuals displaying any of the following behaviours: Compulsive drug use or drug seeking/craving.
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