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Drug Abuse Treatment Effectiveness Relies on Science

Posted on :  September 20th, 2016  |  By :  towardsrecovery

Drug abuse treatment options create discussions about effectiveness. If there is truly one option that works, why are so many options available? Depending on the addiction, there are options like residential treatment centers, outpatient programs, and even Alcoholics Anonymous in small group settings. Even though these programs all function differently, they have the same goal – to help addicts live a healthy lifestyle.

Unfortunately, addicts often fall back into their bad habits after finishing a program. These programs can be time consuming and expensive. And, if they don’t work not only does it feel like a failure, but a failure that took away important time in your life. So why do some programs work and others not?

Why Do Treatments Fail?

Part of the problem is that so few people actually get the help they need. In some communities fewer than 10% of addicts even get help. Of that small percentage, an even smaller amount remain drug free.

Along with the lack of success due to small numbers, another problem is the fact that many of the techniques are outdated. Relapse can occur when the wrong treatment program is used or when an unproven program is used. Think about this: people put more research into choosing a new mobile phone or a new car than they do looking for a drug treatment program for themselves or a loved one.

The Importance of Science

Researchers have discovered that many people who seek care for their addictions do not receive any type of care that is based on science. Many centers that claim to offer addiction treatment programs are run by people who have little to no training in treating addicts. They cannot prescribe medication – which is one of the most successful tools for treating addiction. Many also are not licensed to treat addiction with psychological treatment, too. There are people who think that this type of treatment should be sued for malpractice.

There are actually treatment facilities that are still using programs that are 60 years old. Medical facilities that treat addiction no longer use these, because they are so ineffective. There are now many modern, scientific programs that have proven effective. The treatment centers that have the most effective programs are those that receive public funding. Those that do not prove to be effective are the expensive residential centers that are frequented by celebrities. And, if you think about it, look at how many celebrities relapse shortly after leaving the luxurious programs.

Public Funds Come with Strong Regulations

Because publicly funded treatment programs have so many regulations to follow, they have to offer quality programs that are backed in science. With people who have serious addiction, they need to have more than just a month in a luxe treatment center. The best programs use techniques based on research and have a tiered approach that takes all factors of the addiction into account. They don’t just work with a self-help group or relax in the sun.

Addiction is a chronic problem that needs to be treated appropriately. Multimodal treatments tend to be the most effective and they need to be individualized for the patient based on the patient’s individual needs – which could include addiction to more than one substance as well as psychological disorders that may have contributed to the addiction or resulted from it.

One of the most effective types of treatment involves medication that is designed to prevent relapse, like methadone or Suboxone. Unfortunately, addicts who go to those luxurious treatment centers do not get the medications that will help them succeed. These medications are not crutches, they are useful tools that have scientific research to back them up.

Just because a treatment program is well know, it does not always mean it is the best. All it really means is that it uses a lot of advertising dollars (so it costs more to attend) or it appears in the news more often. Good programs put their finances into treating the patient, not into enticing the patient.

If you have questions about the quality of our methadone programs at Towards Recovery Clinics, email us: or at one of our clinic centers.

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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