Is drug addiction treatment worth the cost, and what helps addicts stay in treatment?
Substance abuse and addiction cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars every year, but drug treatment can significantly reduce this cost. However, only a small percentage of the twenty-plus million Americans addicted to drugs or alcohol receive treatment or seek out help. Drug addiction treatment has been shown to reduce health care, and social costs and treatment is far less expensive than placing addicts in jail. For example, one full year of imprisonment costs the American taxpayer around $24,000 per prisoner. Typically, every dollar that is invested in drug treatment programs yields a return of around 4 to 7 dollars. Drug treatment helps communities reduce interpersonal conflicts, increase workplace productivity, have fewer drug-related accidents, such as overdose, deaths, and vehicle accidents.
When families choose to help pay for drug rehab, they are investing in something that they believe will help their loved one. Substance abuse that is not treated does cost a family more than what they would invest in a private drug treatment center. However, there is no guarantee that the treatment will work, and the addict will remain drug and alcohol-free. This is one barrier that many families struggle to overcome, especially if they have paid for drug rehab more than once. Overall the cost of treatment is worth the price because it provides the addict the opportunity and knowledge to remove the addiction from his or her life. Substance abuse and addiction do nothing but cost families, communities and tax payer’s money. Once the family pays for treatment, the addict has to stay there for the process to pay off in the end. The successful outcome of drug rehab depends on the patient staying at the program and not leaving halfway through treatment.
Whether an addict remains in treatment depends on factors associated with the individual and the program. The elements connected to the person include his or her willingness to stay in treatment and their motivation to change their drug-using behavior. Family and friends can place pressure on an addict, such as consequences if they do remain at the program. Most treatment programs establish a positive, therapeutic relationship with the patient. If the treatment plan is developed to meet the client’s needs, there is a better chance they will remain in the program. Intensive intervention is often needed to help an addict stay in treatment. After some time has passed during drug rehab, most patients are more inclined to see the process through and finish the program. The average addict does not believe they can stop using drugs. Once a drug user can know that sobriety is possible they start to become motivated to change.
Hiring a Professional Interventionist is Beneficial
Whether the interventionist is hired through a private organization or is an addictions counselor that volunteers their time, there are significant benefits to having an interventionist helping the family. Certified interventionists understand drug and alcohol addiction and how it affects the family and addict. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly all addicted individuals believe at the outset that they can stop using drugs on their own. Unfortunately, an addict does convince their family early in the addiction that this is possible. At first, the family does believe that this is possible but then soon realizes this is impossible.
Research has shown that long-term drug abuse results in changes in the brain that persist long after a person stops using drugs. The drug-induced changes in brain function can have many behavioral consequences. For example, this includes an inability to exert control over the impulse to use drugs despite adverse consequences. An interventionist helps the family understand how this occurs and how addiction slowly changes the person. There are countless reasons why someone becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol.
For example, addiction could occur because of psychological stress from work, family problems, pain associated with medical problems, social cues, or even environmental cues. Most families are not aware of why their loved one became addicted to drugs or alcohol, but an interventionist does provide valuable insight and provides some answers. The factor that contributes to why a person began using drugs also hinders their ability to become sober and maintain this sobriety.
Every year, people become addicted to drugs or alcohol, and the number of people initiating drug use varies. For example, per the National Institute on Drug Abuse, among people aged 12 or older, the number of past year initiates of marijuana increased from 2.2 million in 2002 to 3.5 million in 2019. The number of past year initiates of cocaine use decreased from one million in 2002 to over 670,000 in 2019.Regardless of the addiction, hiring a professional interventionist is beneficial, and it does help the family regain control and save the life of their loved one.
Sources-NIDA. “Why do drug-addicted persons keep using drugs?.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 3 Jun. 2020, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/why-do-drug-addicted-persons-keep-using-drugs
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