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  • 6/24/2009

Importance and Length of Drug Addiction Treatment

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Is drug addiction treatment worth its cost?

Substance abuse costs our Nation over one half-trillion dollars annually, and treatment can help reduce these costs. Drug addiction treatment has been shown to reduce associated health and social costs by far more than the cost of the treatment itself. Treatment is also much less expensive than its alternatives, such as incarcerating addicted persons. For example, the average cost for 1 full year of methadone maintenance treatment is approximately $4,700 per patient, whereas 1 full year of imprisonment costs approximately $24,000 per person.

Drug addiction treatment reduces drug use and its associated health and social costs.

According to several conservative estimates, every $1 invested in addiction treatment programs yields a return of between $4 and $7 in reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, and theft. When savings related to health care are included, total savings can exceed costs by a ratio of 12 to 1. Major savings to the individual and to society also stem from fewer interpersonal conflicts; greater workplace productivity; and fewer drug-related accidents, including overdoses and deaths.  

How long does drug addiction treatment usually last?

Individuals progress through drug addiction treatment at various rates, so there is no pre-determined length of treatment. However, research has shown unequivocally that good outcomes are contingent on adequate treatment length. Generally, for residential or outpatient treatment, participation for less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness, and treatment lasting significantly longer is recommended for maintaining positive outcomes. For methadone maintenance, 12 months is considered the minimum, and some opioid-addicted individuals continue to benefit from methadone maintenance for many years.

addicted drugs

Good outcomes are contingent on adequate treatment length.

Treatment dropout is one of the major problems encountered by treatment programs; therefore, motivational techniques that can keep patients engaged will also improve outcomes. By viewing addiction as a chronic disease and offering continuing care and monitoring, programs can succeed, but this will often require multiple episodes of treatment and readily re-admitting patients that have relapsed.

 Source: www.nida.nih


Other links:

Drug Abuse and Addiction 

Causes and Physical Signs of Drug Abuse and Addiction

Mental and emotional signs of abuse and addiction 

Effects of drug abuse and addiction  

Drug abuse and the family 

Why do drug-addicted persons keep using drugs?  

What Are The Risk Factors?  

Addiction and Health

How Drugs Work  

What are some effects of specific abused substances?  

What is drug addiction treatment?  

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