Addiction treatment professionals are working hard to change our culture’s stigma around addiction, as well as changing the way we treat people suffering from addiction. Here are some encouraging trends in addiction treatment that you can share with your community to help them understand more about the issue and get the support they need to recover successfully.
Attitudes Have Changed
In the past, addiction was considered a moral weakness or even a crime. But thanks to the research and education from years of advocacy work, changing attitudes are allowing people to understand addiction for what it really is.
Addiction is a chronic brain disease that affects both brain chemistry and thought patterns. It can also be hereditary or occur during the use of certain substances like opioids.
Brain imaging scans have shown evidence of physical changes within the brains of those with addiction. This has led some people to claim that it’s more accurately termed brain injury.
All in all, there are many different types of treatment that could be helpful depending on what someone needs specifically. For example, medication-assisted treatments such as methadone and buprenorphine reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings while blocking the effects of other drugs.
Those with drug addictions should seek help immediately because they need support to avoid relapse; this is especially true when they’re using drugs like heroin because one lapse can lead to overdosing.
Relapse Rates Have Dropped
There are a number of reasons that might explain the decline in relapse rates. First, it’s likely due to improved treatment strategies and interventions. Second, some researchers have theorized that positive results could be due to reductions in alcohol consumption.
Other researchers have speculated that this decrease may be attributable to low-risk drug use or decreasing drug potency with time. Regardless of the reason for the decline, any drop is very encouraging.
While many people assume that addiction inevitably leads to relapse, research has shown just the opposite. In other words, even if you do slip up while working on your sobriety – don’t panic!
As long as you stay committed to your sobriety goals afterward and work through what caused you to relapse – you can still make progress toward lifelong recovery!
Celebrities Share Their Stories
Tobey Maguire spent years as a teen and adult using drugs like cocaine and heroin, but said, “It’s taken me this long to finally shake the monkey.”
Anthony Kiedis’ drug addiction to cocaine was so strong that it led to cardiac arrest. Now he is clean and has the support of his family. Both struggled with addiction yet are living successful lives now with the help of therapy.
To add to the celebrity trend, people struggling with addiction have more access to resources and care than ever before. Since 2000, admissions for treatment of opioid abuse have increased.
In addition, nearly 18 million Americans received some form of treatment for their alcohol use disorder between 2010-2015.
With more funding going towards treatments such as ibogaine or ketamine infusions as well as training for pharmacists to recognize substance abuse disorders and intervene appropriately, there is hope for addicts looking for a way out of their destructive cycle.
Education and Early Intervention Are Key
Education and early intervention are key when it comes to addiction treatment.
These are two things that drug court has found success with and that addicts have found success with once they reach the end of their court-ordered treatment program. By including continuing education, treatment facilities can help addicts stay sober for years or decades.
Resources like online information portals about recovery can also be a valuable resource for addicts to educate themselves on what their bodies may be going through as they work toward sobriety.
Some even offer checklists or programs where you can set goals for yourself to see how much progress you’re making, which is another helpful tool during recovery.
Technology is Helping to Prevent Relapse
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is evolving to change the addiction treatment landscape. Organizations like Hope Lab, a Silicon Valley-based nonprofit, are developing cutting-edge technology to detect when people who are struggling with substance abuse are most at risk for relapse.
One of the company’s new products, Checkup Text, is an app that alerts clients’ families or caregivers when they might be in danger of using drugs or alcohol again.
AI programs could provide targeted interventions like therapy and medication to reduce cravings and protect recovery progress as people work to recover from addiction.
Insurance Providers Support Recovery
In a recent poll of insurance providers, a majority said they are committed to supporting recovery from addiction. They include high-deductible policies and tiered co-pays that remove financial barriers to treatment.
What’s more, insurers have been increasing efforts to educate employees about the harms of alcohol use disorder and make referrals for treatment services.
Insurance coverage will remain an issue in coming years, but these encouraging trends show there are many ways we can help substance abusers get the resources they need at all stages of their recovery journey.
Healthcare Workers Are Trained to Treat Addiction
The healthcare profession is trained to treat addiction by understanding how it starts, what triggers it, and why people have such a hard time quitting.
Often dependence is a psychological or physical reaction that starts because of intense or chronic pain and then evolves into something uncontrollable.
While addiction manifests in many ways and will require various treatments depending on the severity, one thing remains the same – treatment is never easy.
In addition to education and medication assistance, treatment often also includes behavioral therapy so as to address underlying issues, long-term goals, nutrition habits, exercise habits, etc., all of which should be considered when determining the best course of action for an individual patient.
Families Are Learning About the Warning Signs of Addiction and Intervening Early
The Center for Substance Abuse and Suicide Prevention has been running a campaign called ‘It takes a village,’ with the motto Take care of each other, or we’ll all fall down.
The campaign is encouraging individuals to learn about addiction warning signs and take action to protect loved ones. One of the examples, on their site, is how families are learning about the warning signs of an addict and intervening early.
For example, substance use may interfere with social life, family life, or school performance so it’s important for friends or relatives to step in at this point before the addict completely self-destructs.
Get Help from Substance Abuse at North Jersey Recovery Center
Are you or your loved one struggling with addiction? There’s help at hand at North Jersey Recovery Center. We have custom-tailored programs designed to address each patient’s unique addiction treatment needs.
Contact us today to learn more about our treatment programs!