Drug addiction

Drug addiction is a deadly disease that has been increasing rapidly for the past years. Drug addiction acts as a hindrance for people from achieve their dreams and goals. There are people who think that they are too bright and always in control to get in drug addiction. The sad truth however is that the addiction problem can get anyone. Anyone can get addicted without even realizing that they are addicted. Addiction brings with it so many problems including broken homes, broken relationships, dissolution and harm to one’s body among others. People with addiction ought to look for help early enough before the addiction has taken charge of their bodies.

The sooner the problem is tackled the better the chances of the affected people gaining control of their lives. However if it is not treated, it leads people to jail, institutions and untimely graves. Recovering from drug addiction takes a lot of time and dedication on the part of the victim. This research paper will look on the drug addiction treatment and how effective it. The paper will review the views of scholars on the topic and try to understand if drug addiction is indeed a disease that can be treated. There has been widespread misconception that drug treatment is ineffective.

As earlier stated drug abuse can lead to many unpleasant situations. These situations include increased crime rates, broken families and personal harm. People who are addicted do not always realize that they need treatment until late when they really cannot do with the treatment. There are desirable objectives as to why people and the society at large will help an addict to seek treatment for their addiction problem. Some of these objectives include reduced crime rates, reduced consumption of the abused drug, improving the general life and improving the family life. When an individual realizes the dangers that comes with drug abuse then they will be inclined to look for treatment, not any type of treatment, effective drug addiction treatment.

Drug addiction treatment is a treatment given to people who have a particular dependence of a particular drug. This addiction is brought about by the continuous use of the drug. Drug addiction treatment should be effective if any results will be forthcoming. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (1996) an effective drug treatment program should be an integration of different systems including social, legal and medical to come out with desired outcomes. Among the desired outcomes include reduced use of the primary drug, improved interpersonal relationships, improved mental status and improved non-criminal public safety among others, (NDCP, 1996). There are four methods that are used in drug addiction treatment that can be used to gauge the effectiveness of drug treatment. These methods include methadone maintenance, residential therapeutic communities, outpatient non-methadone treatment and chemical dependency programs, (Gerstein and Lewin, 1990).

The effectiveness of drug treatment has been witnessed over the years. Gerstein and Lewin (1990) noted that the drug users that used methadone maintenance have positive results. They are able to respond positively to treatment and they are able to support any method that will help them deviate from drug use. Drug users who attended therapeutic communities do improve on their drug use habits during treatment and after discharge unlike those who do not attend these communities. The reformed drugs user also should be followed up in a period of 3 months to ensure full recovering. The use of outpatient Non-methadone program also shows positive results during the time of treatment and after the leaving treatment. The Chemical dependency method however has not shown any evidence that it can be effective. This is because the doctors and nurses in hospitals are not fully equipped to deal with situations that come up.

According to Gerstein and Lewin (1990) about 30 percent of people in prisons have reported to have drug treatment problem. The treatment that the prisoners are given have not proved to be effective among the ex-prisoners. The method that is used in prison is mostly the non-methadone outpatient method which is used by two thirds of the inmates. About a third will use the therapeutic community which involves separation of the prisoner from the rest of the prisoners for a period of about 6 to 12 months, (Gerstein and Lewin, 1990). The use of shock incarceration in prison as a form of treatment has proved not be so effective. However, the other treatments where the communities are incorporated the results have been quite well as compared to others.

Many of the addicts however do not enter the treatment facilities unless they are taken in. Many who are forced to enter the facilities end up leaving and relapsing into the drug use, (Battjes et al., 1999).  Before we can understand if drug treatment is effective one needs to understand about the whole program that is associated with drug addiction treatment. There are different methods that are available to the drug user including medical and social methods. Knowing the extents and types of drugs that are majorly abused is a key point which will determine the effectiveness of a drug treatment.

For most drug users, they prefer going into medical methods of drug addiction treatment to help them in recovery. They are some people who are hardcore drug users. This means that they use drugs day in day out. According to Gerstein and Lewin (1990), these hardcore drug abusers continue to have problems with drugs even after treatment. The only way to avoid this will by directing special and special care towards them. They are totally dependent on the drugs. Such people will have to go under intense training to make sure that they do not suffer a relapse. Systems like the criminal justice systems, medical systems and welfare system have to be used all at once to ensure that the drug user is given maximum care and the dangers of a relapse are minimal. If all these systems are not used in unison the treatment might not be as effective as it is supposed to be.

The drug user is supposed to be given support by all the systems including the family members. The greater the support the drug user is given the higher the probability of recovery. Effective drug treatment requires a valuation and incorporation of an individual’s need entering a treatment. The needs of the drug users should be taken into consideration for any treatment to be effective. Most addiction care givers do not have the experience and know-how to treat drug addiction. Most of the drug addiction centers still use the methods that were used in the past to deal with the problem of today. There are so many ways that can be used today but the medical PR actioners lack the knowhow to use these types of methods. The methods that are used end up not being effective and not helpful at all.

In conclusion, the effectiveness of drug treatment is determined by many factors. The end result of treatment is usually abstinence. However, these results are not always realized.   Depending on the situations and how the situation is tackled, drug addiction treatment can either be effective or not effective. As the discussion above has noted there are things that can be done to ensure that the drug treatment program is effective. Taking into considerations the needs of the patient will ensure that the individual is helped. Gerstein and Lewin (1990), note that when using the methadone maintenance method rates of staff turnover and the doses level will greatly affect if the procedure is effective or not. The nurses and care givers should however be trained on the best ways in which they can use in order to deal effectively with the problem of drug use.



Battjes R., Onken L., Delany P., (May, 1999) “Drug Abuse Treatment Entry and Engagement: Report of a Meeting on Treatment Readiness” Journal of Clinical Psychology Vol.55 (5): 643-657

Gerstein D. and Lewin L. (1990) “Treating Drug Problems” NEJM: 323: 844-848

NDCP Publications, (1996) “Treatment Protocol Effectiveness Study” retrieved from www.ncjrs.gov/ondcppubs/publications/treat/trmtprot.html

Simpson D. and Sells B. (2008) “Effectiveness of Treatment for Drug Abuse: An Overview of the DARP research Program” Journal of Addictive Diseases Vol.2 (1): 7-29



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