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For some time now our country has faced its worst ever peril of drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and addiction as both a psychological and physiological crisis. This has begged the question as to, “What are we doing about it, and why hasn’t the problem started to go down yet?” Though some might not know it, not only has the problem not started to go down, it has actually gotten considerably worse very quickly.
One problem that we might be having is that our treatment methods are outdated. The classic, traditional Twelve Step approach to addiction treatment is still the mainstay of addiction recovery. The Twelve Step program was first invented in 1935 by Alcoholics Anonymous. It was added to again in 1948 with the inception of Narcotics Anonymous. But the Twelve Step approach has not changed much, and the face of addiction has. Considerably.
Unfortunately, the face of addiction has changed considerably since 1935. The face of addiction has changed considerably since 1948. In fact, the face of addiction has changed considerably since 2001. However, addiction treatment has stayed essentially the same. This is why the types of drug treatment programs that we utilize become so important to address.
Types of Drug Rehabilitation Programs- Why Change is Needed
Jane E. Brody, writer of a personal health and wellness blog for the New York Times wrote extensively about the outdated factor of drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers in this country. She spoke about how twenty-three and a half million people are addicted to drugs and alcohol, yet only about one in ten gets treatment, and even then about half of those who do get treatment are not able to stay clean for an extensive period of time.
Brody spoke extensively on the subject of outdated and no longer workable treatment methods. She spoke about treatment methods that were designed to address addiction struggles of an entirely different era that look nothing like the addictions of today. She said that:
- “According to recent examinations of treatment programs, most (treatment methods) are rooted in outdated methods rather than newer approaches shown in scientific studies to be more effective in helping people achieve and maintain addiction-free lives. People typically do more research when shopping for a new car than when seeking treatment for addiction.”
Brody also cited Columbia University quite a bit in her article. Columbia University has been known in the past for doing multiple reports on addiction and treatment, with a special intent of focusing on the flaws and error points in current logic regarding substances, both legal and illegal, and our methods to address them. It was Columbia University for example that first exposed the long swept-under-the-rug facts that Colorado drug-induced car fatalities had skyrocketed since the full and uninhibited legalization of marijuana in the state.
In the Columbia Report (which was published and broadcasted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse), the authors wrote extensively about the flaw not only in the fact that addiction is being allowed to grow so monstrously, but that our methods for addressing it, were outdated and ineffective. They said that:
- “Of those who do receive treatment, few receive anything that approximates evidence-based care. This compares with 70% to 80% of people with such diseases as high blood pressure and diabetes who do receive treatment. This report exposes the fact that most medical professionals who should be providing addiction treatment are not sufficiently trained to diagnose or treat the disease, and most of those providing addiction care are not medical professionals and are not equipped with the knowledge, skills or credentials necessary to provide the full range of effective treatments. Misunderstandings about the nature of addiction and the best ways to address it, as well as the disconnection of addiction medicine from mainstream medical practice, have undermined effective addiction treatment.”
In four sentences, it completely encompasses the core of our addiction treatment problem that our country is struggling with. While the title of the study done by Columbia University was, “Addiction Medicine: Closing the Gap Between Science and Practice,” it could very well have been titled, “Addiction Rehabilitation: Twenty-First Century Addiction, Twentieth Century Treatment Methods.”
This is just one of many groups that have pointed fingers at the flawed addiction rehabilitation community as a contributing factor to at the very least rising relapse rates if not many other factors of addiction in this country. Anne M. Fletcher wrote extensively about this issue in her book, Inside Rehab. For example, in her book, she interviewed A. Thomas McLellan, an addiction treatment researcher in Philadelphia. McLellan told Fletcher that:
- “There are exceptions, but of the many thousands of treatment programs out there, most use exactly the same kind of treatment you would have received in 1950, not modern scientific approaches.”
For the palm readers, the crystal ball gazers, and anyone with a six sense for examining the future of the addiction treatment community, our ears close to the rail lines hear the vibration of change coming in the form of how we address addiction in this country. Already, an “Alternative to the Twelve Steps” approach to addiction treatment has been gaining impressive popularity, with more nontraditional rehab approaches becoming well-liked and popular with each passing year. Furthermore, as addiction grows far and wide, affecting more demographics and more individuals across all fifty states, treatment centers that offer multiple services and far more personal approaches are lauded as being the most appreciated and successful.
Different Types of Rehabilitation
It is the belief of many now that the key to effectively tackling an addiction crisis in an individual lies in utilizing different types of rehabilitation, all under one roof of one treatment facility. Yes, as addiction has diversified and become far more widespread and affecting far more demographics and individuals, so too has the need for diversity in addiction treatment climbed. Now, the most well reputed and most successful addiction treatment centers in the country are rehab programs that offer multiple treatment solutions for addressing substance abuse. The most successful treatment centers by far are the ones that create stability and a sense of peace and freedom through addressing all aspects of addiction. Such programs accomplish this by offering treatment that is stable, effective, and, most importantly, that is varied.
No two addicts are alike, and no two addicts will respond in the exact same way to the same recovery program. This is why it becomes so important to utilize multiple treatment approaches and different modalities for addressing addiction. Some recovering individuals will recover better with a holistic approach, some prefer a Christian-based method. Some respond better to SMART Recovery while still others do appreciate the traditional, Twelve Step method. While there is no, one method that is necessarily better than others, better yet to utilize multiple approaches within one recovery center for helping people to get free from addiction rather than trying to make one program work for all of a treatment center’s clients.
New Beginnings, being that it is a multi-modality addiction treatment center, is able to combine different types of rehabilitation to assist their clients in finding their own, personal path to freedom from addiction. Call today for more information at 855-338-5916.