Study Reveals: Addiction Treatment Neglected By U.S. Medical System
Jun 26, 2012
A recent report, Addiction Medicine: Closing the Gap between Science and Practice, reveals that while about seven in tenpeople with diseases like hypertension, major depression, and diabetes receive treatment, only about one in ten people who need treatment for addiction involving alcohol or other drugs receive it. Of addicts who do receivetreatment, most do not receive care that reflects the foremost scientific findings, the report reveals. This is largely because most medical professionals who should be providing treatment are not sufficiently trained to diagnose or treat addiction. Instead, they treat problems that result from addiction like accidents, unintended pregnancies, heart disease, cancers, and many other costly conditions without examining the root cause.
“There simply is no other disease where appropriate medical treatment is not provided by the health care system and where patients instead must turn to a broad range of practitioners largely exempt from medical standards,” writes Susan Foster, the principal investigator for the report. “It is time for health care practice to catch up with the science, she continues. “Failure to do so causes untold human suffering and is a wasteful misuse of taxpayerdollars.”
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The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University