Treatment for Addicts is Starting to Change
Sep 22, 2012
Traditionally, 12-step programs with no medication have been used to treat addiction, but scientists and doctors are now calling for a more medical approach to treatment.
The shift can be seen in a number of areas: the Office of National Drug ControlPolicy declared addiction a “disease of the brain,” medical schools now offer specialty substance-abuse training programs, and the federal government announced the addition of resources to help science-based treatment as well as more drugs to treat addiction. According to statistics from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 21 million Americans have a substanceabuse disorder. A Columbia University report found that 90% of people addicted to drugs other than nicotine receive no treatment while those who do are put through non-medical programs. Although much treatment occurs outside of mainstream medicine, addiction is a medical problem with effects such as brain alterations and chemical changes. One of the biggest changes in the approach to treatment is the number of new drugs available to treat drug addiction. These drugs are tools to help struggling addicts to overcome withdrawals and craving.
Learn more: Treatment, Consequences of Drug Abuse, Signs of Drug Use
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Los Angeles Times