You CAN live a SOBER LIFE again - CALL NOW for treatment options
1-800-259-1361

Best Initiatives to Combat Drug Addiction in America

 

As many as 40 million Americans over the age of 12 may have some type of drug or alcohol addiction, according to a Columbia University study. Government costs associated with dependency total nearly $500 billion annually, and that doesn’t include employer losses from missed work days and reduced productivity, personal costs, and the emotional and financial burden on family members. While there is no instant fix, there are initiatives that may help deal with the problem in an effective way.

Expanding Treatment Options

There has been a recent push to expand treatment beyond abstinence programs. Programs specific to certain groups, such as minorities and women, tend to focus on unique concerns beyond what’s addressed with one-size-fits-all programs. People who are addicted often have underlying issues that contributed to their behavior in the first place, emphasizing the need for comprehensive programs that include:

  • Mental health evaluations and related services
  • Services for child abuse and spousal abuse victims
  • Programs that include alternative maintenance drugs

Boosting Prevention Efforts

Prevention initiatives can take many forms on federal, state and local levels. After-school activities and counseling services in neighborhoods where drug use is especially prevalent, for instance, provide adolescents and teens with constructive resources to discourage poor choices and provide preventative support.

Re-Focusing Law Enforcement Resources

There’s no denying the importance of fighting the war on drugs. However, an argument can be made for placing a greater emphasis on dangerous and violent criminals, including drug dealers and traffickers who pray on peoples’ addictions, rather than low-level offenders.

Needle Exchange and Syringe Deregulation

Initially controversial, research shows needle exchange and syringe programs can help prevent the spread of blood-borne diseases often contracted when addicts share needles without increasing drug use. In addition to preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis-C, such programs often include efforts to encourage users to enter rehab.

Combating Opioid Misuse During Pregnancy

Nearly 15 percent of pregnant women in the U.S. are prescribed opioids, pain-relieving drugs that can be highly addictive. Opioid abuse during pregnancy, often in the form of taking more painkillers than what’s prescribed, may result in severe birth defects and withdrawal syndrome in newborns. Consequently, there’s a push for the FDA to change medication recommendations for pregnant women to minimize the potential for abuse and dependency.

Over-Prescribing Prevention Measures

Thirty-four states have systems in place to combat “doctor shopping,” or the practice of visiting numerous doctors to obtain meds, that allow doctors to access online reports of patient prescription histories. The Drug Enforcement Administration has also increased efforts to shutdown so-called “pill mills,” referring to the distribution of medication for non-medical reasons.

Another important step to combating drug addiction in America is to change perceptions. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is defined as a chronic, often relapsing disease that can be affected by chemical changes in the brain; meaning it’s not so easy to quit. Successful recovery often includes a combination of efforts, ranging from the initial withdrawal to ongoing support following treatment.

Sources:

http://www.csdp.org/news/news/8steps.htm
https://www.drugabuse.gov/about-nida/legislative-activities/testimony-to-congress/2016/what-federal-government-doing-to-combat-opioid-abuse-epidemic
http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/policy-dose/2015/06/01/america-is-neglecting-its-addiction-problem

Related Articles

Jack Black Recalls Cocaine Addiction, Finds Recovery Though Acting Jack Black, while promoting his new Goosebumps movie role as an author that wrestles with his demons, recalled his own dark past with cocaine addiction. The actor and comedian revealed to Parade ma...
Are E-cigarettes Addictive? E-cigarettes have become very popular in the last few years. Many people see them as a healthier alternative to conventional smoking. Yet e-cigarettes, also known as e-cigs and smokeless tobacco, are ...
Teen Addiction – Are There Enough Treatment Resources? Addiction truly knows no age boundaries when it comes to its hold and damage. While current statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse show some areas of drug use decreasing among middle sch...
The Smallest Victim of Addiction During Pregnancy Unfortunately, the use of illicit drugs during pregnancy is not as uncommon as many individuals may think. Such abuse may include the use or misuse of prescription medication, street drugs such as her...
5 Ways To Know It’s Safe to Return To A Relationship With An Addict You have succeeded in setting boundaries between yourself and your addicted loved one. The relationship is not over, but rather “on pause” until you have witnessed sufficient progress in his or her re...
Drug and Alcohol Addiction Stats in the US and World Surveys of American teenagers and those who live in other countries throughout the world have proven that there are dramatic differences between the two groups regarding drug and alcohol addiction. Th...
What to Expect When You Enter Addiction Counseling The decision to seek help is a critical step in the recovery process. Addiction cannot be navigated alone and by enlisting the support of professionals, you can begin an individualized journey that ad...
How to Talk with a Friend About Addiction Do you have a friend that seems to be abusing drugs or alcohol? Maybe you feel they actually have an addiction? If after reading this article about the difference between habit, compulsion, and addict...
CDC Urges Limit on Prescriptions to Opioid Drugs Following a rise in lethal overdoses caused by heroin and prescription opioid drugs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released recommendations in late 2015 urging physicians to use...
The Long -Term Effects of Heroin Heroin is one of the most addictive substances in the world. In 2012, the National Survey on Drug Use estimated  that over 650,000 people in the United States had used the drug in the preceding year. ...
Ithaca Mayor Wants to Offer Heroin Injections to Public The mayor of Ithaca, NY is requesting the nation’s first supervised injection facility, where people can shoot heroin and other illegal drugs under the care of a nurse without getting into trouble wit...
5 Ways to Get Help with Alcohol Recovery I will quit drinking after my best friend’s wedding. I will quit drinking after my upcoming cruise to the Bahamas. I will quit drinking after New Year’s. Are you currently penning a book of exc...

Leave a Reply