Highly Effective Drug Treatment Starts with the Brain
FACTS ABOUT DRUG ABUSE
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 9 out of 10 people who need substance abuse treatment do not get it. According to the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA), drug related deaths have more than doubled since the early 1980’s, There are more deaths, illnesses, and disabilities from substance abuse than from any other preventable health condition. Today, one in four deaths is attributable to alcohol, tobacco or illicit drug use. Relapse rates for addictive diseases usually are in the range of 50% to 90%; however, these rates vary by definition of relapse, severity of addiction, addictive drug, length of treatment, and elapsed time from treatment discharge to assessment, as well as other factors (Adolescent Illicit Drug Use-Understanding and Addressing the Problem 2005).
For example, under traditional care, at one year after stopping opiates, there is an 85% chance of relapse. According to NIDA, “Addiction changes brain circuitry, making it hard to “apply the brakes” to detrimental behaviors. In the non-addicted brain, control mechanisms constantly assess the value of stimuli and the appropriateness of the planned response. Inhibitory control is then applied as needed. In the addicted brain, this control circuit becomes impaired because of drug use and loses much of its inhibitory power over the circuits that drive responses to stimuli deemed salient.” In other words, altered brain chemistry is the root of the problem. Any treatment that fails to normalize brain chemistry has little chance of success..