In most cases, the goal of drug addiction or substance abuse treatment is not only to get the person to stop using drugs, but also to return them to a productive member of society. The goal of drug treatment is not only to end compulsive search and drug use, but to help the patient become a functioning family member who is able to take up employment and improve their health. Depending on the circumstances, the goal of drug treatment may also include reducing the addict’s criminal behavior.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Agency (SAMHSA) helpline at 1-800-662-4357 Information about support and treatment facilities in your area.
Additional mental health resources can be found in our National Helpline Database.
Effective drug treatments
According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, effective drug treatment should at least produce the following results:
- Reduced use of primary drugs
- Improvement of the employment function
- Improved educational status
- Improved interpersonal relationships
- Improved general health and medical status
- Improved legal status
- Improved mental health
Thus, to measure the effectiveness of drug treatment programs, one needs to consider not only the abstinence rate, but also how the patient works at home, at work and in the community.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, research shows that overall drug treatment is as effective as treating other chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Results of drug treatment programs
NIDA research shows that drug treatment programs can produce the following results:
- Reduce drug use by 40% to 60%
- 40% reduction in criminal arrests
- Methadone treatment reduces criminal behavior by 50%
- Reduces the risk of HIV infection.
- Increases employment prospects by 40%
However, the NIDA is quick to point out that individual treatment outcomes can vary widely depending on many factors, including the patient’s problems, how well the treatment program addresses these issues, and the extent to which the patient is actively involved in the treatment process.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy’s efficacy study on the treatment of the treatment protocol found that drug treatment programs work when “those who abuse drugs can be included and kept in treatment, and when other needed services can be integrated and provided with the drug treatment itself, to support customers in solving the area. ” of problems that accompany their drug use.