Commentary by Dr. Tom McLellan: Getting Past the Stigma and Treating Addiction as a Chronic Disease

“According to the Food and Drug Administration’s standards for effectiveness, there are presently four prevention interventions, five medications and more than a dozen behavioral therapies that can be called effective in preventing, intervening early and managing substance use disorders.

We know the best outcomes are achieved when the disease is identified and intervened upon early in its trajectory. But even serious, chronic cases can be treated effectively. Self-managed, continuing recovery can, and should, be the expectable outcome from all addiction treatments.

Yet many physicians and counselors have never even heard of these medications or of many other “evidence-based” behavioral interventions and most were never trained in how to manage substance use disorders. Many specialty addiction treatment programs are not staffed to provide anything other than basic group counseling. Other programs are not licensed or funded to provide these more effective but more costly therapies and medications. And still, other programs refuse to provide them on ideological grounds. For example, there are currently three FDA-approved medications for the treatment of opioid addiction, yet less than 30 percent of addiction treatment programs offer addiction medications, and less than half of the eligible patients in those programs ever receive them.”

http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/addiction/commentary-getting-past-the-stigma-and-treating-addiction-as-a-chronic-disease?utm_source=Join%20Together%20Daily&utm_campaign=352b19c266-JT_Daily_News_Getting_Past_the&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_97f4d27738-352b19c266-221281549

Source: DrugFree.org - July 19, 2013

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