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Study finds mandatory addiction treatment ineffective in reducing drug use

Drug abuse is a grave problem posing a significant threat at the global level. Although doctors primarily rely on treatment options including medications and psychotherapy, a new research, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), has raised questions about the efficacy of compulsory treatment for substance use disorders (SUD) in curbing the drug use problem. In fact, ineffective treatment methods might be one of the many reasons leading to increasing number of people diagnosed with SUDs, epitomizing the United States’ current and worst drug epidemic ever.

A team of clinical researchers from Boston Medical Center (BMC) revealed that mandatory addiction treatment may not help reduce drug use. In fact, compulsory procedures supervised by justice system that involve court services and enrollment to a rehab center, which are often carried out without the user’s consent, may be considered as human rights violation and this whole ordeal can have an undesirable impact on drug users.
Dr. Bulat Idrisov and Dr. Karsten Lunze from the Clinical Addiction Research and Education Unit at BMC and Boston University School of Medicine partnered with researchers in Canada and Malaysia for the analysis of the global data.

Certain treatment centers may not be effective in treating drug dependence

According to the researchers, many countries are not equipped with the necessary and effective diagnostic as well as therapeutic methods, which largely contributes to their inability to treat SUDs. It calls for the need to replace mandatory treatment with voluntary and evidence-based methods in order to ensure reduced rates of SUDs. Various strategies suggested by previous studies, such as community-based opioid treatment, including buprenorphine and methadone and harm-reduction programs such as needle exchanges, as well as awareness initiatives focusing on overdose medications such as naloxone, might also help countries in addressing drug dependence among their people, said the scientists.

“There is no evidence that these centers are effective in treating drug dependence,” said the authors. “Rather, detention in such centers often leads to the denial or inadequate provision of medical care,” they added.

Addiction to drugs can have devastating consequences

An addiction to substances is a complex condition. It takes a toll on the user’s psychological and physical well-being and can turn a happy life to a devastating one. Compulsive substance use affects the way the brain functions, hence, a regular use of drugs may result in a number of psychiatric conditions.

An effective treatment of addiction essentially involves both medications and therapies. The treatment must always begin with a detox therapy which helps a patient eliminate all the toxins that may have accumulated over the months or years due to substance use. A detox program readies the patient for the process of recovery from addiction by taking care of the withdrawal symptoms and risk of relapses.
A detox therapy can be carried out at an inpatient treatment facility or on outpatient basis. An inpatient treatment requires the patient to enroll himself to an addiction rehab facility, whereas an outpatient treatment can be administered with prescriptions and regular visits to the doctor at a rehab facility.

Recovery road map

Addiction is an absolutely treatable disease. While a person might not admit his or her addiction to substances, it is the responsibility of his or her near ones to recognize the symptoms and seek necessary assistance. An untreated addiction is not only life-threatening for the patients, but also equally shattering for family and friends.

If a loved one or someone you know is grappling with addiction to alcohol or drugs, it’s time you seek help from one of the substance abuse treatment centers near you. The 24/7 Recovery Helpline can assist you with all the required information on drug rehab centers or alcohol abuse treatment centers. You may call us at our helpline number 855-441-4405 or chat online with one of our representatives who can guide you on the most reputed rehabilitation centers for drug and alcohol addiction in the U.S.

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