Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Creating Effective Drug Treatment Programs

Government funded drug prevention initiatives in the United States have lagged behind Government spending on drug control.   For some time now, the United States has been investing tens of billions of dollars per year in an attempt to manage drug trafficking and the use of illicit drugs.  Most of the focus has been on implementing harsher penalties and stricter enforcement measures.   Studies by the non-profit RAND corporations' Drug Policy Research Center (DPRC), amongst other research institutes, have revealed that more emphasis should be placed on on-going drug prevention programs.

In particular, school-based initiatives are shown to be most effective.  It's important to recognize that the implementation of drug prevention programs will not solve pre-existing drug problems throughout America.  However, if they are properly introduced throughout the entire school system and consistently maintained, these initiatives do have the potential to minimize future drug problems.

One of the challenges is keeping up with the evolving nature of drug use.   Illicit drugs that are extremely popular in one era are not necessarily going to be the most popular drugs in a new era. Consequently, any drug prevention program must also evolve and keep up with the current trends to ensure maximum benefits.

The growing trend in addiction to legal drugs must also be considered in any drug prevention program.   Addiction to prescription medications and the scourge of alcoholism are never far from the headlines throughout the United States.  Over the recent years, more frequently high profile celebrities and other well know personalities are losing their live to these legal drugs, with Whitney Houston one of the most recent victims.  Given that prescription medication and alcohol are legal, many people do not view them in the same way as illegal drugs. However, they can be equally dangerous and addictive.  Consequently, they must be considered in any drug prevention program.

While society will always have problems with drug addiction, there are opportunities to change the pervading nature of drug abuse and create a brighter future.   Through better education and support programs, such as those offered by the Coleman Institute, with it's emphasis on detox of opiates, alcohol, benzodiazepines, methadone, and suboxone, it is possible to start shifting the emphasis toward preventative measures.

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