Edited by Robert J. Brent
Chapter 3: Cost–Benefit Analysis of Drug Abuse Treatment
William S. Cartwright* 1 Introduction In 2004, 19.1 million Americans, or 7.9 percent of the population aged 12 or older, were current illicit drug users (SAMHSA, 2005). Among these users, drug addiction becomes a serious problem for the individual, family, and society and requires treatment. Drug addiction is a serious mental health disease that involves cognitive, behavioral, and physiological factors that lead to misuse of a drug, although harmful consequences are observed for the individual. In chronic addiction, the brain also undergoes changes that are hypothesized to cause high relapse rates after abstinence. Drug abuse treatment requires the patient to participate in a therapeutic process over a varying length of time in order to learn how to maintain abstinence, and multiple episodes of treatment are often required. While in treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy is used to break old patterns of thinking and develop new skills to avoid drug use and criminal behavior. Drug abuse treatment involves assessment into the appropriate intensity of treatment which is then followed by a tailoring of services to fit individual need. Drug abuse treatment involves a number of specialty programs such as outpatient treatment, methadone maintenance, residential care, therapeutic communities, and after-care programs. Treatment programs will provide case management services to assist patients in negotiating medical services, other behavioral health services, and social services that are available in the community to assist in improving health and returning to normal social function. Effectiveness is usually measured in outcomes related to abstinence and to reduction in criminal...
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