A detailed study of women in treatment for drug addition in England shows a 19 percent fall in the number of adult females under 30 entering heroin programmes over the last five years – 1,000 fewer female addicts than in 2005. The fall is even sharper – 26 percent – for the 18-25 age-group, providing further evidence that the heroin epidemic of previous decades may have peaked.
Although part of the trend was offset by rising numbers of cocaine and crack addicts seeking
treatment over the same period, the numbers of women entering treatment in the under 30 age
group fell by nearly nine per cent in four years.
The study also showed that at the same time the numbers of women problem drug users
successfully leaving treatment having overcome their addiction almost doubled. In addition, the
number of women dropping out of treatment has fallen by well over a third in four years.
The study by the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse (NTA) also highlights:
- While women start using drugs at the same age or slightly older than men, they are more adept at seeking help for themselves and tend to come into treatment earlier
- Cocaine is the fastest growing treatment need among women drug users, accounting for a 55 per cent increase in new entrants since 2005
- The number of women entering treatment for crack dependency has increased by 14 percent since 2005
- Almost two-thirds of women entering treatment are mothers, nearly half of whom have a child living with them. The data indicates that treatment outcomes for mothers are stronger than those who were not parents.
“These findings demonstrate how thousands of women have successfully obtained drug treatment and recovered through it,” said Rosanna O’Connor, NTA director of delivery. “Treatment is the first step on the road to recovery, so it is encouraging that women tend to seek help of their own volition, enter treatment earlier before their drug misuse has become entrenched and frequently achieve better outcomes sooner. Treatment provides the opportunity for individuals to get better, for families to stabilise, and for children to be looked-after at home.”
Related: Research on the Brain and Behavior on Addiction – University Research on Improving Addiction Treatment – Alcohol is a Major Cause of Drug Rehab Admissions
Remaking Promises by Alexa Hyland
Promises Treatment Centers became famous for its Hollywood clientele, including starlets Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan.
Promises charges $38,500 for a 90-day stay at its West L.A. facility, while treatment at its Malibu location – with panoramic views of the ocean and perfectly manicured lawns – starts at $54,500 for a 31-day stay.
Sack then turned his attention to improving the centers’ treatment programs. He started a service program where patients volunteer with organizations such as homeless veteran projects while they are being treated. He upgraded the staff and contracted with more licensed professionals who provide care in a wider range of areas, including post-traumatic stress disorder, sex addiction and other compulsive disorders.
Susan Blacksher, executive director of the California Association of Addiction Recovery Resources, said Sack is making the program better by not just treating a patient’s drug and alcohol issues.
“More and more, people of good programs are dealing with the entire person,” Blacksher said, “including an assessment of any underlying medical or psychiatric needs that could interfere with a person’s ability to stay with a commitment of a more sober lifestyle.”
A big part of Sack’s efforts have been focused on improving Promises’ follow-up care, which he said will help patients remain sober and allow staff members to better track information such as relapse rates.
Promises started setting goals for discharged patients. They are now held responsible for attending 12-step meetings, finding a group home and sponsor, and remaining sober.
He said the most recent data shows that 79 percent of Promises’ alumni were continuously sober for 90 days. The national relapse rate for that period is 40 percent to 60 percent, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Obviously the luxury addiction rehabilitation centers are out of the price range of most people. But the basic rehab strategies are the same as many other centers.
Related: Betty Ford Center – Rehab Center Reality Check – Should Rehab be Enjoyed?