Treatment Effectiveness

Drug Treatment Programs Work

The NIDA estimates that every $1 invested in treatment programs results in a savings of $12.

Benefits of treatment include:

  • Reduced drug use
  • Reduced crime
  • Reduced violence
  • Reduced chance of getting HIV
  • Increased employment
  • Improved interpersonal relationships

Types of Treatment

Outpatient drug-free programs

The drug abuser visits the clinic at regular intervals for counseling. These programs vary considerably.

Therapeutic communities (TCs)

The drug abuser lives at the TC residence where he must live by strict rules and work for rewards. TCs are intended for those with long histories of drug dependence and criminal activity.

Short-term residential programs

These involve a 3 to 6 week hospital stay for detoxification followed by extended outpatient therapy.

Long-term residential programs

These involve a long-term hospital stay. The first few weeks the abuser undergoes detoxification, and a structured therapy program follows.

Methadone maintenance programs

These are intended for heroine addicts. Methadone is substituted for the heroine in order to wean the addict off heroine. This method may also be used for addiction to other opiates (morphine, codeine, etc.)

In general, outpatient programs are the least effective and long-term residential programs are the most effective.