July 27th, 2010
Physician Health Programs (PHP) are reporting an astonishing success rate when it comes to providing addiction treatment for addicted doctors:
Only about 20% of doctors ever test positive after being admitted to the program within a 5 year period.
More than 70% maintain their license and continue working within the same 5 year period.
These are the kind of addiction treatment results we want!
I’ve been saying for a long time that I believe in the theory promoted by Dr. McLellan, who until recently was the deputy-director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Doctor McLellan promotes a long-term view of addiction treatment, more like a chronic disease than anything that can be cured in a few visits (although this view only holds for some addicts).
I’ve also known for a while that the American Medical Association is supposed to be having great success at addiction treatment for addicted doctors. I’ve been meaning to contact someone at the AMA to find out how they did it. Now I don’t need to thanks to this recent bit of addiction research.
Addiction research on treatment for addicted doctors
A recent research article surveyed the vast majority of PHP’s and found that, not surprisingly, the things that we know work in addiction treatment do indeed produce results. The solution may not be easy, but it’s pretty simple:
- Early detection and assessment brings the addicted doctor, their family members, colleagues, and employers together. Getting the problem out in the open early makes it easier to deal with than having to be secretive about it. The doctors get an option, leave the profession or sign up for a 5 year treatment program to deal with their addiction.
- Formal addiction treatment using the most appropriate and effective treatment centers- In contrast to our criminal justice addiction pipeline, the majority of physicians (69%) receive 90 day residential treatment, while the rest receive intensive outpatient treatment. The PHPs also receive frequent status reports on each physician in treatment to assure adherence. To find treatment that works, use our Rehab-Finder.
- Long-term support and monitoring- After treatment, the physicians continue with aftercare that includes 12-step support, regular counseling meetings, and monitoring that includes random drug testing.
That’s it! So simple yet so effective.
As addiction research continues to improve, I’m sure we’ll be able to bring these numbers up even higher than the 70% success rate currently reported. Still, you have to admit, 70% is amazing!!!
So if you want to know how to stop drinking and drugging, do like the doctors do and commit to long-term addiction treatment.
There are obvious differences between most addicts and the doctors in these programs (most people don’t have such a clear distinction between losing their livelihood and getting help), but the solution is most likely very similar.
More proof we need more money for addiction treatment:
We need to press our representatives to increase funding for addiction treatment and addiction research so that we can find the most efficient, yet effective, way to offer this kind of addiction treatment to the general population. By reducing the problems, we’d be able to cut into the $500 Billion a year drag addiction is putting on our economy. The effort will pay back for itself in no time.
DuPont, R.L., Carr, G., Gendel, M., McLellan, A.T., Skipper, G.E. (2009). How are addicted physicians treated? A national survey of physician health programs. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 37, 1-7.
|Posted in: Drugs, Education, Tips, Treatment
Tags: addicted, addicted doctor, addicted doctors, addiction, addiction research, alcohol problems, chronic disease, doctors, drug use, long-term treatment, McLellan, physician health programs, research, treatment, treatment addicted doctors
July 13th, 2009
In looking up some numbers for a recent post I put up on TakePart, I uncovered some amazing addiction and drug abuse statistics (most from 2007, so they’re probably higher by now).
Addiction statistics highlights:
- Slightly more than half of Americans surveyed indicated that they are current drinkers (I thought it’d be higher) – Meaning there were about 126 million drinkers in the country. About 57.8 million had consumed more than 5 drinks in one sitting in the month prior to the survey.
- It is estimated that more than 30 million people in the US meet criteria for some addictive disorder including drug addiction, sex addiction, gambling addiction, and food addiction (added from SAMHSA statistics about individual addictions)!!
- More than 15 million of those are only dependent on alcohol!!
- The next drug on the list is, you guessed it, marijuana with 3.9 million dependent individuals!!!
- Of the more than 23 million individuals who needed drug treatment, only 10% sought help (2.4 million).
- The most staggering of all numbers – The cumulative estimated cost of addictive behavior (including overeating) in the United States = $500 Billion!!! Almost half of our current budget deficit!!!
I don’t know about you, but these numbers leave me a little in awe of just how big this problem really is. Given some of the other treatment-cost posts I’ve written (see here), I once again reiterate the notion that if we shifted our focus to drug-treatment, we’d save lives and money all at the same time.
|Posted in: Drugs, Education, Food, Opinions, Sex
Tags: about addiction, addiction drugs, addiction research, alcohol and drug abuse, alcohol problems, american drug abuse, cocaine addict, drug abuse statistics, drug dependence, drug use patterns, marijuana addictive, marijuana use, meth abuse, substance abuse, teens and drugs