Uncategorized  |  January 21, 2016

New research from the New York Times shows that drug overdoses are driving up the death rates of young white adults in America – to rates not seen since the outbreak of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s. These statistics match data recently released from Princeton University showing a rapid rise of addiction and overdose rates among middle aged white Americans.

Now we have news – reported by NPR - that adolescents are in peril as well.  And we have a system that’s poorly structured to support their recovery.

The NPR report documents the trials of one family whose adolescent became addicted to opioid painkillers and then heroin.  The family tried every addiction treatment option available - including sending their son out of state for in-patient care.

“It was never enough,” Jennifer Weiss-Burke of Albuquerque, N.M., told a local TV reporter last year. “Thirty days here, 30 days there, maybe detox for five days.  It was never long-term, and that’s what he needed. Recovery from heroin addiction requires long-term treatment…”

He later died from an overdose.

Drug addiction was first described as a disease in the 1700s.  However, in a recent study, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse reported that addiction medicine has been largely neglected by the modern medical system.   The report states that evidence based screening, treatment and management tools that have been proven by research to be effective are rarely utilized by conventional treatment models of addiction rehab and care.

And they point to the lack of training physicians receive in the diagnosis and treatment of addiction as a major weakness in the system… leading some to call on medical schools to require training in this area of medicine.

Just what are some of the evidence based treatments shown to work for adolescents?

Family therapy is often a crucial link in a teenager’s recovery from addiction.  Effective family therapy uses family sessions to defuse negativity.   It also provides skills training in family communication, parenting,  problem solving and conflict management.

Addiction to drugs and/or alcohol can tragically alter the life trajectory of young people.  Given that fact – it is critically important that the addiction treatment community develop tools best suited to their care.

At Aware Recovery Care, we created a novel model of treatment and care developed by addiction specialists at Yale.  That model is now producing recovery rates of 79% for clients in our care.

Learn more about the addiction crisis in America and how Aware Recovery Care is successfully meeting that crisis head-on by visiting: www.awarerecoverycare.com.

Photo credit: ep_jhu via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND