Long-Term Opiate Addiction Cost to Society
“It is estimated that at least 980,000 people in the United States are currently addicted to heroin and other opiates … It is estimated that 5,000-10,000 IDUs (injection drug user) die of drug overdoses every year. Many are involved with the criminal justice system.” – Centers for Health & Disease (CDC)
The costs of drug addiction are not limited to medical costs of treatment estimated at over 30 billion, expenses for counseling and financial problems as the user re-enters family and society. There are other costs difficult to put a price tag on. For instance, how do you equate in dollars the cost of broken families, increased disease transmission and increased crime rate in vulnerable communities?
Opiate addiction is a scourge requiring attention because of the pervasive damage to the individual, the family, and society. The issues and backgrounds of opiate users are varied so logically, treatment should be personalized. The biological basis and complexity of issues are taken into consideration with the hope that the user gets re-integrated into family and society. Other issues go much deeper: opiates, especially injectables are associated with HIV, hepatitis and other transmitted diseases, suicides, criminality and at-risk pregnancies.
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Basis of Treatment
In the past, the most effective treatments were dose and duration-dependent. However, modern protocols like Waismann Method treatment based on rapid detox are able to cut down the duration of treatment with impressive rates of success.
Prescription drugs, when used in proper dosage, pose very little danger for addiction. Opiates reaching the brain block pain and stimulate the pleasure receptors: two reasons why opiates are highly addictive and primarily why those taking prescription drugs are at risk. The downside is depression of the respiratory system which accounts for the majority of accidental death among users.
While other rehabilitation and detoxification centers substitute a form of an opioid to block the receptors, Waismann Method treatment does not use any opiate replacement drugs. Another hallmark of the Waismann Method is it cuts suffering during detox. In fact, because it is done under deep sedation, the patient has no recollection about the procedure as he/she wakes up sans opioids in the system.
Those who have undergone violent withdrawal symptoms or long-term opioid replacement therapy find it hard to believe that an effective and safe rapid detox is possible. Thousands of dependents and abusers have turned their lives around and wake up to a new day without strong cravings for a fix after successfully going through the Waismann Method treatment. Most of these patients remain drug-free one year after initial treatment. However, much of the success is dependent on completion of the total program from rapid detox, a brief stay at a Domus facility and counseling.
Preventing relapse during the recovery process is difficult but not impossible. It requires a holistic perspective and an analysis of issues on why drugging started in the first place.