Substance Abuse Treatment Falls Short

Drug overdoses are expected to become the leading cause of accidental deaths in 2014. Nationwide 23 million Americans need treatment for problems related to drug and alcohol abuse and the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence consistently serves more than 800 families per month. Five years ago, that number was about a 100. A study published this past July from Adelphi University suggests that the key to successful treatment may lie in finding new treatment methods. Here are the key findings from the study:

61 percent of mental health professionals say abstinence is their goal for the majority of their substance dependent patients

39 percent of mental health professionals say harm reduction, a strategy aimed at reducing the consequences of substance abuse, is their goal.

Traditional substance abuse programs including individual counseling, group counseling and traditional outpatient programs make up the vast majority of treatment but only 28 percent of mental health professionals think traditional outpatient programs are mostly effective.

93 percent of mental health professionals are open to new approaches to substance abuse treatment and 67 percent prefer new drug alcohol treatment programs. These programs include: cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, self-management tools, and contingency management reinforcement.

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