Does Treatment Work?
More than half of the people with lifelong substance abuse problems began their use before age 18. A Harvard study (Teng et al.) found that addiction treatment ranked among the top 10 percent of the most effective health and life saving measures from a list of over 500 medical and safety interventions.
During the last 20 years numerous studies have concluded that treatment works and that interventions with youth are one of the best investments we can make in our neighborhoods and communities.
Alan Leshner, Ph.D., concluded in a 1999 research effort that substance abuse treatment reduced drug use by 40 to 60 percent, and significantly decreases criminal activity during and after treatment.
The California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs concluded in a study in 1994 that, for every dollar invested in treatment services, taxpayers in general save seven dollars in law enforcement, public health, and crime related costs.
In recent years it has been recognized that families of chemically dependent youth need to be included in the treatment process.
For the recovery process to be effective, participation of the family is crucial. As the chemically dependent youth learns new ways of coping with life without drugs and alcohol, the family needs to be included in the information and treatment loop.
Current information in the field of chemical dependency continues to reveal that in order for parents to understand what is happening to their son/daughter during treatment, they must also understand their role as it relates to the recovery process.