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Fighting Addiction - The Necessity of Rehabilitation

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Having an addiction to drugs or alcohol can destroy a person’s life, and all too often is does. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) ‘World Drug Report 2012,’in North America around 1 out of every 20 deaths among people aged from 15 to 64 are drug-related. Even if death is not the final outcome, the experience of having an addiction to fuel can ruin a person’s life, and often leave them emotionally and mentally scarred. Overcoming an addiction is hard, and can be too hard for some people to achieve, but with the help of drug rehab centers that support people while they withdraw from drugs and alcohol a life free from addiction is possible.

The UNODC estimates that in 2010, one fifth of all problem drug users across the globe received treatment for their dependence on illicit substances. That same year somewhere between 100,000 and 250,000 people died because of illicit drug use, deaths which were premature and preventable. While people are breaking the law by buying and using illicit drugs, the international community is now becoming less concerned with handing punishment for the crime being committed, and more concerned with getting people off drugs for good. The ‘World Drug Report 2012’ stated that, ‘There is growing recognition that treatment and rehabilitation of illicit drug users are more effective than punishment.’

Treatment over Punishment

Drug rehabs can now be found across the world, and methods of treatment have developed significantly over recent years. Extra government support and a shift from perceptions of ‘drugs addicts are criminals’ to ‘drug addicts need help’ has helped increase the acceptance of treatment and rehabilitation as an alternative to punishment. Once people have successfully stopped taking drugs and begin to live and more fulfilling and productive life, they are advocates for why getting off drugs can literally change your life, and often save it too. Drugs and alcohol not only cause immense pressure and slowly destroy your internal organs, but they stunt appetite and deprive your body of the essential nutrients and exercise it needs. If left untreated, drug and alcohol addiction invariably ends with death, more commonly through overdose or an accident caused by intoxication.

Infectious Diseases

Drug use not only ravages the human body, because addicts lose concern for the health in favor of their next hit, but also opens the door for a variety of infectious diseases if drugs are injected. UNODC estimates that around 16 million problem drug users inject narcotics, and of them around 3 million are HIV positive. Also, almost 50% of drug users who inject are thought to be infected with the hepatitis C, and just under 15% are infected with hepatitis B. All of these diseases need to be controlled and treated if infected persons want to live as healthy a life as possible, but while they are taking drugs medical help is often disregarded by them, and medical practitioners are reluctant to help unless they come off drugs. Treatment and rehabilitation is the first port of call for addicts who want to get clean and start receiving medical attention for infections that they are suffering from.

Different Types of Drug Rehab

There are a variety of different programs which specialize in rehabilitating drug addicts. Residential treatment, where an addict is kept in a center much like if they were being treated in a hospital, is just one of them. Others include support groups, addiction counseling, extended care centers, and special recovery houses. There are some drug rehab centers that offer programs which are gender or age specific too. All of these treatment and rehabilitation methods can be used to help an addict recover, so if one is unsuccessful try another.

Getting Clean and Staying Clean

If you are an addict, or a friend or family member is, then getting yourself or them into a drug rehab center can be the hardest part of the whole rehabilitation process. It often takes court hearing where the offender is sentenced to a period of rehabilitation, or an intervention where an addict is confronted and left with little choice but to accept that treatment is essential. Despite the difficulty, the most important thing is to start treatment, before it is too late.