STAT - Reporting from the frontiers of health and medicine

STAT - Reporting from the frontiers of health and medicine

If 85% of those who do not relapse within 5 years continue to be drug-free, what percent of addicts reach that benchmark? If 5% of addicts stay in recovery for 5 years, and only 85% of those remain drug-free, then only about 4% of addicts benefit from addiction care. Perhaps it should be acknowledged that the overwhelming majority of addicts will not recover no matter what we do. What if we moved to a vastly cheaper program of “harm mitigation”? Anyway, I am not seeing any attention to prevention. I have never understood what outcome a person anticipated in the few minutes before committing the first act of becoming an addict. Shortly they are incurable addicts, racking up arrests, poverty, degradation, diseases … and all the other consequences of drug addiction. What did they think was going to happen? Anyone can tell that in 6 months after you addict yourself, you will be breaking into your grandmother’s home to steal her TV and dead husband’s wedding ring. So why do people even start? Let’s work to prevent it. Treatment after the fact clearly does not work.



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