Treatment Reform – Fixing the Broken System

I think one of the first transitions we need to make when addressing treatment reform is our approach to addicts. This MinnPost article discusses Hazelden’s shift to adopt the CRAFT model, which is a far more empathetic approach than many and has shown to increase the chances that someone will seek treatment. The NYT article directly below it discusses the idea that meeting people with love, empathy and compassion can be life saving and doesn’t have to be seen as enabling.

Sometimes the third time is the charm, and sometimes it’s not. The point is, whether recovery and sobriety took after our first treatment or it took several, or we’re still going through it, recovery is a journey, and not always a linear one. Take a read below to learn what barriers people face during treatment and the importance of persistence on the part of the addict as well as their loved ones.

Another issue that we see so often with America’s current treatment system are numerous unethical practices when it comes to treatment admissions. Buyer Beware looks deeper into admission practices and let’s you know what to watch out for and be weary of when seeking treatment for yourself or a loved one.

We talk a lot about evidence based treatment – but what happens when treatment is proven effective and we don’t give people access to it? Airline pilots and doctors have bene given access to treatment that has success rates of 84% at five years and 92% at two years respectively due to the use of HIMS and rigorous drug testing (more information in the Hazelden Voice issue below). From the article:

The good news is that pilots who complete a prescribed and comprehensive rehabilitation program have achieved high rates of recovery. According to professionals in the field, about 92-95 % of pilots who go through an extensive rehabilitation process – called the Human Intervention and Motivation System (HIMS) remain sober two years later.

There are five basic steps in the HIMS Program

1.  Identification of the chemically dependent pilot

2. Evaluation for Chemical Dependency

3. Primary Treatment

4. Aftercare

5. Continuing Support and Monitoring (drug tests)

These programs are not available to the general public (though they should be), but we should be doing our best to replicate them. Read more:

In addition to the evidence based practices mentioned above, family case management & monitoring is an effective practice for recovery. Read more: