Many Drug Addicts Never Receive Help They Need
No doubt millions of drug addicts need help. It is no secret that we have an abundance of individuals in the United States who need addiction treatment. In fact, in 2007, 23.2 million persons aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem. But of that estimated number, how many actually received the help they need? According to government estimates via the National Survey On Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), of the this 23 plus millions 20.8 million drug addicts (8.4 percent of the population aged 12 or older) needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem but did not receive treatment at a specialty substance abuse facility in the past year.
Roughly 2.4% of those drug addicts needing specialty addiction treatment at a drug and alcohol rehab facility actually admitted into a facility of that type. This is a huge gap. In fact, of the 20.8 million drug addicts in 2007 who were classified as needing substance use treatment but not receiving treatment at a specialty facility in the past year, only 1.3 million persons (6.4 percent) reported that they perceived a need for treatment for their illicit drug or alcohol use problem (Figure 7.7). Of these 1.3 million persons who felt they needed treatment but did not receive treatment in 2007, 380,000 (28.5 percent) reported that they made an effort to get treatment, and 955,000 (71.5 percent) reported making no effort to get treatment.
What does this all mean for drug addicts?
Well for starters there is a huge mass majority of those drug addicts that don’t think or won’t admit that there is even a problem to be dealt with. This is old news to families who are struggling to get someone they love to “see the light” through the process of addiction intervention, but may come as a shock to those who are just discovering the denial and lack of desire to change encountered when trying to help someone get their life back. To complicate matters even more, few things are as frustrating as finally getting the person you love to reach for help and be denied that help because of financial constraints, waiting lists at rehabs or detox facilities and other time related delays due to facility operation policies and funding. Discouragement and failed hope turns in to reluctance to reach for help in the future and the problem becomes even bigger and harder to solve accordingly.
With all this it is certain that more efforts need to be expended to educate those addicted about the fact that life can actually be better off drugs and alcohol than on. Further, those addicted need to be educated about the real honest solutions to addiction that do exist and are available to many. And lastly, the families of those addicted would be well advised to keep the will power energized and push through any barriers to getting the person help and be persistent enough to actually see the person admitted into a treatment center that has a proven track record of achieving sobriety and not further frustration.