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Southeast Georgia Treatment Center presents Article 1 in a series of articles on Substance Abuse in the hope that our community will learn more about the addiction and recovery process. Although most people think of drug-addicted persons as those hooked on “street drugs”, addiction affects people in every strata of our society, and is highly concentrated in prescription drug abuse.

Addiction is a very private and delicate subject, occurring where you would least expect it. It may affect people from all professions including teachers, clergy, healthcare professionals, retail staff, construction & farm workers and many, many more. It affects people as young as 11 or 12 years old and extends up to and including our senior citizens.

Please read these articles carefully in order to understand the full scope of the problem. Open your hearts to understand the abuse and addiction process, and offer your hands and your resources to assist us in offering restoration of body, mind, and spirit to these individuals.

Please remember that although we appeal to you publicly, we hold all our patients in strictest confidentiality.

Southeast Georgia Treatment Center will begin accepting patients for the Registration and Physician Visit processes beginning the week of February 22nd; however, actual medication administration will not begin until around the end of March 2010.

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Article 4

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ARTICLE 4: How effective is drug addiction treatment and is it worth the cost? That is the question that many people ask. This article compares the relapse of drug addiction patients with those of other chronic diseases. Like the objective(s) of the treatment of many other diseases, the goal of addiction treatment is to restore health and return people to productive functioning in the family, workplace, and community. According to research that tracks individuals in treatment over extended periods of time, most people who get into and remain in treatment stop using drugs, decrease their criminal activity, and improve their occupational, social, and psychological functioning.

For example, methadone treatment has been shown to increase participation in behavioral therapy and decrease both drug use and criminal behavior. However, individual treatment outcomes depend on the extend and nature of the patient’s problems, the appropriateness of treatment and related services used to address those problems, the quality of interaction between the patient and his/her providers, and the patient’s support network.

Relapse rates for addiction (40% - 60%) resemble those of other chronic diseases such as Type 1 Diabetes (30% – 50% relapse), Hypertension (50% – 70% relapse), and Asthma (50% – 70% relapse). Like these other chronic diseases, however, addiction can be managed successfully.

It is worth the cost? Absolutely! Substance abuse costs our nation over one half-trillion dollars each year, and treatment can help reduce those costs. Drug addiction treatment has been shown to reduce associated health and social costs by far more than the cost of the treatment itself. Treatment is also much less expensive that its alternatives, such as incarcerating addicted persons. For example, the average cost of a full year of methadone maintenance treatment is approximately $4000 per patient, whereas the cost of a full year of imprisonment costs approximately $24,000 per inmate.

According to conservative estimates, every $1.00 invested in addiction treatment programs yields a return of between $4 and $7 in reduced drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, and theft. When savings related to health care are included, total savings can exceed costs by a ratio of 12 to 1! Major savings to the individual and to society as a whole also stem from fewer interpersonal conflicts, greater workplace productivity, and fewer d4rug-related accidents, including overdoses and deaths.

If you have questions about substance abuse and/or opioid addiction, please feel free to visit Southeast Georgia Treatment Center’s website at www.segtc.org or call the Center at 478-374-0390.