Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Drug Rehabilitation Or Revolving Door?

By Benedict Carey, New York Times
ROSEBURG, Ore. — Their first love might be the rum or vodka or gin and juice that is going around the bonfire. Or maybe the smoke, the potent marijuana that grows in the misted hills here like moss on a wet stone.

But it hardly matters. Here as elsewhere in the country, some users start early, fall fast and in their reckless prime can swallow, snort, inject or smoke anything available, from crystal meth to prescription pills to heroin and ecstasy. And treatment, if they get it at all, can seem like a joke.

“After the first couple of times I went through, they basically told me that there was nothing they could do,” said Angella, a 17-year-old from the central Oregon city of Bend, who by freshman year in high school was drinking hard liquor every day, smoking pot and sampling a variety of harder drugs. “They were like, ‘Uh, I don’t think so.’ ”

She tried residential programs twice, living away from home for three months each time. In those, she learned how dangerous her habit was, how much pain it was causing others in her life. She worked on strengthening her relationship with her grandparents, with whom she lived. For two months or so afterward she stayed clean. Continue Reading


  1. The bad news is that funding to treat mental health and addictions is horrible. The good news is that because of the scarce dollars, evidence-based practices are now being promoted so that these scarce dollars can be used wisely.

    Regardless of the economic state of this country, we can't afford to be wasteful of public monies.

  2. Great Story! The important thing I take away from this is there is no tracking afterwards. We just continue to throw money at it and concentrate these clinics in Uptown with no regard as to their efficacy.

    I would challenge Shiller and her minions to show specific studies on ALL the programs here in Uptown as to whether they work or are just continuing to concentrate DRUG addicts and Alcoholics into Uptown..

  3. James is right; there’s never an excuse to waste money (at least not good ones). But in Illinois it may be the one thing the state does well. In health, education and workforce development to name just a few, the implementation of rational policies and sound practice is often stymied by the insidious self-interest of special interests.

    While individuals in these programs indeed share some responsibility for their failures, it’s vital to understand how the institutional deck is stacked against them from the start and why, from a policy perspective and a humanitarian one, it matters.

    The article made the point perfectly: “To complicate matters in Oregon, the state mandate has stirred a kind of culture clash between those who want reform — academic researchers, state officials — and veteran counselors working in the trenches, many of whom have beaten addictions of their own and do not appreciate outsiders telling them how to do their jobs.”

  4. Interesting take on the drug war.

    Personally, because of the costs of the "drug war" nationally and internationally I favor legalization and a treatment approach.

    The drug cartels are destabilizing many nations throughout the world.

    Plus by legalizing it we could take the money away from criminal syndicates and terrorists and turn it over to criminal politicians and their buddies.

    Ok, admittedly I may need to think this through a bit more.

  5. I agree Pirate. During prohibition Alcohol usage and related deaths declined for two years but then shot up to even greater numbers than before. By 1926 Alcohol related deaths had hit an all time high.

    That being said I am not sure that it would mean the end for the drug cartels. After all we seem to buy our oil from some of the sickest people in the world and that is perfectly legal.

    But imagine taking the billions and billions each year that we spend to keep drugs out of the country (It doesn't make a dent) and spending it on treatment and prevention.

    Just a thought.

    Im off...Merry Christmas all my debating pals on UU.

  6. Drug treatment rehabs include therapy and are able to spend the time working with the teens to delve deep into the causes of the emotional and behavioral problems the trouble teen may have. There are many treatment centers available in USA and provide the best treatment for drug addicted people.