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Why Does Forced Addiction Treatment Fail?

A topic of interest surrounding addiction treatment has been involuntary drug treatment or IDT. Does it work? Is it effective? What are the repercussions or risks? Many questions surround this avenue of treatment, and yet the conversations and popularity continues to grow, with 37 states having legalized for concerned people, police officers, and parents to petition courses to force individuals to undergo addiction treatment. We are all eager to help, but is this the correct path concerned individuals should be taking? Before we go into the results when IDT is put into action, we must first explore why it’s even necessary to recommend involuntary treatment.

Why Do Individuals Not Seek Addiction Treatment Themselves?

  1. They Don’t Believe They Need Treatment, Nor Do They Believe They Have A Problem
    In other words, denial is a barrier for many individuals dealing with drug addiction. What may be obvious to you, loved ones, co-workers, or any other outside individual or unbiased party just might not align with the individuals own distinction. Navigating such instances is difficult but traditional therapies can be a great outlet to discover the need for treatment and assistance. You can try tactics such as these, but, as we’ll discover in the second most common reason, if the individual does not want to quit, denial might just be an excuse.
  2. They Don’t Want To Stop Using Drugs
    In some cases, an addictive client will truly believe they do not have an issue with an addiction, but often denial can be an excuse for the simple fact that they don’t want to stop using drugs. It’s what makes addiction treatment so challenging. At the root of these addictive behaviors are receptors and signals in the brain which simulate and induce some level of pleasure. Drugs are meant to make users want and crave them more, and once habitual use has set in, it will take a pivotal moment for addicted individuals to recognize there is a need for change and to finally take action. Even at that point, there is still one more common barrier left.
  3. They Don’t Know How To Get Help Or How To Ask For Help
    Imagine you’re there, you’ve acknowledged the presence of addiction, and concerns have finally outweighed the addictive drugs overbearing hold, but what comes next? Many individuals struggle in this stage, whether by knowledge barrier, a fear of committing to the next step, or feeling a sense of shame and worry to ask for help.
  4. They Are Afraid of the Withdrawal and Detox Process
    Many fear how they will feel physically, mentally, and emotionally from the withdrawal and detox process. The fear of experiencing uncomfortable symptoms associated with drug and alcohol withdrawal and detox causes individuals to not get help. Most symptoms are bearable and will resolve within the first several days of discontinued use with medical supervision.

If you’ve experienced any or all of these throughout your life, know that you or your loved one is not alone, and these are only the most common reasons why individuals do not seek treatment for themselves, but it is pivotal that the individual decides when they are ready to commit to a life of sobriety and when that moment comes, true healing and change can finally take place.

Why Does Forced Addiction Treatment Fail?

There are many layers to addiction. The chemical focuses are paramount, manipulating brain function and supplanting roots towards underlying measures which make the act of weaning off from drugs more and more difficult. The drugs chemical effects are thusly treated with medication of their own chemical constructs to combat the drugs effect but what about the other factors of addiction; societal, psychological, situational, and personal, there is a mindset that must be built in, strengthened, cultured, and readied for change to combat these compounding layers. Medications, detox, the greatest doctors, facilities and support can take an individual a long way, but will only go as far as the individual allows themselves to be taken. This truths are an accepted regard on forced addiction treatment and IDT, but this is no theory or opinion.

Two recent studies concluded that involuntary drug treatment had substantial drawbacks to outcomes of clients with voluntary commitment for addiction treatment. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health conducted a study in 2016 detailing those clients who committed involuntarily to addiction treatment had an increased potential for opioid-related overdoses when measured against those who committed themselves voluntarily.

Another study in 2016 from the International Journal of Drug Policy also produced evidence that involuntary drug treatment did not succeed in helping clients reaching their sobriety.

If Forcing Addiction Treatment Isn’t The Answer, What Is?

It may be understood now that there are limitations of success in forced addiction treatment, but these are still individuals whose lives are on the line and to sit idly by is not the answer. If you or a loved one is hesitant, unsure, or concerned in anyway about a potential for drug addiction, you should reach out to Long Island Center for Recovery for a Private Consultation Call (800) 344-5427. All information is kept confidential and our staff is willing to help and educate any interested parties to better their life and well-being in relation to addiction.

With that established, the industry is also working on areas of improvement surrounding the conversation of forced addiction treatment, one of which is Evidence-based treatment. The greater amounts of exposure individuals have to trustworthy statistics, data, and information surrounding their addiction could help bypass those most common reasons for not seeking out voluntary addiction treatment and having individuals push for their own sobriety earlier and more often.

We hope you found this information helpful, and if you need any additional assistance, or know someone in need, please reach out to us at 800-344-5427, and we’d be happy to assist you or your loved ones in any way possible.

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