Services Helping Drug Addicts And Their Mental Health
Investment in drug addiction treatment is a topic that ruffles a few feathers in UK society. Some see the need for programs and rehabilitation centers, while others see them as a waste of money and would rather hair drug test every addict to screen them for any kind of government benefit.
Some drug addicts are either viewed as patients with mental health issues or a valid recipient of real medical care and emotional support.
Others are seen as people that made poor life choices and should now have to deal with the consequences.
The NHS has a sector devoted to drug abuse and its treatment options called the National Treatment Agency for Substance Abuse.
They are keen to highlight the worth of substance abuse services in three key areas: individual care, communities, and society.
The Importance Of Substance Abuse Treatments For The Individual
It is easy to forget the damage that can be inflicted on the body of a drug addict – it can all depend on the drugs used and the severity of the addiction. There are some health conditions related to drug use. Many are severe, and many can go under the radar.
- Smoking drugs can lead to cardiovascular disease and lung damage
- Injectors can deal with muscle and skeletal problem
- Liver damage is not uncommon in substance abuse
- Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders can also occur.
The Importance Of Drug Addiction Treatment On Communities
The focus on communities and society is important because it is easy for critics to forget about the positive changes in their backyard. Drug addicts can’t be swept under the rug and left to suffer. The actions of a drug addict have an impact on close relatives and neighbors – potentially leading to criminal behavior and family breakdowns. This can then have a wider impact on the community.
The community and the area in which an addict lives can also play a significant role in their condition. Crack and heroin addiction is higher in urban areas. Also, the 1,200,000 plus people affected by addiction in their families are from poorer areas.
Drug addiction services can reduce the number of injectors, which means a drop in the number of needles being shared. Testing for HIV reduces the risk of it being passes on to others. There is also the chance that those getting treatment may be able to get off the streets, and be less at risk of re-offending. Welfare dependence could also drop.
The Importance Of Drug Addiction Treatment On Society Overall
The stumbling block for many critics of drug treatment programs and spending is the cost to society and the taxpayer.
Statistics from the National Treatment Agency for Substance Abuse’s “Why Invest” booklet state that drug abuse costs the NHS £488m a year.
However, the cost of drug-related crime was estimated at £13.9bn.
There is also the claim that drug treatment services can cut 95,000 offenses in the main cities.
Burglaries, theft, muggings, shop robberies and shoplifting decrease significantly in towns with an active drug addiction services. They also claim that the NHS was able to save £230m by admitting addicts to drug treatment programs.
Treatment programs can reduce the risk of further health complications that will require treatment in the future. They can also reduce the need for ambulance call-outs, which can be a major problem when it comes to money and resources.
Society, Addicts, Authorities And Drug Addiction Services Need To Focus On The Bigger Picture
Treating substance abuse is about more than managing the user. Each patient deserves the time and attention they need to recover, but there are also these sociological aspects to consider.
The bigger picture of the impact of drug addiction on society in the UK means that agencies need to work together. Addition support and general improvements in health care cannot be down to the National Treatment Agency for Substance Abuse alone.
The police, NHS, mental health services, housing agencies, social services, employment schemes, and counselors must all play their part.
Drug addiction treatment in the UK is a big problem with a lot of connects issues and concerns. It is not something that can be masters overnight, but statistics show that it is heading in the right direction. By focusing on the right that these drug addiction services are doing – especially to society and poor communities – it is easier to showcase their worth.