BlessWorld Foundation International

Affecting the World Through Health
A Global Health Initiative

Global Health: Drug rehabilitation service



Substance misuse or addiction or drug dependence is a major public health problem worldwide. In 2012, a total of 2.8 million Canadians aged 15 and older reported symptoms consistent with major disorders and dependence on alcohol, cannabis or other drugs. Compared to other drugs (4.0%), Cannabis (6.8%) had the highest number of users in Canada. Addiction or dependence on drugs is a chronic, relapsing disorder that causes significant cost on individuals, families, businesses, communities, and nations. Individuals suffering addiction usually engage in destructive and criminal behavior.

Drug rehabilitation or drug rehab services are a collection of programs and services which involve the processes of medical or psychotherapeutic treatment for drug dependency or addiction. These drugs usually include psychoactive substances such as prescription drugs and street drugs such as cocaine, heroin or amphetamines. The overall aim of these services is to enable patients to confront their dependence on substances and discontinue use in order to improve their health, well being, quality of life and avoid the psychological, legal, financial, social, and physical consequences that result from drug abuse.

Treatment, interventions, programs and services can aid these individuals stop using addictive drugs and reduce the consequences of addictive drug use on the rest of society. They enable patients become abstinent and to improve functioning through sustained recovery by reducing drug use, improving the addict’s ability to function, and minimizing medical consequences. Various methods of treatment are used in drug rehabilitation including medication for depression, expert counseling, spiritual healing, focus groups and experience sharing.

Other treatment options include therapeutic communities, behavioral treatments, medications (e.g., methadone, levo-alph-acetyl-methadol (LAAM), or naltrexone for heroin addiction), outpatient drug free programs, hospitalization, psychiatric programs, twelve-step recovery programs, and treatment that combine two or more of these options. Providing treatment for chronic drug users is both compassionate public policy and a sound investment. For example, Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study (DATOS) in the United States found that outpatient methadone treatment reduced heroin use by 70 percent, cocaine use by 48 percent, and criminal activity by 57 percent. It also increased employment by 24 percent.

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