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Embargoed for Release: Tuesday, January 17, 2012, 9 a.m. EST

New NIDA resource helps families navigate addiction treatment options

Consumer-friendly publication will guide those struggling with addiction

A new resource, Seeking Drug Abuse Treatment: Know What to Ask, will help individuals and families struggling with addiction ask the right questions before choosing a drug treatment program. It was developed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and is available to the public free online or in hard copy through NIDA's DrugPubs service (see information below).

"Treatment options can vary considerably, and families often don't know where to begin," said NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow. "This booklet highlights the treatment components that research has shown are critical for success, to help people make an informed choice during a very stressful time."

The new publication is based on a NIDA resource describing the principles of drug addiction treatment from a research-based perspective. It recommends five helpful questions people should ask and explains what the research has found to be most effective. Specifically, the booklet explores these themes:

  • Is the program's treatment plan backed by scientific evidence?
  • Is it tailored to the individual needs of each patient?
  • Does the program assess and adapt treatment as the patient's needs change?
  • How long should the treatment take?
  • How do 12 step programs fit into drug addiction treatment?

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (PDF - 256KB) External Web Site Policy, in 2010 an estimated 22.1 million persons aged 12 years or older were classified with substance dependence or abuse in the past year (8.7 percent of the population aged 12 or older). The goal of drug abuse treatment is to stop drug use and help people return to productive functioning in the family, workplace, and community. However, keeping patients in treatment long enough to achieve that goal can be difficult. Finding the right treatment for an individual's specific needs is critical. This booklet describes available medications and evidence-based behavioral therapies; the need for comprehensive, tailored, and sustained treatment; as well as the reality of relapse and the role of community-level support.

Seeking Drug Abuse Treatment: Know What to Ask can be found online at www.drugabuse.gov/publications/seeking-drug-abuse-treatment. Hard copies can be ordered by calling 1-877-NIDA-NIH (1-877-643-2644) or by going online at http://drugpubs.drugabuse.gov.

Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research Based Guide, which is the basis of this new publication,can be found at www.drugabuse.gov/PODAT/PODATIndex.html.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world's research on the health aspects of drug abuse and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy and improve practice. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs of abuse and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found on the NIDA home page at www.drugabuse.gov.

To order publications in English or Spanish, call NIDA's DrugPubs research dissemination center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH or 240-645-0228 (TDD) or fax or email requests to 240-645-0227 or drugpubs@nida.nih.gov. Online ordering is available at http://drugpubs.drugabuse.gov. NIDA's media guide can be found at http://drugabuse.gov/mediaguide.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

NIH...Turning Discovery Into Health®

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This page last reviewed on November 13, 2013

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