Most drug addiction statistics are problem focused. Let’s consider some that are solution focused.
Here is a big one, considering that the dominant solution in our country these days is to send people to a 12 step program:
Almost 80 percent of every person who attends their first AA meeting will leave the fellowship within a year and never come back.
Who said that? AA did. It was in their commentary on their census data, comprising a few decades worth of statistics about people coming into 12 step meetings. That is straight from AA work services. Pretty scary numbers, when you consider that our constant solution is to push people towards the 12 step program.
If almost 80 percent leave and never come back, then what does that say about the overall success rate of these programs? If you attend the meetings on a regular basis, you will see that many of those who attend stay clean and sober, but a good chunk of them are constantly relapsing, then coming back, then relapsing, then coming back. It is an endless cycle for many of them and so obviously they might be better served by an alternative program as well.
The statistics also say that nearly everyone will be affected by drug addiction in some way, whether it is affecting you directly, or if a close friend or family member will suffer from addiction. At some point in your life it is bound to be an issue, even if it not you yourself that is addicted. So it makes sense to learn a bit more about and it and be prepared for it. Unfortunately, there is not a whole heck of a lot of help out there for the afflicted.
Treatment is horribly expensive. And ineffective. Our best treatments are 12 step based rehab centers that simply clean addicts up and push them into 12 step groups (which are free, or self supporting by the way). Understand that this is the best solution we have right now, and it is a colossal failure.
Sure there are some people who find success in the 12 step program. But they are but a fraction of a fraction of all the addicts and alcoholics out there. Remember, 80 percent leave the program and never return. Of those who remain, many are chronic relapsers.
If you explore this site you will see that I push for a better solution. A more comprehensive, more powerful, holistic solution. I think that ultimately that is the answer and that is where treatment is headed in the coming years.