Substance abuse has detrimental effects on addicts and their loved ones. It’s a significant drain on the economy due to lost productivity, health care expenses, law enforcement and criminal justice costs. Sadly, not enough people get the help they need.
With the economy facing slow but steady growth, we must be thoughtful of the types of treatment programs that are offered to addicts. Programs must be founded on evidence-based treatment approaches and also cost effective.
One thing that continues to surface is the importance of early intervention. It was once believed that addicts needed to hit “rock bottom” in order for help to be successful. While some addicts will ultimately reach this point before seeking or agreeing to help, many do not have to.
The benefits of early addiction treatment are becoming better understood. Intervening early is one of the most practical and economical ways to address substance abuse, reduce its costs to society and improve public health.
Let’s take a more detailed look at the benefits of early intervention.
More Affordable Care
Research shows that for every dollar spent on substance abuse treatment saves $4 in health care costs and $7 in law enforcement and other criminal justice costs. In other words, what is put into treatment programs has a significant return on investment.
On an individual level, the costs of early treatment are more affordable as well. An outpatient program is cheaper than an inpatient program and allows the addict to continue working and taking care of their responsibilities while seeking recovery.
Faster Recovery Times
It’s easier to recover from an addiction when it hasn’t destroyed your life. If a person is trying to get clean while also juggling child custody battles, no dependable income or health insurance and legal troubles, it’s that much harder to put the pieces back together. By intervening early, an addict can focus entirely on getting clean and sober.
Stronger Sense of Community
It’s hard for addicts to maintain their relationships when they’re abusing drugs and alcohol. The longer they do this, the more relationships they lose. Early treatment usually comes with a stronger support network, something that is invaluable to recovering addicts. Not only will close family members be in support of recovery but also neighbors, friends and coworkers.
Seeing the Future
It’s not good when addicts feel hopeless. It’s something that happens naturally as the disease progresses, but hopelessness can lead to giving up. Early intervention prevents addicts from feeling completely lost. If they see that they can get their lives back on track, save their jobs and their families and lead a normal life, they are more likely to accept help and complete treatment.
If you or someone you love is dealing with substance abuse, don’t wait until the problem is severe. Help is available in all different forms, and seeking it early on is the best thing you can do. Call The River Source to learn more about our intensive outpatient program. All calls are 100% confidential!