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Seeking addiction treatment? Here's a road map

January 20, 2012|By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
  • The federal government has a new guide to addiction treatment that, among other things, explains the role of 12-step programs
The federal government has a new guide to addiction treatment that, among… (Wes Bausmith / Los Angeles…)

Addiction recovery facilities vary widely in approaches to treatment — not to mention in costs, resources, staffing and many other factors. Picking a place to pursue recovery isn't easy.

The federal government has stepped in to help with the creation of resource material to guide consumers in finding the right place for treatment. The free guide, available on the National Institute on Drug Abuse website or in booklet form, is called "Seeking Drug Abuse Treatment: Know What to Ask."

"Treatment options can vary considerably, and families often don't know where to begin," NIDA Director Nora Volkow said in a news release. "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 value of the booklet lies in the many recent scientific advances that have dramatically changed the nature of addiction treatment, such as the availability of new medications and research on mental-health conditions that might accompany drug dependency. Not all treatment centers have kept up with this progress.

The guide urges consumers to look for programs that offer treatments based on scientific evidence. Programs should tailor treatments to the individual and provide regular assessment. There is also information on how long treatment should last and how 12-step programs fit in.

Hard copies can be ordered by calling (877) 643-2644.

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