An extensive, critical overview of modern treatment methods for substance abuse.
Health and medical writer Fletcher (Weight Loss Confidential: How Teens Lose Weight and Keep It Off—and What They Wish Parents Knew, 2008, etc.) conducted interviews with patients and the administrators and staff of addiction programs, visiting more than a dozen such programs (both residential and outpatient). The author challenges the notion that an addict is powerless to overcome an addiction on his or her own or with minimal professional counseling. She found that little had changed since 2002, when her book Sober for Good was published. At that time, more than 90 percent of U.S. rehab facilities were based on the 12-step method pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous. Today, the figure is similar, despite evidence that “the twelve-step approach isn't for everyone, and many people overcome addiction using other methods.” Even patients who relapse several times are offered no alternative treatment options. Fletcher documents the many difficulties facing addicts in regard to receiving replacement medications, and among other surprising conclusions, she found little significant difference in the quality of care offered at high-end celebrity rehab centers and those at the low end of the economic spectrum. For those looking for a structured program, Fletcher includes tips on how to choose the best fit and check out facilities, including anecdotes and advice garnered from people who report having benefited from programs and others whose experiences were not positive.
A valuable guide for individuals seeking help and for their families, as well as for policymakers.