Truth: “It takes the typical opioid-addicted user eight years — and four to five treatment attempts — to achieve remission for a single year, according to John Kelly, a researcher and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.”
One year. Overall, the success rate of traditional rehab is less than 10%, where it was at its inception, and more importantly, where it is roughly equal to, and by some recent studies even less effective than, doing nothing. No rehab can tell you its success rate, because they do not follow up with their discharged patients. There are no regulations prohibiting them from being selective at intake (they all do it), or restricting throwing people out (they all do it), or requiring them to determine if any former patients are cured, currently clean, in relapse, or dead. If they tell you a success rate, they’re lying — a pretty awful way to start things off with people, fully at the ends of their ropes, desperate to try anything to obtain relief, who are about to be told that their chance of survival depends entirely on complete honesty — and twenty thousand dollars, that has to be paid, whether by private or public sourcing, on average, four or five times, over eight years, just to stay clean for one full year.
There isn’t even a standard course of treatment within individual rehabs, let alone for the rehab industry, unique among all medical environments. How long your treatment lasts, and what it includes, depends on what your insurance plan will pay, or how much you can pay out of pocket, and God bless ’em, most of them have financial advisers on staff to help you turn your house into collateral so you can put it on a payment plan — and then be homeless, because of the odds against success, which they lie to you about while you’re under duress from withdrawals and fear.
Any candidate talking about addressing the opioid crisis who is not fully aware of all this, and is talking about things like increasing the number of beds, or the availability of public funds to supplement treatment costs (which is very close to all candidates), is not only not up to the job, but promising to waste billions of dollars. The first step, if you’ll pardon the expression, is that right now, the United States must admit it’s powerless over its addiction crisis…