The Current State of Substance Abuse Treatment

By Alicia Bednar

Today’s substance abuse crisis has continued to grow at an alarming rate, and the public has had no choice but to become more aware of the issue as the growing numbers of affected individuals leave less space to hide. With death tolls rising, weighing the costs and benefits of the different methods of substance abuse treatment and harm reduction has become a heated debate. Specifically, the opioid crisis has become a rampant emergency in the United States; the rise of fentanyl in addition to synthetic opioids has resulted in overdose becoming the leading cause of death for adults under 50 (Szalavitz 2019, 18). Over 28,000 people died from drugs laced with synthetics such as fentanyl in 2017, compared to about 3,000 people who died from the same cause in 2013 (Szalavitz 2019, 18). Clearly, something must be done about this epidemic rather than simply pushing these individuals outside of the boundaries of society where we don’t have to think about them. It’s important when doing so to analyze controversial methods of treatment and recognize their benefits and drawbacks. How do we decide what path to take? 

Continue reading “The Current State of Substance Abuse Treatment”