New Hampshire Trying to Get Another ‘Recovery Center’. Will It Help?
In the Lakes Region of Laconia, New Hampshire, they’re hurting for beds for drug treatment. That’s nothing new – it’s a problem for every city and state in the U.S. In the Lakes Region, when an addict wants help, there’s no bed available for them for three to six weeks. Officials in Laconia are planning to open a new ‘recovery center’ that will help people get through the three to six weeks staying off drugs and still interested in going to rehab. I think it’s a great idea, and no doubt it will help some people. But it’s just another band aid. How could the problem be better addressed? By reducing the relapse rates.
One of the major reasons there aren’t enough beds is that so many people relapse back into drugs or alcohol after they leave rehab. It’s impossible to know exactly how many or, really, even come close, but experts say the number who relapse is between 50 and 90 percent.
What happens after that? Just like prisoners who leave prison with no money, no place to live, no job, often no contact with family, and wind up back in prison, they wind up back on drugs and back in prison.
If you could reduce the number of people who go BACK to rehab, you would have that many more beds available.
How Do You Reduce Relapse Rates?
Getting someone through rehab truly rehabilitated so they can live a normal, drug-free, life when they leave rehab is the key to reducing relapse rates and getting more beds available. But it takes time. Months. You have to address the physical addiction, get the person healthy, address the reasons they turned to addiction the first place, work with them on precise goals in life and workable, practical ways to achieve them. Obviously, that includes immediately having an income so they can support themselves without selling drugs again or getting into some other criminal activity so they can get money. It’s not easy. And it takes months. Not one month, not two, probably not even three. Six or more months is likely. Six months in a safe place, with counselors, good food, no drugs or alcohol, working on themselves and on how to change their lives.
If less money were spent on programs that did NOT offer that, and more were spent on programs that did, you would reduce the relapse rates. And beds would be available.
Push your community, city and State officials to do that. Then we can start getting more of a handle on the drug scene – both for you, your family and friends, your community at large, and the country.