Measures of Success in Drug Treatment

Measures of Success in Drug Treatment
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Measures of Success in Drug Treatment
Drug abuse has been a persistent conundrum in the US for some time. The US
government has taken drastic measures to curb the enigma through drug treatment programs.
Means of measuring the success of such treatment have been contentious but considering several
outcomes of the treatment can be relevant indicators. To that effect, several signs of success on
drug treatment exist and form the main discussion of this essay.
Reduced level of substance abuse is the first indicator of success in drug treatment. When
the level of drug abuse is reduced, it means the victims are on the right track of recovery.
According to Staley, outcomes of treatment on level of substances abuse are assessed on basis of
indicator such as rates of substance abuse, drug-based hospitalization rates, and substance abuse-
related deaths (2017). A decline on these evaluation criteria indicates that treatment is successful.
For instance, if the frequency of smoking of a victim on reporting to rehabilitation is five times a
day and then after some time, it reduces to twice a day, then it is a good indication that the
program is making a positive impact.
Additionally, reduction of drug-related crimes is indicative of success in drug treatment.
Research shows substance abuse relates to illegal activities, which explains the reasons why the
US prisons are filled with drug-related offenders. According to Mosher and Akins (2014), drug
abusers are unable to sustain employment demands and hence resolve to criminal activities such
as shoplifting, peddling, and robbery to fend for their addictions. Therefore, a decrease in
criminal activity can be used as an indicator of success in treatment.
Another indicator of success in drug treatment is improved employment outcome.
Substance abuse is associated with lousy job habits such as absenteeism, deterioration in job
performance, and reduced interpersonal relationships (Staley, 2017). Treatment is perceived
successful if the performance index of the victim towards work is improving, i.e. reduction in
absenteeism, higher productivity and improved relationship with co-workers. For instance, an
alcoholic employee in treatment showing positive improvement at work place is an indication of
In retrospect, measuring the success of treatment can be hard since most users seeking
help relapse. However, considering the outcome of treatment on health and social functioning as
indicators of success is more reasonable. Hence, lessening criminal activities, improvement in
employee performance, and reduction in the level of substance abuse are critical indicators of
Mosher, C.J. & Akins, S. (2014). Drugs and Drug Policy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Staley, S. (2017). Drug policy and the decline of the American city. Routledge.

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