Roads vs. Rehab: Are There Similarities?

While there has been talk about the need to improve our transportation infrastructure, the public health system that includes addiction recovery also needs resources and attention. In 2016, the US saw 63,000 drug overdoses, which accounts for more deaths than all road and gun-related deaths combined. John F. Kelly, Ph.D. explains, “Just as roads and bridges transport us from one location to another, a strong public health infrastructure serves as the ‘roads’ and ‘bridges’ to transport those suffering from active addiction to a place of safety and recovery.”

Changes are needed in the American public health infrastructure to effectively address addiction and save lives. In 2016, the US saw 63,000 drug overdoses, which accounts for more deaths than all road and gun-related deaths combined. An additional 100,000 Americans die every year from alcohol related causes, illustrating the critical importance of recovery resources.

While there has been talk about the need to improve our transportation infrastructure, the public health system also needs resources and attention. John F. Kelly, Ph.D. explains, “Just as roads and bridges transport us from one location to another, a strong public health infrastructure serves as the ‘roads’ and ‘bridges’ to transport those suffering from active addiction to a place of safety and recovery.”

There are several pieces of health care infrastructure that are needed to support addiction recovery:

1. Medications. Establishing reliable access to medications for substance use disorder can help individuals of the road to recovery. Medications like buprenorphine/naloxone (also known as Suboxone) and the overdose reversing medication, naloxone (Narcan), can save lives. We need clear access and more options for pharmacological treatment of addiction.

2. Removal of Barriers. The stigma of drug or alcohol addiction can be a huge barrier to recovery. For example, a criminal record, often directly related to substance use, can prevent someone in recovery from accessing jobs, housing, loans, or even from opening a bank account. These barriers serve to increase hopelessness and relapse risk, which disrupts recovery efforts and can thwart long-term remission. Removing some of these restrictions will support those on the path to long-term recovery.

3. Long-Term Treatment. We often treat addiction as a short-term problem and emphasize immediate goal of stopping substance use. However, we know that stopping drug or alcohol use initially is the easy part. The hard part is long-term recovery, which requires more than an intervention and a 28-day stint in a rehab facility.

Personal Addiction Recovery Steps

The above examples are just a fraction of the ways that addiction recovery can be supported through health care infrastructure. To learn more about the best way to treat addiction, visit the source article at the Psychology Today website.

Hayver focuses on preventing relapses and supporting continued recovery with daily check-ins and random urine tests. By providing long-term accountability and involving friends and family in a Circle of Support, Hayver can be part of addiction recovery success. For more information about Hayver, please visit www.Hayver.com or contact us at info(at)hayver.com.