“Access to Recovery”
White House Validates Need For Diversity in Drug Addiction Treatment

Recently, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy John Walters released an editorial regarding the vital issue of access to recovery for Americans dealing with substance abuse issues. The concept of the “Access to Recovery” initiative was first introduced by President Bush in his State of the Union Address at the beginning of the year.
The President’s plan includes $600 million over a three-year period targeted at increasing capacity and access to effective rehabilitation programs. The initiative also allows for individuals in need to receive vouchers so that they can seek the program of their choice. This in itself is largely important because often times programs with excellent track records don’t always receive government funding due to “non-traditional” modalities and that state-run programs often have an extensive waiting list to receive treatment. The vouchers allow addicts seeking effective treatment to enroll in private or faith- or community-based programs if they choose to do so, thus helping to close the gap between those that need treatment and those that actually receive it.
The “Access to Recovery” initiative therefore not only helps the individuals in need, but assists in validating the fact that a variety of treatment modalities is essential to overcome addiction on a broad scale. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) has been pushing a message of change and accountability in the field of drug rehabilitation, urging states to include more types of programs to address the ever-changing need of addicted Americans, yet many are still focused on “traditional” types of programs that subscribe to only a few basic philosophies. This is clearly evident by the certification boards and processes for programs and counselors whose guidelines are based solely on methods deemed to be “the right way” arbitrarily by a group of people many years ago.
Organizations such as The Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission (CARF) embrace many types of behavioral health programs, understanding that one size doesn’t fit all. For example, the Narconon® Drug Rehabilitation and Education Program is one of the most successful programs in the nation, achieving a success rate of greater than 70% for recovery based on research and discoveries by L. Ron Hubbard. This organization is non-traditional in nature, but has more than three decades of continued success and is now operating in 35 countries around the world.
To read more about the “Access to Recovery” initiative, log on to www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov.

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