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Jackson Tragedy May Serve to Educate Public on Addiction, Says American Society of Addiction Medicine
Date:7/22/2009

te treatment."

When administered properly, addiction treatment is as effective as the treatment of many other chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and asthma. Treating addiction appropriately yields excellent outcomes with recovery rates reported as high as 70% at one year. Care should be individualized for each patient, based on the nature of his or her addictive disorder and other physical and mental health conditions.

Addiction treatment, which sometimes includes detoxification services as a first step, involves patient education about the disease and the development of techniques to avoid relapse. It also frequently includes a physician's prescription of FDA-approved medications that block craving or the drug's pleasurable effects to directly address the addiction process. Counseling and medical management continue for weeks, months, or even years to address the patient's relapse potential.

"Addiction treatment saves lives," said Dr. Baxter. "When someone loses his or her life as a result of substance use or addiction, it is a tragedy to be mourned. ASAM and its members continue to strive to reduce and eliminate such deaths through timely identification and treatment of addiction and improved education for our fellow physicians and other health professionals."

Misuse of and addiction to prescription drugs is a growing national problem. Overdoses of prescription drugs can occur accidentally or intentionally, and interaction among alcohol, other sedative agents, and various prescription drugs can contribute to catastrophic outcomes. ASAM supports additional research on the extent of prescription drug addiction and overdose deaths, the factors leading to the current epidemic of prescription drug misuse and addiction, and specific clinical and policy strategies to minimize death and illness from prescription drug misuse.

For more information on the American Society of Addiction Medicin
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