Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: How to treat addiction successfully

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Mar 4, 2015 3:59 PM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, March 5, 2015:

More than 23 million Americans over the age of 12 have a substance abuse addiction.  Just over 11% of them will seek treatment for their addiction.  About 40-60% will relapse and use drugs or alcohol again.

That doesn't mean treatment can't work.  Every addicted person's circumstances are different as are treatment programs.

Some treatment programs have better success rates than others.  What do the programs that work have in common?

Is a 30-day stay in rehabilitation enough to successfully treat an addiction?  Do most people require continued services?  Are 12-step programs or those that use medication more successful or does it depend on the person who is addicted?

As part of WITF's Real Life Real Issues Drugs and Young People initiative, Thursday's Smart Talk focuses on what works and what doesn't when it comes to treatment.

Appearing on the program are Gary Tennis, Pennsylvania's Secretary of the department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and Deb Beck, president of the Drug and Alcohol Service Providers of Pennsylvania 

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Gary Tennis and Deb Beck

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-03-05 09:13

    Thomas from Lancaster emails:

    i have a question here, if society knows that these items such as booze and drugs are causing so much trouble, why is there a push across this county and this commonwealth to leagalize entry level drugs (pot) as well as liberalize the control on alcohol. i would think that there would be more groups speaking out on the danger of this.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-03-05 09:28

    John from Chambersburg emails:

    I am a human services professional in recovery, and want to know if your guests see what I do with respect to Drug and Alcohol funding.

    There is always funding for so-called "prevention" programs like DARE, primarily for youth. It doesn't matter how effective these programs are. Yet, when it comes to funding adult treatment it seems many policy makers and legislators view people addicted to drugs and alcohol are criminals who are responsible for their disease.

    It's something you don't see even in mental health as much any more.

    I don't believe D&A funding will come close to meeting need until we combat the stigma of addiction.

    I will note that I got sober through a county funded individual therapy program many years ago and subsequently chose to attend AA. Without individual therapy, I'm sure I would not be alive today.

  • Robert D Colgan img 2015-03-05 09:55

    All addictions are external attempts to either increase or decrease an internal energetic imbalance.
    Identifying the nature of the energetic imbalance is the necessary first step to moving toward a successful treatment protocol.
    Unless the underlying imbalance is accurately identified------treatment is less successful.

    All imbalances are the sequela to some trauma.
    Treating the trauma at its core----where it's held within, at the level it's held-------is the most successful approach.

    Treating the symptoms of addiction isn't effective action.
    Treating the underlying trauma that has created the imbalance is effective.

  • Sue Savage img 2015-03-05 09:56

    Please remind listeners that 2-1-1 is the first number for them to call for health and human service referral. It will connect them with specially trained operators who can direct them to the help they need.

  • Vicky img 2015-03-05 10:06

    I want to thank you for the opportunity to share my story. Your guests provided very important information. I have been a proponent of long term treatment. I believe that drug replacement therapy is a treatment of last resort. Essentially it tends to maintain the concept of "I need to take something to feel better" instead of "I need to heal what is causing me to feel bad". That healing is a process that takes more than a year much less 28 days. Recovery is a process and not an event.

  • Scott LaMar img 2015-03-05 15:39

    Glenn writes...
    I have had 2 sisters die. 1 from crack cocaine/ heart failure. 1 from an auto accident, although at 55 and using heroin since she was around 15, I suspect that heroin was a factor there was nothing remaining of her to test. (her husband had died from an overdose 2 months prior)
    This has to be nipped in the bud.
    When someone is caught shoplifting 5 bags of frozen shrimp stuffed down their pants, they need to be arrested and immediately drug tested. If positive, right into treatment center.
    When someone is traffic stopped and caught with syringes and spoons and packaging remnants, drug test and right into treatment.
    When someone already in the "system" fails a drug test, right into treatment.
    Zero tolerance.
    Anyone dealing---drug test, treatment if needed, otherwise, hold for jail no bail.
    This is going to take a lot of time, just like the BAC and drinking and driving. That started up 40 years ago, today we are seeing acceptance.