Comparing Substance Use to Other Chronic Diseases
“But substance use and abuse treatment doesn’t always work.
Patients don’t stick to it…”
That can be true, but that’s not a good reason to not try…
The numbers comparing treatment adherence between substance abuse and other chronic diseases are also enlightening.
- Drug and dietary adherence rates in patients with hypertension are reported at less than 40% and less than 30%, respectively.
- Follow-up studies of patients with alcohol dependence typically show approximately 40% to 60% of patients are continuously abstinent after discharge from inpatient treatment, and about 15% to 30% have not resumed dependent use during the year after discharge.
Are you surprised that treatment of alcohol abuse is roughly as successful as control of hypertension? Are you convinced that hypertension treatment is worthwhile, but not sure about substance abuse? Why?
Just because adherence to a treatment regimen may be challenging, does not mean it isn’t worthwhile. At a minimum, using the numbers above, you might help 40-60% of patients.