What is the Future for Addiction Treatment?

Overview report on the quality of alcohol and other drug treatment

The National Treatment Consortium for Alcohol and Other Drugs produced a 1993 paper, The White Paper on the Future of Addiction Treatment, based on a 1990 Institute of Medicine Report, Treating Drug Problems.

The White Paper is based on surveys of the public and health care professionals, as well as papers authored by professionals involved in drug and alcohol treatment interventions.

Key Findings

  • Americans—both consumers and health care professionals—describe alcoholism and drug addiction as medical illnesses that require medical treatment, rather than as law-enforcement problems.
  • Americans believe that alcoholism and drug addiction intervention programs should play some role in health care reform.
  • Improvement in family, social, and personal life is the most important treatment goal.
  • Drug treatment is effective in alleviating drug dependency.
    • A continuum of care represents the most effective means of drug abuse intervention.
    • Treatment programs should be an integral part of any basic health care package.
  • Consistent with breakthroughs in the treatment of other diseases, advances in the treatment of chemical dependency will likely come through scientific medical research.
    • The speed and success of these advancements depend on the environment of support for this research.
  • The importance of the primary care physician in early diagnosis and treatment will continue to grow.
  • As the knowledge of brain functions continues to increase, advances in pharmacotherapy will impact positively drug treatment interventions.

Key Results

  • Many health care trade journals and magazines published excerpts from The White Paper.