Long-term ther­apy works for ad­dic­tions

Times Colonist - - Comment -

Among the plethora of sup­port groups of­fer­ing ser­vices, I was pleased to see one from a group in Fern­wood ad­ver­tis­ing:

“Step coun­selling for women and men suf­fer­ing from sex com­pul­sion and sex ad­dic­tion.”

Step coun­selling is a long-stand­ing treat­ment for ad­dic­tive be­hav­iours that has en­joyed some suc­cess. In­deed, one study in the U.K. re­ported a suc­cess rate up to 70 per cent in the treat­ment of sub­stance abuse, par­tic­u­larly when clients were re­ferred by the courts or their em­ployer with the pre­dictable al­ter­na­tives for re­fus­ing treat­ment.

I com­mend the Fern­wood group for their choice of ther­apy. I can only imag­ine what might have tran­spired had they opted for a “harm re­duc­tion” ap­proach with su­per­vised sites and free con­doms and dis­posal.

The cur­rent ap­proach to the so-called cri­sis in opioid abuse and over­dose has ex­tended far be­yond the bounds of the safein­jec­tion sites due to the ad­di­tion of fen­tanyl and its de­riv­a­tives to the il­le­gal drug sources.

The cost, de­spite the best ef­forts of many wor­thy vol­un­teers and first re­spon­ders from many dis­ci­plines, has in­creased to in­clude the ris­ing hu­man cost in lives lost in ad­di­tion to the dol­lars spent and with lit­tle ob­vi­ous progress. Is there not some way in which com­pul­sory long-term ther­apy could be en­forced?

Wil­liam Davis Vic­to­ria

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