Few Addicts Voluntarily Seek Substance Abuse Help

By Staff Writer

While drug rehab facilities can help individuals overcome addictions, many users fail to take advantage of these resources. In fact, more than one third of drug-related deaths occur in habitual users who have never sought substance abuse help, according to a new report from Scottish authorities.

Researchers from the country’s health department examined information in the National Drug Related Death Database. They found that 172 of the 439 individuals who died in 2009 had never been to a rehab facility.

Men were significantly more likely to die from drug abuse. The majority of deaths occurred in opiate addicts who had been users for more than five years.

Fergus Ewing, Scotland’s minister for public safety, told the Press Association that the numbers represent a “distressing” trend. He said that opportunities for drug rehab need to be made more available to addicts. Additionally, family and friends of drug abusers should make concerted efforts to get their loved ones into treatment, as many addicts are unwilling to seek therapy.

The numbers are similar in the U.S. The National Institute on Drug Addiction reports that slightly more than 10 percent of drug addicts receive treatment.