A BETTER TOMORROW TARGETS COUNTYS METHAMPHETIMINE CRISIS
Half of the clinics patients are methamphetamine addicts
MURRIETA, July 10, 2006 ? Charles Anderson is living proof that methamphetamine addicts can be successfully rehabilitated and live happy, productive lives.
A former drug dealer, Anderson was arrested on methamphetamine charges at the age of 25 and spent two years in state prison, where he began to participate in a 12-step rehabilitation program.
But while some doubt the effectiveness of rehabilitation programs on methamphetamine addicts, the treatment worked. And with the help of going support group meetings, Anderson has not only stayed clean for the past 13 years, but has taken his life in a new direction by co-founding A Better Tomorrow, a Murrieta-based drug and alcohol treatment center that has helped place more than 150 Southern California methamphetamine addicts on the road to recovery.
I feel very good about what were doing, said Anderson, A Better Tomorrows CEO, adding, We are effectively teaching people how to be happy and to live without drugs.
Overcoming methamphetamine addiction is challenging for addicts, Anderson said, because it requires them to live life differently.
These people live in a world that is not our own, Anderson said. Speed addicts have their own social circle. Theyre addicted to the scene and to a bizarre lifestyle. These are the people who are up at three in the morning running around. Methamphetamines create insanity. They make people paranoid and have delusional thoughts. Its a difficult condition to treat because we not only have to get them off methamphetamines, but get them to change the way they live.
Successful recovery, he added, not only requires self-discipline and the ability to follow the clinics rehabilitation guidelines, but a willingness to explore the psychological factors that fueled the patients interest in drug addiction to begin with.
But while some say its impossible to successfully treatment methamphetamine addicts, at least 60 percent of A Better Tomorrows methamphetamine clients succeed in conquering their addiction. The longer we have them in treatment, the better, said Jerrod Menz, A Better Tomorrows president.
Consequently, while initial drug rehabilitation programs typically last 28 days, follow up treatment is often needed. These people didnt get to where they were overnight, Menz said, so theyre not going to recover overnight. Thats why we recommend they continue with outpatient services, either with us or with a clinic close to their home.
Menz added that even a 60 percent success rate for methamphetamine addicts is laudable, considering the alternative. Even if we are only successful treating two out of three methamphetamine addicts, he said, thats two out of three addicts that are now being responsible parents and productive members of our society rather than a burden to our society.
Statistics underscore the value of drug rehabilitation counseling and treatment. According to Childrens Advocate newsmagazine, criminal activity drops 72 percent after offenders receive substance abuse treatment. Moreover, every dollar invested in substance abuse treatment saves taxpayers $7.46, the magazine said.
A Better Tomorrow provides methamphetamine treatment for residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Orange counties. The Murrieta-based clinic, which provides a broad range of treatment services for drug, alcohol and gambling addicts, is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), placing it in the top 5 percent of drug and alcohol treatment clinics in California. For more information about A Better Tomorrow or to arrange interviews with consenting patients, please contact Jerrod Menz at (800) 757-9867.