St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) June 26, 2012

Assisted Recovery Centers of America (ARCA) reports that the center is on pace in 2012 to see an increase of over 20 percent more patients being treated for opiate addiction, like heroin, compared to 2011 totals.

“After 12 years of treating more than five thousand people addicted to drugs and alcohol, I have never seen this much opiate usage, particularly heroin,” said Percy Menzies, President of ARCA. “The increase in the number of people being admitted to treatment for opiate addiction is no surprise however as heroin usage continues to grow to epidemic proportions on the national and state level. But, there is still hope because heroin is the easiest addiction to treat.”

The most recent national data released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that the number of teens dying from heroin abuse has skyrocketed over the last ten years. In 1999, 198 people between the ages of 15 and 24 died of a heroin overdose, compared to 510 deaths in 2009, the latest year data was taken. Teens seeking treatment for heroin abuse also skyrocketed from 4,414 in 1999 to more than 21,000 in 2009.

The treatment model that ARCA follows, according to the Journal of American Medical Association has been shown to be the most effective way to treat the disease of addition. ARCA’s treatment success is found through the combination of non-addicting anti-craving medications coupled with psychiatric and psychological care on an out-patient basis, allowing patients to learn to overcome their addiction in their ‘natural environment.

“Our focus is using a combination of anti-craving medications like Vivitrol in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy over a period of up to a year in order to alter a patient’s approach to life,” said Menzies. “The duration is important because sending someone away to a residential facility serves the patient well while they are away but upon returning home nothing has changed leading many to relapse.”

In addition to the length of treatment and the anti-craving medications, ARCA believes that their innovative group and individual counseling sessions, based on advances in behavioral therapy are a vital part of their treatment’s success. ARCA’s counseling sessions are structured like an interactive class with the primary focus of teaching patients how to integrate their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as they relate to their addiction. During the sessions, patients are educated on relapse prevention techniques, learning coping skills, and effectively curb cravings triggered by their ‘natural environment.

“Chemical dependency is often times a disease of isolation,” said Menzies. “Groups are helpful in that they provide a new sense of community for patients, allowing them to reconnect with others who are striving to achieve the same goals.”