Senate Caucus Highlights SHIELDS Family Centered Treatment

Los Angeles, CA (SHIELDS) June 12, 2012 – SHIELDS For Families is highlighted in a recent study conducted by the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control. The report provides a number of recommendations for Congress and the Obama Administration to decrease the massive U.S. demand for Illegal Drugs and highlights SHIELDS provision of family based substance abuse treatment models and their effectiveness in families’ rehabilitation process.

The Caucus, comprised of Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Tom Udall (D-NM) and John Cornyn (R-TX), authored “Reducing the U.S. Demand For Illegal Drugs” which surveys the scope of illegal drug use nationally and abroad as well as proposes strategies to prevent illegal drug use in the U.S.  The study acknowledges the challenges faced by women affected by substance abuse due to traditional treatment programs not allowing for the inclusion of children. This poses a dilemma for women who are in need of both treatment and child care. Furthermore, complications could arise with women who seek treatment whereas their admission to substance abuse could lead to the loss of their children via the criminal justice system.

SHIELDS Exodus program is the only program in the United States that allows entire families to live in the treatment environment in individual family apartments. According to the report, “Studies show that mothers in family-based substance abuse treatment programs were more likely to stay drug-free as compared to those who lost or voluntarily gave up custody of their children. Both the emotional rewards and tangible success at SHIELDS were apparent. Evaluations show that over 80 percent of SHIELDS residents complete the program, compared to a national average of only 25 percent; 38 percent are reunified with their families; residents receive an average of 646 days in treatment – well above the national average of 90 days; and all clients obtain a high school diploma.”

Drug abuse in the United States costs our country $193 billion a year in preventable health care, law enforcement and addiction expenses and poses a major public health challenge. The Caucus believes that treatment centers like SHIELDS’ Exodus program that specifically address the challenges faced by women seeking substance abuse treatment would be beneficial in reducing drug use.

More information on SHIELDS’ Exodus Program can be found by clicking HERE.

The Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control can be found by clicking HERE.