Make a Permanent Impact
While our ultimate goal is to end addiction, during the next twenty years Brian's Wish will focus on the following...
- Cut in half the number of people suffering from addiction
- Cut in half the number of people who die from addiction
- Cut in half the societal costs of addiction
To achieve these goals, our work will focus on the three phases of conquering addiction: prevention, treatment and recovery. We will identify programs that have been proven successful and enhance those that show promise. In addition, we will push for public policies that help fight addiction.
Significantly Reduce Use at an Early Age
Healthcare: We will partner with the leading researchers to bring a screening and early intervention program into pediatricians' offices, emergency rooms, schools and community health centers for all socio-economic groups.
Parents: Our Parents' Program will provide the evidence-based tools parents can use, helping them to recognize risk factors and utilize strategies that are proven to lower alcohol and other drug use.
Schools: Most schools do not use evidence-based drug education programs. We will advocate for changes in public policy to ensure that schools use only cost-effective, evidence-based programs.
Peers: Peers can have a positive impact on preventing drug use. We will create a teen-to-teen multi-media campaign, based on the successful anti-smoking Truth Campaign.
National Institutes of Health research over the last 20 years has identified promising treatment protocols, which have not yet been widely adopted. Recent changes in healthcare laws mean greater access to treatment for all Americans. But we need to ensure that treatment programs provide the most effective care.
When a family is seeking treatment for a loved one, there is little time to vet programs, seek recommendations or comparison shop. Even if there were time, few would know by what criteria to select a program, as the industry is not regulated. We will create a national certification for treatment programs built upon evidence-based protocols. Our goal is to raise the standard of care by putting the power of information in the hands of patients, their families, healthcare practitioners and health insurers.
Comprehensive Recovery and Support Programs
Only about two-thirds of the small proportion of people who enter treatment programs achieve abstinence. And it takes an average of three to four treatment admissions over as long as nine years before even half achieve a full year of abstinence. The first two years after the initial treatment are most critical, so programs must be developed to lower the number of people who relapse in this crucial period.
Those in recovery need new opportunities to rebuild their lives, develop positive social networks, complete their educations and plan their careers. They need support systems that celebrate their sobriety. Brian's Wish is currently investigating programs and public policies that will have the greatest impact on those in recovery.