Drug and Alcohol Intervention and Addiction Treatment
Alcoholics are often reluctant to accept the fact that they need assistance. Even if they recognize that they are out of control, they hate admitting it. Lack of confidence in therapies, reluctance to admit their own alcoholism, and the social problems associated with the addiction treatment
are the main reasons for their negative behavior towards addiction intervention
People often misread symptoms of alcoholism as character flaws. In fact, substance abuse is not a sign of moral weakness or lack of will power. It is a treatable disorder, just like asthma or arthritis. Seeking help for alcoholism or drug abuse
is not admitting some type of flaw.
It is very important to get the addict treatment as early as possible, and the more the treatment given, the better will be the results. But, one cannot force an abuser to undergo treatment. He or she cannot wait for things to get worse either. So, seeking the help of a professional addiction interventionist
seems to be a feasible option to overcome this substance abuse.
A professional interventionist can assess the crisis and determine the appropriateness of a drug or alcohol intervention. After the clinical assessment of the addict's individual needs they will suggest the most suitable alcoholism or drug treatment program. The interventionist will outline specific addiction treatment options according to the specific needs of the addict like location, clinical matters, and medical coverage. Through meetings and conversations, they will guide the addict and others involved through the process of a professionally facilitated drug or alcohol intervention.
During the pre-intervention meeting, the interventionist will talk about the alcoholism or drug abuse and its consequences in detail. They will discuss what the alcohol drug rehab program
course and recovery process will involve. There will also be the preparation and rehearsal of written statements to share with others who are involved in the addiction intervention process
Pre-intervention meeting is followed by the actual process of intervention. It is a prearranged, solution-focused process in which the family, close friends and colleagues of the substance abuser are involved. They come together and present their observations and concerns regarding the addict's behavior in a gentle and lenient manner.
For people with psychiatric disorders, delirium tremens, and those who have a troublesome home environment, addiction treatment performed in a hospital or in an alcohol treatment center
is suitable. A patient who has undergone inpatient alcoholism or drug treatment seldom needs re-hospitalization and a longer abstinence is common among them. Inpatient substance abuse care is very comprehensive and includes many stages like physical and psychiatric work-up, detoxification
, and medications. This type of alcoholism or drug treatment shows better success rates.
For people with moderate withdrawal symptoms, outpatient treatment is usually recommended. Family members and social support groups play a vital role in this type of drug and alcohol rehab. Since alcoholism and smoking co-exist in many people, quitting smoking can be helpful in promoting alcohol abstinence in outpatients.
An introduction to alcoholics anonymous
(AA) or similar organizations is an important part of both inpatient and outpatient care.
Some studies argue that both inpatient and outpatient treatments
give similar results. Therefore, the less expensive outpatient treatment is often preferred over inpatient care. However, one has to be very careful while selecting the mode of the alcoholism and drug treatment.
To stumble here may affect not only the recovery of the addict but also his or her chances to be back into normal life.
Therapists use some drugs in the treatment of alcoholism. Antabuse (disulfiram) is a widely used one which has been available for many years. This drug, which does not have any effect on the craving to drink, causes an unbearable sickness when alcohol is consumed. Alcoholics, knowing that they will get sick if they drink, will definitely try to stay sober. But the effect of this drug is for a limited period only. Alcoholics can start drinking again after a certain period of time. Medications such as Revia (naltrexone) and acamprosate lessen the craving for alcohol and the pleasing effects of alcohol consumption.
People with severe alcoholism are recommended to adopt Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
(CBT). CBT uses a structured teaching approach which includes instructions and homework given to improve patients' ability to deal with everyday life and to change the way they think about drinking. A combination of CBT and opioid antagonists is particularly effective.
Drug Intervention and Treatment
Problems associated with a person's drug addiction may vary considerably with the patient's mental health, physical health, social problems, and background. This makes the disorder very difficult to treat. Selection of an appropriate substance abuse treatment program
, which plays an important role in achieving the ultimate goal of lasting abstinence, is an important step. Severity of addiction, financial background, need for other medical treatment, and physical condition of the addict are the factors considered in determining the type of treatment program. Depending on the need of the patient, the treatment may be short-term or long term.
The symptoms of chemical dependency and psychiatric illness are similar. This makes diagnosis and treatment more difficult. As both disorders are often seen together, their symptoms may overlap and even cover the other. Physicians commonly prefer a method called dual diagnosis
to overcome this situation and identify the actual condition of the addict.
Maintenance Treatment Method
In this treatment the patient is required to switch over to a similar drug that produces milder withdrawal symptoms
. For example, in the treatment for heroin addicts, patients are given an oral dose of a synthetic opiate, usually methadone hydrochloride, at a dosage sufficient to block the effects of heroin. Methadone suppresses narcotic withdrawal for 24 to 36 hours. The patient can disengage from drug-seeking and related criminal behavior at this stage. Though the patient remains physically dependent on the opioid, the uncontrolled and disruptive behavior seen in heroin addicts can be avoided.
Outpatient Drug-Free Treatment
This medication-free program requires regular visits to a clinic. In fact, it covers a wide variety of programs for different patients. Individual or group counseling is the main part of this program. This treatment is commonly recommended for patients with only brief histories of drug dependence.
Therapeutic Communities (TCs)
These are highly structured residence programs, which last for 6 to 12 months. This method proved effective on patients with long histories of drug dependence, involvement in criminal activities, and badly damaged social functioning. The clean and sober atmosphere that TC provides is the most significant feature of this program. Moreover, it provides patients an opportunity to associate with people who share the same goal all the time. They will become a part of the community they live and assume more and more responsibility with the progress of time. Studies show that those who successfully completed residential treatment had lower levels of drug use, criminal behavior, and depression in comparison with those who underwent other treatment methods.
Short-term residential programs based on the Minnesota Model of treatment for alcoholism involve 3 to 6 weeks inpatient treatment followed by outpatient treatment or participation in Narcotics Anonymous or Cocaine Anonymous
Supplementary Treatment Programs
Many treatment approaches, developed and supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), are widely used to supplement existing treatment programs for drug addiction.
Supportive-Expressive Psychotherapy is used for the treatment of heroin- and cocaine-addicts. This therapy uses techniques to help patients to say their piece and feel relaxed in discussing their personal experiences. Supportive-expressive psychotherapy, in combination with drug counseling
, is being effectively used for the treatment of opiate addicts with psychiatric problems.
A cognitive-behavioral therapy originally developed for the treatment of problem drinking and modified later for cocaine addicts, encompasses many cognitive-behavioral approaches that facilitate abstinence. This is particularly effective on people who experience relapse. This treatment helps patients develop coping strategies for problems they are likely to meet. Skills patients acquire during this therapy remain and can be used in improving their life even after the completion of the treatment.
Individualized drug counseling, which focuses directly on stopping the addict's illegal drug use and deals with related areas such as employment status and family or social relations, helps the patient develop coping tactics and tools for abstaining from drug use.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy
is intended to initiate a behavior change. It resolves the confusion about engaging in treatment and stopping drug use. This treatment consists of an initial session and 3 - 4 individual treatment sessions with a therapist. The first session provides feedback generated from the initial assessment and in the following sessions, the counselor observes changes and reviews ending strategies being used. This therapy proved successful among marijuana abusers.
Aftercare recovering addicts need to attend after care counseling to overcome the uncertainties and anxiety they have when they are back to regular environment. They often grow nervous in normal surroundings. Aftercare programs normally last for six months to a year. They equip an addict with tools that are required to complete recovery. Recovering addicts need to attend Narcotics Anonymous
meetings during this period. The aftercare program should be tailored to serve the need of the person and cover all areas such as lifestyle changes, educational and career guidance, financial planning, and self-progress.