In the struggle of defeating the scourge of drug addiction, we are often faced with challenges some are expected while others may come unexpectedly. However irrespective of those challenges, the fight must never be relented on and that is why treatment should be done immediately. Over the past few weeks we have been discussing topics torching on the solutions to drug addiction and we realized that treatment is very instrumental. We also looked at several methods of treatment including admission in rehab centers. In this article we want to further on that by looking at what can be done to patients after going through the rigorous treatment procedures. We are aware that many people suffer relapse and sink back into their old habits further complicating the problem. To avoid this draw back we want to look at the benefits of extending drug recover programs beyond the stipulated recovery period.
Speaking to the experts at AWAREmed Health and Wellness Resource Center which is one of the leading pioneers in natural and holistic addiction treatment, doctor Dalal Akoury MD and also the founder of the facility says that drug rehabilitation programs does not end on discharging the patient but should include any program intended to treat drug dependency even after the designed recovery time. Many extended drug recovery programs are available today and they may include medical and psychotherapeutic methods of treatment. Ideally many types of psychotherapy are similar for different drugs, while medical treatment tends to be more specific to a particular group of drugs. Ordinarily a standard drug rehabilitation program has a fixed length of 30 to 90 days in most cases. However an extended drug recovery program generally does not have a set duration and is intended to help a patient maintain sobriety and that is what we want to focus on.
We are aware that opiates are also a common source of drug addiction and include drugs such as cocaine, heroin and oxycodone. Many different drugs are subject to abuse, although they can be grouped into a small number of categories. And alcohol on the other hand is one of the most commonly abused psychoactive substances because it is easy to manufacture and is readily available. Opiates are also a common source of drug addiction and include drugs such as cocaine, heroin and oxycodone. Additional types of addictive drugs include amphetamines and barbiturates.
An addict may have many reasons for seeking rehabilitation and recovery treatment. Prolonged, heavy drug use typically has severe consequences affecting our daily lives financially, socially, physically and psychologically. With this couple with the fact that many drugs are illegal; this therefore further complicates this in the sense that their use incurs the additional problem of criminal penalties. Drug rehabilitation programs are typically designed to stop a patient’s drug use as quickly as is medically safe. Drug addicts typically have a high risk for relapse, especially opiate users and that is why there is need to appreciate the benefits of extending drug recovery programs beyond the designed time. Now let us look at some of the elements of extension of recovery process.
Drug recovery aftercare programs generally view moderation as unsustainable in the long term, and these programs promote complete abstinence. Counseling forms the primary basis of treatment in extended drug recovery programs. However, counseling can be a challenge more so when the individual drug addiction was as a result of chemical imbalance in the brain. Another thing is that counselors vary greatly in their spiritual beliefs. Counselors who adhere to the disease model of drug addiction have high spiritual beliefs, while those who follow the freewill model of drug addiction have low spiritual beliefs. Doctor Akoury says that the primary objective of counseling and drug recovery program is to help patients identify the reasons for their addictions. This is typically done in a group setting, where patients can share common experiences during the counseling sessions. Nevertheless it is important to appreciate that group therapy also reduces the cost of counseling, although individual sessions may be required when patients have unusual psychological issues related to their drug addictions.
The majority of drug counseling sessions take place on a regular schedule. An extended drug recovery program typically begins with a high frequency of counseling sessions, often on a daily basis. The frequency of these sessions will typically decrease over time as the patient progress in their recovery. Some programs provide drop-in counseling when the patient feels the need for counseling but can’t until the next scheduled session. Emergency counseling, otherwise known as crisis counseling, may also be required when the patient is at a particular risk of relapse. It is therefore very necessary that a counselor must strive to understand the way in which drug addiction affects patients and the people surrounding them. Counselors in drug recovery programs often work closely with people other than the patient. This can include family members who have been affected by the patient’s drug addiction. It can also involve community work, where the counselor’s goal is to educate the general public about drug addiction.
Relapse is a sudden deterioration in someone’s state of health after a temporary improvement. In other words if you were undergoing treatment of drug addiction and you were improving the something triggers you back to the addiction that is relapse. For several decades now an approach developed by Alan Marlatt to relapse prevention is still applicable in the drug recovery programs even to date. This is a cognitive-behavioral treatment recognizes four types of psychosocial processes that affect drug addiction and relapse. These psychosocial processes include the following:
- Attributions of causality
- Decision-making processes
- Outcome expectancies
Attributions of causality are beliefs that a relapse is due to internal causes. They may include the belief that exceptions to sobriety are permissible circumstances that the patient considers to be unusual. A decision-making process consists of the multiple individual decisions that result in the intake of drugs. The Marlatt approach emphasizes the concept that some of these decisions may initially seem inconsequential while having a significant impact on a patient’s eventual decision to use drugs.
Self-efficacy is the patient’s ability to deal effectively with situations that carry a high risk of relapse. Outcome expectancies are the patient’s expectations regarding an addictive substance’s psychoactive effects.
This approach relies on the patient’s core beliefs, which may not be consciously known. These core beliefs develop addictive beliefs that taking drugs will result in desirable consequences. They also create permissive beliefs that allow the patient to justify continued drug use, even when this does not achieve the desired result. The therapist’s job here is to discover the patient’s main beliefs and demonstrate the dysfunctions of those beliefs to the patient. The therapist will also prescribe behavioral exercises and assign homework, as is common with cognitive therapy.
Extended drug recovery programs are beginning to recognize the importance of helping patients regulate their emotions. These programs encourage the patient to identify negative emotional states and prevent the compulsive behaviors that result in drug use. An approach to drug recovery that uses emotional regulation can be used to treat addiction to a variety of psychoactive substances says doctor Akoury. And like we had stated ours is to offer the best we can to help you overcome the problems of addiction. You can schedule for an appointment with doctor Akoury for professional treatment of any form of addiction you may be struggling with.