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Drug Treatment Clinics

Drug treatment clinics specialize in treating addiction and alcoholism.  These addictive diseases require specialist attention because of their complexity.
Addiction to alcohol and other drugs effects many areas of life and often has its roots deep within the patient’s psyche.  Thus entangling the causes and problems associated with addiction or alcoholism can be an intricate and difficult task.
Some drug treatment clinics use the disease model of addiction; that addiction is an illness rather than being a moral failing or weakness of character.  People are not responsible for having this disease, but are responsible for taking action to recover from it.
Like so many other psychological problems this illness appears to have some genetic roots which are triggered by the environment the addict lives in.  Drug treatment clinics employ a variety of therapeutic approaches designed to address the various elements of this illness.
Therapy in drug treatment clinics is usually based on some form of cognitive behavioural therapy that teaches people to identify and change their negative patterns of behaviour.  Additionally patients are encouraged to improve their “social support network”.  This is a fancy clinical term that refers to the amount of people that the addicted patient can rely on for recovery support.
Research has shown that just having a few close people that they trust can help people feel more confident and able to deal with stress better, and be less prone to relapse. This enhances the outcomes from rehab at a drug treatment clinic.
The 12 step program fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous is generally recommended by most quality drug treatment clinics as an essential part of a person’s ongoing maintenance, at least partly for the support that it offers.  The 12 steps were originally published in 1939 by Alcoholics Anonymous.
Since then the 12 steps have helped millions of people improve their lives.  Of course they receive criticism – if something is not tested it cannot be trusted – from academic circles.  Despite some critical reviews other research has shown that if you participate actively in a 12 step program you will likely be able to stay clean.
Interestingly the 12 steps have been shown to be most effective when combined with a quality drug treatment clinics aftercare programme. This holds true regardless of addiction – opoids like heroin, pethadine and codeine or even alcohol or marijuana addiction and it’s important that some form of maintenance program is followed by the drug addict seeking recovery.
Doctors in drug treatment clinics may consider prescribing medication (e.g.: methadone or Subutex) as a way to augment the effectiveness of the 12 step program for patients addicted to opiods or other drugs.
Relapse prevention and drug treatment clinics
Addiction is a chronic relapsing illness.  This means that addicts in recovery face the chance of relapsing into the active state of their illness.  In non-medical terms this means that they run the risk of starting to use drugs again.  Drug treatment clinics will offer special relapse prevention programs which are designed to prevent the person from returning to active addiction.
A cognitive-behavioural approach is usually employed in providing a relapse prevention program.  There are four processes that influence the ability of a person to prevent relapse: self-efficacy, outcome expectancies, attributions of causality, and decision-making processes.
Self-efficacy is a psychological term that refers to ones belief that you are able to deal with life’s stressful situations.  It is improved by having a social support mechanism (as mentioned earlier) as well as the attitude with which you approach life.  Attitudes and beliefs can be changed through cognitive-behavioural therapy.
Outcome expectancies are what a person expects to experience if they take a substance.  If they believe that they will feel good after using their drug they are more likely to use it.  Drug treatment clinics help patients in identifying consequences of addiction so that they are encouraged to think more realistically about the outcomes of using drugs.
Attributions of causality are what the patient believes to be the root reason that they use drugs.  These can be external reasons (such as stress) or internal reasons (such as an illness).  If a person believes that they use drugs as a result of external reasons they are more likely to believe that they have a “reason” or “excuse” to use drugs. Drug treatment clinics teach their patients to take responsibility for their decision to relapse.
If you or someone you love is spiralling out of control due to drug addiction and you want help in finding the right drug treatment clinic to meet your needs please contact one of our treatment coordinators today.

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