Posts tagged with ‘rehab’

27 jul

Different Approaches to Ending Drug Addiction

RobertCordrayThe problem of how to end drug addiction is as old as the human race, with many varied and complex solutions put forward over the years attempting to deal with it. However, this range of approaches generally fall into three main categories:

Prohibition

The most common and widely used means of dealing with drug addiction is to pass laws that prohibit the sale or use of addictive substances. Prohibition is accompanied by penalties that are designed to punish those who use or sell drugs, with the penalties generally more severe for sellers than users.

Advantages of Prohibition

Making addictive drugs against the law makes it more difficult to obtain them. The penalties associated with using and selling drugs also discourage people who might be tempted to experiment with addictive drugs, but who refrain because of fear of the consequences of getting caught.

Disadvantages of Prohibition

Some people argue that prohibition is actually ineffective, pointing to how the problem persists no matter how much resources are devoted to law enforcement. Critics also argue that the resources spent on prohibition would be better spent on more serious crimes.

Legalization

At the opposite end of the spectrum from the prohibitionists are those who favor the legalization of addictive drugs. Supporters of legalization argue that much of the harm done by drug addiction is created by the fact that drugs are illegal, driving them underground where they cannot be regulated or controlled. Legalization supporters argue that drug addiction can never really be eliminated from society, so the best society can do is monitor and control it by making drugs legal.

Advantages of Legalization

The chief advantage of legalization would be that the effort and money that is currently devoted to policing drug activity could be redirected to other uses. It would also make using drugs safer by bringing drug use out of the underground economy and into the open where it could be regulated for safety and dosage.

Disadvantages of Legalization

Critics of legalization suggest that the total number of users of addictive drugs would only increase if drugs were to become more easily available. They fear that a legalized environment would actually encourage drug use through advertising or other promotional techniques commonly used by suppliers of legal products.

Recovery

A third approach is provided by those who feel that the focus should not be on prohibiting or legalizing drugs, but on addiction recovery services that would allow addicts to recover and resume normal lives. Supporters of the recovery approach believe that the best way to deal with drug dealing is to eliminate their customers by ending their addictive behavior.

Advantages of Recovery

Recovery saves lives by ending the destructive cycle of addiction before it ruins or ends the life of the addict. It also deprives drug dealers of customers, thereby lessening the problems that are associated with prohibition without encouraging drug use as feared by those opposing legalization.

Disadvantages of Recovery

Unfortunately, there is no agreed upon means for how to recover from drug addiction. Successful treatment usually requires techniques that are geared to the needs of the specific individual, which can make it time consuming and expensive. It is also not always clear what to do when the addict simply doesn’t want to stop using drugs.

The Hybrid Method

In the end, no one has all the insights into how to end drug addiction. That is why most societies use a hybrid approach employing all three approaches – some prohibition and law enforcement, semi-legalization of the less harmful drugs, and recovery services for those who seek them. The hope is that over time, this combination approach will work to control and eventually end drug addiction.

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Posted by Robert Cordray on July 27th, 2014 in Health | No comments Read related posts in , , , , ,

14 dec

Rehab: A Matter of Attitude

RobertCordrayIn the U.S., one in every 12 adults suffers from alcohol dependency. In addition to that, tens of millions of Americans suffer from addictions to illegal drugs, prescription medication, and even over-the-counter chemical substances. Alcohol claims approximately 2.5 million lives every year worldwide, while illegal drug-use results in about 200,000 additional deaths around the planet in the same amount of time.

There’s no way around it—chemical dependency is a very real danger. However, there are steps that addicts can take to try to get their lives back on track. One of those steps involves enrolling in a drug rehabilitation clinic.

Drug rehab clinics provide intensely structured routines, safe and soothing environments, and personal therapy, in the hopes of helping chemically dependant individuals overcome their addictions. But are these centers really the shining beacons of hope that they’re supposed to be, or are they just revolving-door resorts that offer no real results?

It’s a question worth investigating. After all, when one sees drug-addicted celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan ducking into rehab clinics on an almost monthly basis just to keep from having to serve jail time, it tends to tarnish the overall reputation of the establishments themselves.

The answer, however, is not a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ For one thing, every addict is a unique individual, with unique dependencies and triggers. What works for treating one person may have absolutely no effect on another. With that in mind, it becomes important to recognize that no treatment is 100% effective when dealing with addiction. And the fact is that many who enter rehab come out of it no better off than they were at the beginning. So, what is the deciding factor in whether or not a rehabilitation program will be successful?

Well, those who’ve managed to defeat their chemical addictions will tell you that it all comes down to one hard-to-master point: attitude.

Rehabilitation will only work for those who are serious and determined enough to do their part. Those who enter rehab unwillingly, or who go through the motions but secretly scoff at the procedures, will simply find that their addictions are waiting for them on the outside. At the same time, there are those who enter rehab with a desire to make a real change in their lives, only to get discouraged and give up on the program when things get hard. It is the will to conquer and the determination to reach a difficult goal that makes all the difference in drug rehab. For those who are willing to give it all that they’ve got, drug rehabilitation really does work.

If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction, consider one of the country’s fine rehabilitation clinics. Do some online research, read about the personal experiences of others who have fought their dependencies and won. Take control of your life, make a commitment, and kick your habit before it destroys everything you care about. After all, the only thing standing between you and freedom is a choice. Choose to confront your problems head on, and choose to do so with the right attitude. The road may turn out to be difficult, but when you come to the end of it and look back on all that you’ve accomplished, and you gaze forward towards the years of freedom stretching out before you, you’ll be thankful that you chose to walk it. Because, when it comes to overcoming addiction, rehab is the best way to go—as long as you have the right attitude.

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Posted by Robert Cordray on December 14th, 2013 in Health, New Directions | No comments Read related posts in ,

13 jun

Addiction Stages of Change

RobertCordrayChanging any behavior doesn’t happen overnight, and drug addiction is certainly no exception. On the road to change, people tend to go through several different stages, and the length of time spent in each of these stages varies for everyone.

The Stages of Change Model was first developed in the late 1970’s by James Prochaska and Carlo DiClemente at the University of Rhode Island. It describes five stages of readiness and provides a framework to better understand the change process. Success in recovery from addiction hinges upon interventions tailored to match a person’s readiness for change and their ability to effectively move through each of the five stages. Interventions that do not match the person’s readiness are more likely to damage rapport, create resistance and impede change.

The cognitive and behavioral stages of change are:

  1. Pre-Contemplative
  2. Contemplation
  3. Preparation
  4. Action
  5. Maintenance
  6. Relapse (not a part of change, but commonly occurs during the change process)

Pre-Contemplative

People in this stage are not aware of any need to change. Pressuring someone in this stage to seek help will likely push them further away, as they are generally not interested in any type of help and often become defensive when approached by any outside efforts or pressure to get them to quit. If you are trying to help a friend or family member become aware of their problem, start with a positive approach where you help them try to see the consequences of what they are doing. Take a self-inventory to assess whether anything you are doing is enabling the person to continue their behavior.

Contemplative

In this second stage of change, people begin to become more aware of the consequences of their behavior and wonder if they should deal with it. Often a person will feel quite ambivalent about this decision. Likely, the person may have experienced consequences of their behavior such as a DUI, problems at work or home or health concerns that have prompted them to weigh the pros and cons of their choices. When a person has entered this stage, try to reinforce the cons of continuing with drugs and the pros of sobriety.

Preparation

A person in this third stage of change may have made statements such as, “I’ve got to do something about this. I can’t go on living this way.” They are ready to research their options and find out what can help and how to make the life changes they desire. Taking time for research at this point is critical in the change process because it allows a person to learn about various methods or clinics and begin to accept all that will be required of them as they move towards cessation and recovery.

Action

At this fourth stage, a person has begun dealing with their addiction by fulfilling a treatment plan and doing things such as attending regular professional treatment or participating in AA meetings. A person in this stage needs the patience and support of those around them more than ever, as they will likely experience withdrawal symptoms and emotional effects from giving up the thing that has been most important to them up until this point. If you are in this stage, set short-term goals and seek continuous support.

Maintenance

In this fifth stage, a person has dealt with the initial challenges of change and should acquire skills and set new rules in their life to avoid relapse. It is important for people in this stage to remind themselves of how far they have come and how their change has impacted their own life as well as the lives around them. Continued support at this stage is just as important to help avoid relapse.

Relapse

Because relapse is so common among drug addicts, many professionals include relapse as a possible part of the stages of change. It is easy for a person in recovery to fall back into old ways because staying sober is a learning process. If someone has experienced relapse, remind them of their hard work and the positive changes they have made in their life.

Regardless of what stage of change a person is in, those suffering from addiction problems can seek help through different types of treatment or long term drug rehab to help them through their own personal process of change.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Robert Cordray on June 13th, 2013 in Uncategorized | No comments Read related posts in , , ,