Conquering drug addiction made simpler with effective drug rehab clinics
Overcoming drug addiction can be a challenging time in anyone’s life. Finding an effective drug treatment center is the best thing for anyone who is interested in kicking their bad habits and renewing their lease on life. Trying to conquer a drug addiction is incredibly challenging, and when you try to do it without help, then your chances of success are cut dramatically. Nevertheless, if you get help at a rehab center, then you are taking a large step towards recovery. Since the process is so prolonged and involved, you need to do things right the first time, which means deciding on the best center for your requirements.
If you try to overcome a drug addiction alone, the chances of relapses will be greater. Sometimes you can also go to a rehabilitation center but still relapse, which is why it is even more crucial to choose the right center. You do not want to endure the process more than once, due to the emotional and physical demands. Hence select the right program for the greatest chance at success.
When you are thinking about a drug addiction program, search for one which is tailored to your desires and not one that is a one-size-fits-all sort of program. You will have a much better chance to overcome your addiction if you get personal attention. Many people do not think to look for programs that help with the side effects of drug abuse, like depression and eating disorders, therefore find something that can control every aspect you might be dealing with rather than the initial symptom.
Look for a plan that helps you every step of the way, from the initiation until after you are reinstated to your normal lifestyle. You need a drug addiction program that will help your family have an understanding of what your situation is so that they can know how they might be able to help or watch for warning signs.
A drug addiction program should help you feel at ease in your environment. The program is going to be difficult, so you want something that will allow you to loosen up as much as you can. Locate a treatment center that has yoga, spas, massages and much more. You are not being penalized for your addiction, therefore you don’t need every single part of the program to be uncomfortable.
You have a much better chance at success with overcoming your drug addiction when you are relaxed because you will feel more at home. You’ll have a more positive experience, and as such, be less likely to backslide once you go back home.
Privacy and an experienced staff are two things that you ought to take into account when considering a drug addiction center. Try to look for a rehabilitation center that is staffed with experts who value your privacy as much as you do, and treat you as an individual, not as a convict.
When you’re choosing a center to help you with your drug addiction, evaluate their after-care plan to prevent relapsing. If you wish to keep on your path to freedom, then you need something that will help you remain drug free outside of that safe environment. Get a customized plan and know that you can make the change to have a better life.
Effective Treatment for Drug Addiction – The Time is Now to Change
Strictly speaking, an addiction is a chronic strain and need on that the body develops towards a substance, drug, food or chemical in order to feel normal again. At times this is not as simple as it sounds; what the body deciphers as necessary for life may itself be the very thing that destroys it. Take for instance; drug addiction (which sometimes clinically differs from drug dependency) happens when the body craves the ingestion of a drug in order to diminish its heightened sense of anxiety and when this drug of choice is ingested, inhaled or injected into the blood stream, a sense of calm and serene satisfaction blankets the body and the craving subsides. Drug addiction to such potent drugs as heroin, opium, cocaine and methamphetamines, is one of the most dangerous and potent killers in today’s society and there are various ways in which it can be treated but before we examine that, let us explore why it starts. There are both physical and psychological reasons.
Most drug addicts get into drug use after experiencing some traumatic experience such as the death of a loved one, an accident, the loss of an important relationship or even after learning of the existence of a terminal illness. The addict then goes into a state of denial where he or she needs an additive in order to “cope” with life. Initially, the addict rationalizes that he or she is able to keep the drug usage under control. Sometimes the drug, such as methamphetamine, will promise the user an ecstatic high that blankets the present pain of living and offers a thrill that surpasses all else that the addict has ever known and in so doing attempts to numb reality. Once the addict has solidly settled into regular drug use, the body chemical balance is altered to where it needs the drug in ever increasing amounts in order to produce the same high. At this point, the addict is overwhelmed by feelings of helplessness and no longer has any control. It is at this juncture that he or she needs immediate help. Let us examine the treatment for drug addiction.
There are those of the school of thought that in order to transition the addict to full recovery, the root cause of the addiction has to be tackled. In other words, the hurt, pain and disappointment that caused the addict to fall into addictive behavior has to be addressed. This is where family and friends come in handy in loving and supporting the addict back to life. It is at this point that the addict needs a support system. Attending an addicts’ recovery group such as the 12-step program also serves the same purpose.
The same way there exists drugs which induce an addiction, doctors and pharmacists have also formulated drugs that combat that same addiction. These drugs such as methadone, attempt to restore the body’s original chemical balance so that the addictive drug loses its hold on the addict. One downside to these anti-addictive drugs is that they are themselves addictive if taken without a prescription. These need to be taken with caution and intelligently.
Dee Cohen is a licensed social worker and writes at Treatment for Drug Addiction where you can visit and learn more about taking care of yourself at http://www.drug-and-alcohol-rehab-info.com
Addictions Recovery Measurement & the Seven Dimensions Model
Introducing a Multidimensional Recovery Measurement Model for Addictions
The sun was thought to revolve around the earth for 1500 years. It wasn’t until a European astronomer named – Nicolaus Copernicus first formulated a modern heliocentric theory of the solar system that we began to change our thinking. This insight ultimately ushered in a major paradigm shift in astronomy and physics. Every model or viewpoint for recovery maintains the integrity and importance of its own position, often to the exclusion of other explanations. For example, there are recovery models and theories for: biological, psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual viewpoints that can all explain human behavior. Unfortunately, these viewpoints may thus “blind” their adherents to alternative interpretations until some new insight is achieved that resolves the problems left unsolved. It is my hope that the 7 – Dimensions model for addictions recovery measurement is a step towards a “Copernicus” type paradigm shift.
Because human behavior is so complex, an attempt to understand the reasons individuals continue to use, and/ or abuse themselves with substances and/ or maladaptive behavioral addictions to the point of developing self-defeating behavior patterns and/ or other life-style dysfunctions or self-harm is enormously difficult to achieve. Many researchers therefore prefer to speak of risk factors that may contribute, but not be sufficient to cause addictions. They point to an eclectic bio-psychosocial approach that involves the multi-dimensional interactions of genetics, biochemistry, psychology, socio-cultural, and spiritual influences. Risk Factors / Contributory Causes / Influences:
1. Genetics (family history) – is known to play a role in causing susceptibility through such biological avenues as metabolic rates and sensitivity to alcohol and/ or other drugs or addictive behaviors.
2. Biochemistry – the discovery of morphine-like substances called endorphins (runners high, etc.) and the so-called “pleasure pathway” – the mesocorticolimbic dopamine pathway (MCLP). This is the brain center or possible anatomic site underlying addictions at which alcohol and other drugs stimulate to produce euphoria – which then becomes the desired goal to attain (tolerance – loss of control – withdrawal).
3. Psychological Factors – developmental personality traits, vulnerability to stress, and the desire for tension and symptom reduction from various mental health problems and traumatic life experiences.
Our present healthcare system is set up to focus on acute care rather than chronic illnesses. It focuses on a Unitary Syndrome model in which the sole marker of treatment response or success is specific symptom-reduction. Healthcare consumers are increasingly advocating for a multidimensional model that takes into account an array of life-functioning domains that influence patient treatment progress. Evidenced-based meta-analysis studies also purport the prognostic power of life-functioning variables to predict outcome as well as their importance for treatment planning over a unitary model that has had little empirical support. Accurate diagnosis is also dependent on a thorough multidimensional assessment process along with the possible help of a multidisciplinary treatment team approach. Behavioral Medicine practitioners have come to realize that although a disorder may be primarily physical or primarily psychological in nature, it is always a disorder of the whole person – not just of the body or the mind.
American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
The American Society of Addiction Medicine’s (2003), “Patient Placement Criteria for the Treatment of Substance-Related Disorders, 3rd Edition”, has set the standard in the field of addiction treatment for recognizing a multidimensional, bio-psychosocial assessment process. ASAM developed the following six dimensions specifically for the addictions field with the intent to provide clinicians with decision-making guidelines for patient placement of care:
1. Acute Intoxication and/ or Withdrawal Potential
2. Biomedical Conditions and Complications
3. Emotional/ Behavioral Conditions and Complications
4. Treatment Acceptance / Resistance
5. Relapse / Continued Use Potential
6. Recovery Environment
The ASAM dimensional delineations were developed to assess severity of illness (alcoholism/ drug addiction). The severity of illness level is then used to determine the match to type and intensity of treatment to help guide placement into one of four levels of care. The dimensional assessments would involve asking if the patient’s daily living activities were significantly impaired to interfere with or distract from abstinence, recovery, and/ or stability treatment goals and efforts.
Seven Dimensions Model
In 2004, the Addictions Recovery Measurement System (ARMS), was published – describing the following seven life-functioning therapeutic activity dimensions for progress outcome measurements. As can be seen below, the ASAM (Severity of Illness) dimensions do not compete with the seven “Life-functioning” dimensions, but rather add depth in describing the Abstinence/ Relapse – 7th Dimension. Each of the seven dimensions has individualized assessment criteria:
1. Social/ Cultural – Dimension
2. Medical/ Physical – Dimension
3. Mental/ Emotional – Dimension
4. Educational/ Occupational – Dimension
5. Spiritual/ Religious – Dimension
6. Legal/ Financial – Dimension
7. Abstinence/ Relapse – Dimension
a. Acute Intoxication and/ or Withdrawal Potential
b. Biomedical Conditions and Complications
c. Emotional/ Behavioral Conditions and Complications
d. Treatment Acceptance / Resistance
e. Relapse / Continued Use Potential
f. Recovery Environment
Note: These seven dimensions have been delineated in the book entitled, Poly-behavioral Addiction and the Addictions Recovery Measurement System (Slobodzien, 2005).
The 7 – Dimension recovery model is not based upon an expanded version of the ASAM dimensions. As noted above, it was initially designed to measure patient progress by assessing therapeutic life-functioning activities. Researched may prove it to be effective as a generalized model for recovery, from all pathological diseases, disorders, and disabilities. It’s multidimensional assessment/ treatment process includes the internal interconnection of multiple dimensions from biomedical to spiritual – taking into account the effects of feedback and the existence of each dimension mutually influencing each other simultaneously. Because of the complexity of human nature, treatment progress needs to be initially tailored and guided by an individualized treatment plan based on a comprehensive bio-psychosocial assessment that identifies specific problems, goals, objectives, methods, and timetables for achieving the goals and objectives of treatment.
Life-style addictions may affect many domains of an individual’s functioning and frequently require multi-modal treatment. Goals of treatment include reduction in the use and effects of substances or achievement of abstinence, reduction in the frequency and severity of relapse, and improvement in psychological and social functioning. Real progress requires time, commitment, and discipline in thinking about it, planning for it, working the plan, and monitoring the successes made to prevent relapse. It also requires appropriate interventions and motivating strategies for each progress area of an individual’s life.
7 – Dimensions is a nonlinear, dynamical, non-hierarchical model that focuses on interactions between multiple risk factors and situational determinants similar to catastrophe and chaos theories in predicting and explaining addictive behaviors and relapse. Multiple influences trigger and operate within high-risk situations and influence the global multidimensional functioning of an individual. The process of relapse incorporates the interaction between background factors (e.g., family history, social support, years of possible dependence, and co morbid psychopathology), physiological states (e.g., physical withdrawal), cognitive processes (e.g., self-efficacy, cravings, motivation, the abstinence violation effect, outcome expectancies), and coping skills (Brownell et al., 1986; Marlatt & Gordon, 1985). To put it simply, small changes in an individual’s behavior can result in large qualitative changes at the global level and patterns at the global level of a system emerge solely from numerous little interactions. The clinical utility of the 7 – Dimensions recovery model is in its ability to assist health care providers to quickly gather detailed information about an individual’s personality, background, substance use history, affective state, self-efficacy, and coping skills for prognosis, diagnosis, treatment planning, and outcome measures.
The 7 – Dimensions hypothesis is that there is a multidimensional synergistically negative resistance that individual’s develop to any one form of treatment to a single dimension of their lives, because the effects of an individual’s addiction have dynamically interacted multi-dimensionally. Having the primary focus on one dimension is insufficient. Traditionally, addiction treatment programs have failed to accommodate for the multidimensional synergistically negative effects of an individual having multiple addictions, (e.g. nicotine, alcohol, and obesity, etc.). Behavioral addictions interact negatively with each other and with strategies to improve overall functioning. They tend to encourage the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, help increase violence, decrease functional capacity, and promote social isolation. Most treatment theories today involve assessing other dimensions to identify dual diagnosis or co-morbidity diagnoses, or to assess contributing factors that may play a role in the individual’s primary addiction. The 7 Dimensions’ theory is that a multidimensional treatment plan must be devised addressing the possible multiple addictions identified for each one of an individual’s life dimensions in addition to developing specific goals and objectives for each dimension.
The 7 – Dimensions’ theory promotes a synergistically positive effect that can ignite and set free the human spirit when an individual’s life functioning dimensions are elevated in a homeostatic system. The reciprocity between spirituality and multidimensional life functioning progress, establish the deepest intrinsic self-image and behavioral changes. The underlying 7 – Dimensions theory purports that the combination of an individuals’ elevated and balanced multiple life-functioning dimensions can produce a synergistically tenacious, resilient, and spiritually positive individual homeostasis. Just as the combination of alcohol and drugs (for example valium) when taken together produce a synergistic effect (potency effects are not added together, but multiplied), and can develop into an addiction or unbalanced life-style, positive treatment effectiveness and successful outcomes are the result of a synergistic relationship with “The Higher Power.”
The 7 – Dimensions model acknowledges that family genetics, and bio-psychosocial, historical, and developmental conditioning factors are difficult and sometimes impossible to be changed within individuals. The standardized performance-based Addictions Recovery Measurement System philosophy incorporates a bio-psychosocial disease model that focuses on a cognitive behavioral perspective in attempting to alter maladaptive thinking and improve a person’s abilities and behaviors to solve problems and plan for sustained recovery. Many healthcare consumers of addiction recovery services have a genetic pre-dispositional history for addiction. They have suffered and continue to suffer from past traumatic life experiences (e.g. physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, etc.) and often present with psychosocial stressors (e.g. occupational stress, family/ marital problems, etc.) leaving them with intense and confusing feelings (e.g. anger, anxiety, bitterness, fear, guilt, grief, loneliness, depression, and inferiority, etc.) that reinforce their already low self-esteem. The complex interaction of these factors can leave the individual with much deeper mental health problems involving self-hatred, self-punishment, self-denial, low self-control, low self-respect, and a severe low self-esteem condition, with an overall (sometimes hidden) negative self-identity.
The 7 – Dimensions model combines a multidimensional force field analysis of an individual’s unique problems to identify positive strength prognostic factors, with behavioral contracting, and a token-“like”- economy point system to accomplish this task. Force field analysis is a process whereby an individual’s behavior is assessed to determine which are the key forces driving the addictive behaviors and which are the key forces restraining the addictive behaviors. A plan is implemented to identify the positive strength restraining factors to somehow manipulate those forces in order to increase the likelihood of moving an individual’s behavior in a pro-social recovery direction. Kurt Lewin (1947) who originally developed the Force Field Theory argued that an issue is held in balance by the interaction of two opposing sets of forces – those seeking to promote change (driving forces) and those attempting to maintain the status quo (restraining forces). Any given social event occurs at a given frequency in a given social context, and the frequency of the event is dependent upon forces acting to increase the event as well as forces acting to decrease the event. At any given point in time, there is a “semi-stable equilibrium” whereby the frequency of the social event will remain the same so long as there is neither change in the number or strength of the forces acting to increase the social event nor any change in the forces acting to decrease the event. Equilibrium is altered in either direction by increasing the frequency or intensity of the driving or the restraining forces and thereby creating a corresponding increase or decrease in the rate of an individual’s “addictive” behaviors.
The long-term goal is the health-consumer’s highest optimal functioning, not merely the absence of pathology or symptom reduction. The short-term goal is to change the health care system to accommodate and assimilate to a multidimensional health care perspective. The 7 – Dimensions model addresses the low self-esteem – “addiction – common denominator” by helping individuals establish values, set and accomplish goals, and monitor successful performance.
Additionally, when we consider that addictions involve unbalanced life-styles operating within semi-stable equilibrium force fields, the 7 – Dimensions philosophy promotes that there is a supernatural-like spiritually synergistic effect that occurs when an individuals’ multiple life functioning dimensions are elevated in a homeostatic human system. This bilateral spiritual connectedness reduces chaos and increases resilience to bring an individual harmony, wellness, and productivity. The ARMS takes an objective perspective on spirituality by assessing an individual’s positive and/ or negative spiritual/ religious dimension with the Religious Attitudes Inventory (e.g., the RAI is capable of identifying extremely unhealthy cult-like spirituality with the rigid, and intolerant religious and militant orthodoxy, practiced by some terrorists, etc.). RAI test results are also integrated into the prognostication scoring system.
The 7 – Dimensions model also promotes Twelve Step Recovery Groups such as Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous along with spiritual and religious recovery activities as a necessary means to maintain outcome effectiveness. The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s most recent research findings regard such active involvement with AA/ NA as the crucial factor responsible for sustained recovery
The 7 – Dimensions Model is not claiming to be the panacea for the ills of addictions treatment progress and outcomes, but it is a step in the right direction for getting clinicians to change the way they practice, by changing treatment facility systems to incorporate evidence-based research findings on effective interventions. The challenge for those interested in conducting outcome evaluations to improve their quality of care is to incorporate a system that will standardize their assessment procedures, treatment programs, and clinical treatment practices. By diligently following a standardized system to obtain base-line outcome statistics of their treatment program effectiveness despite the outcome, they will be able to assess the effectiveness of subsequent treatment interventions.
For more info see:
Poly-Behavioral Addiction and the Addictions Recovery Measurement System (ARMS) at: http://www.geocities.com/drslbdzn/Behavioral_Addictions.html
American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p. 787 & p. 731. American Society of Addiction Medicine’s (2003), “Patient Placement Criteria for the Treatment of Substance-Related Disorders, 3rd Edition, Retrieved, June 18, 2005, from:
http://www.asam.org/ Arthur Aron, Ph.D., professor, psychology, State University of New York, Stony Brook; Helen Fisher, research professor, department of anthropology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.; Paul Sanberg, Ph.D.,professor, neuroscience, and director, Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair,University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa; June 2005, the Journal of Neurophysiology Gorski, T. (2001), Relapse Prevention In The Managed Care Environment. GORSKI-CENAPS Web Publications. Retrieved June 20, 2005, from: www.tgorski.com Lienard, J. & Vamecq, J. (2004), Presse Med, Oct 23;33(18 Suppl):33-40. Morgan, G.D.; and Fox, B.J. Promoting Cessation of Tobacco Use. The Physician and Sports medicine. Vol 28- No. 12, December 2000. Slobodzien, J. (2005). Poly-behavioral Addiction and the Addictions Recovery Measurement System (ARMS), Booklocker.com, Inc., p. 5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2010 (Conference Edition). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2000.
James Slobodzien, Psy.D., CSAC, is a Hawaii licensed psychologist and certified substance abuse counselor who earned his doctorate in Clinical Psychology. He is credentialed by the National Registry of Health Service Providers in Psychology. He has over 20-years of mental health experience primarily working in the fields of alcohol/ substance abuse and behavioral addictions in hospital, prison, and court settings. He is an adjunct professor of Psychology and also maintains a private practice as a mental health consultant.