Thursday, November 19, 2009

Good news on drug and alcohol addictions

I know, we look around at the modern world and see that there's the news all around us that we're in the grip of a virulent epidemic of addiction. To booze, to drugs, to sex, to self-harming behaviors of every kind. So it might be difficult to espy good news in this field but good news there is. We're getting much better at drug treatment, much better indeed.

The traditional method was pretty simple really: drug treatment meant getting the addict off their drug of choice and then hoping that they would stay off it. While there's a certain robust simplicity to such an approach it's not actually all that effective. For example, we now know that it may not be the addiction that's the root problem: sure, it's a problem, but there's something else under there which is leading to the addictive and damaging behaviour, not just the desire for a certain drug. So we've developed dual diagnosis treatment which looks for that underlying cause and treats it as well.

And we also realise now that different people will react better to different drug treatments. It might be best medically managed (heroin treatment can be greatly aided by methadone for example) or perhaps entirely therapeutically. We do know that taking the addict out of their day to day environment is extremely helpful and we also know that what works for one type of addiction can work well with others. So we now also know that integrated and holistic centers do better than others: for there is that continual cross fertilization of ideas and techniques which drives our knowledge and thus success rate forwards.

Click through any of the links for more information on one of those very integrated centers.

1 comment:

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