Thursday, November 19, 2009

How do we do drug treatment these days?

There was a time, not all that long ago, when drug treatment was simply a matter of someone telling you to pull yourself together. A little like the treatment of PTSD (or shell shock) in the First World War. Those who didn't buck up were malingerers and shot. Fortunately, as we've now learned a great deal more about stress and shock, so we have learned a great deal more about addictions and how we might cope with them.

Perhaps the most important breakthrough was to realise that it might not actually be addiction itself that was the problem. There might be some deeper problem of which addiction was only a symptom: thus the rise of dual diagnosis and the role of an interdisciplinary team in drug treatment. A side track from this point is that we also now recognise multiple addictions: which we again now tend to think are the result of one deeper problem manifesting itself in a variety of ways.

Running this dual diagnosis a close second for the great insight is that we now recognise that there is no one treatment that will work for everyone. Some will do best from therapy, others will find themselves most helped by medically led interventions. So we now think that drug treatment must be carried out in a holistic manner: looking at the entire patient. Working with them to see what works best for them. This in turn means that the treatment provider must be like the Pat Moore Foundation: an integrated one, able to offer the various different treatments from the one residential site as they are needed. Click through any of the links for more information.

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