An influential cognitive-behavioral approach to addiction recovery and therapy has been Alan Marlatt's (1985) Relapse Prevention approach. Marlatt describes four psycho-social processes relevant to the addiction and relapse processes: self-efficacy, outcome expectancy, attributions of causality, and decision-making processes. Self-efficacy refers to one's ability to deal competently and effectively with high-risk, relapse-provoking situations. Outcome expectancy refer to an individual's expectations about the psychoactive effects of an addictive substance. Attributions of causality refer to an individual's pattern of beliefs that relapse to drug use is a result of internal, or rather external, transient causes (e.g., allowing oneself to make exceptions when faced with what are judged to be unusual circumstances). Finally, decision-making processes are implicated in the relapse process as well. Substance use is the result of multiple decisions whose collective effects result in a consumption of the intoxicant. Furthermore, Marlatt stresses some decisions—referred to as apparently irrelevant decisions—may seem inconsequential to relapse, but may actually have downstream implications that place the user in a high-risk situation.
An average of about three months of residential treatment seems to be effective. The optimal treatment time seems to be similar in non-residential treatment, suggesting a combination of residential and non-residential treatment might be effective over that time. But completing the treatment program and actively participating seem to be more important than treatment setting or length.
Alcohol detox– In most cases of long-term alcohol addiction, detox must occur prior to formal treatment. This part of the healing process involves stopping the consumption of alcohol and all other drugs. This gives the body time to cleanse itself of all harmful toxins. Withdrawal symptoms may be an issue (e.g., depression and anxiety, mood swings, sweats, chills and irritability). They all depend upon the specifics of the addiction. Physical and mental health care and support is provided, as needed.1Therapeutic medication– The need for therapeutic medication depends on the individual patient’s needs, experiences and circumstances. If a drug is used, it should be medically-managed by a physician.
Stress, anger, frustration, self-esteem issues, depression, anxiety, trauma – all of these and more can be overwhelming to a person, driving them to seek relief of any kind from any source. Without positive coping skills to help handle issues, many turn to drugs and alcohol and, with repeated use, they spiral out of control into psychological and physical dependence.
All drugs–nicotine, cocaine, marijuana and others–affect the brain’s “reward” circuit, which is part of the limbic system. This area of the brain affects instinct and mood. Drugs target this system, which causes large amounts of dopamine—a brain chemical that helps regulate emotions and feelings of pleasure—to flood the brain. This flood of dopamine is what causes a “high.” It’s one of the main causes of drug addiction.
Problem drinking soon progresses to physical dependency. At this stage, you have probably developed a tolerance to alcohol and require more of it to feel the same level of enjoyment as before. This increased consumption can cause your body to get used to alcohol. When you are not using it, or the effects begin to wear off, you will experience physical withdrawal symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat, sweating, tremors, and nausea. Alcohol Detox Treatment
The methamphetamine binge is followed by a phase called “tweaking,” a state characterized by restlessness, anxiety, paranoia, agitation, sleeplessness, and intense cravings. “Tweakers” may experience delusional thinking, psychotic episodes, hallucinations, and violent impulses. Severe itching and the urge to harm oneself are common at this point. Methamphetamine withdrawal is complicated by the fact that many heavy users are malnourished, dehydrated, and sleep deprived. Meth-induced psychosis can continue for weeks or months after the addict stops using. In a case study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, one methamphetamine addict continued to have auditory hallucinations, fears of persecution, and paranoid delusions for a year after treatment.
However, other elements – for example the type of therapies available – may lie completely beyond your understanding and experience. With this in mind, it is always advisable to speak with an addiction specialist who will almost certainly be able to think of things which may not occur to you but which could be very important. By leveraging the vast experience of an addiction specialist you can be sure that issues of great importance will not go unaddressed.
Both issues are exceedingly dangerous; neither should be ignored. Drug abuse turns into drug addiction, and both problems are deadly in their own right. If your loved one is struggling with drug abuse or addiction – no matter what their drug of choice – contact us at Axis today to learn more about how we can provide the healing options that will change their life for the better.
In the not so distant past, treatment for alcoholism would have required a person to stay in hospital for an unknown period of time. Today, a number of treatments for alcoholism exist that do not require a person to stay in hospital at all. There are lots of different types of programs, some involve the person committing for a couple of hours a day over several weeks, while others require up to 20 hours of attendance a week over an indefinite amount of time. If the person is considered low-risk, to both themselves and others, outpatient care under the supervision of a doctor is usually the best course of treatment. Inpatient programs usually take place in a physiatrist hospital, although some general hospitals run them too. There are lots of different types of programs, some involve the person committing for a couple of hours a day over several weeks. There are also specialist alcohol addiction treatment centers, which offer the same services as a hospital. Individuals who are usually recommended for inpatient treatment are usually those who are suffering severe withdrawals or who have had several failed rehabilitation attempts in the past. If the person suffers from a psychiatric disorder or comes from a family of alcoholics, inpatient care is usually a wise option. Inpatient care usually involves a medically supervised detoxification, which is managed with the use of medication. Cognitive behavioral therapy and an introduction to outside support groups are also an integral part of the alcoholism treatment. People who receive outpatient care will generally undergo the same treatment as those who are admitted for inpatient treatment, although the detoxification medication will vary.
Research the history of the Treatment Center or facility. What is their success rate? Can you find any medical recommendations for them online from members of the established rehab or medical community? How long has the Center been in operation? Is their leadership on solid ground? Are there any signs of financial corruption associated with the Center that is readily visible on the Internet? It is your responsibility to dig for this information. If you cannot find any information about a given Treatment Center online or at your local library, move on to the next Center on your list! 3 Stages of Drug Alcohol Rehab-How It Works