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The Main Aspects Of Addiction Treatment Used In The US

Aug 1, 2008
Addiction treatment follows different principles and policies depending on the part of the world in which it is provided. As an example, we can consider the different kinds of addiction treatment provided in the US and the UK. In the US, addiction treatment means the pull the person completely out of the dependency of the substance. The aim here is the make the person stop abusing whichever addictive substance he or she is hooked to. However, in the UK, addiction treatment means to bring down the dependency of the person to a lesser extent so that it is no longer dangerous to the health of the patient.

The basic difference is in the outlook of the treatment providers towards the addiction. American treatment providers believe that a person can be completely brought out of an addiction; however, European treatment providers believe that this is not possible or at least, not practicable, considering that the person might be using the substance since a long time. Hence, their endeavor is only to reduce the dependency of the person while the attempt in the US is to completely remove the usage of the substance from the person's life.

There are several more aspects that the US treatment includes. The following are some of the points.

Convincing the Patient for the Treatment

This becomes the first aspect of addiction treatment in all treatment centers of the US. Never will a patient of addiction be completely willing to get into treatment. It will become quite necessary to use certain motivational and encouragement programs to create in them in this need. This is done through an intervention process. The intervention can be conducted by just about anybody that is in some way influential on the person. In most cases, the intervention is provided by the family of the patient and includes some friends, but it may also be conducted by religious and spiritual groups, educational groups, employers or even the law.

The basic meaning of intervention is to form a group of people that can come forward and coerce or cajole the patient to get into treatment. Some of these groups will use the services of an intervention specialist to guide them through the intervention process.

The intervention does not end with merely bringing the patient to the treatment center. They will further keep track of how the treatment is progressing and will also play a major role in the aftercare when the person is out of the treatment center.

Detoxifying the Patient

Detoxification is a very important aspect of addiction treatment in the US, and in some cases, it comprises the entire treatment program. Basically, this is the process where the patient's body is purged of all the toxins and other undesirable materials contained in it due to the addiction. By using a method of abstinence and then a careful medical therapy that weans off the patient from the addictive substance, the patient's body is cleansed from the toxins. This process is known as detoxification.

Detox is usually conducted in an inpatient treatment format in the US. The patient is housed in a treatment center and careful medical supervision is provided so that the patient's condition during the detox is monitored. The patient is first put on abstinence and then put on a medication therapy to combat the withdrawal effects produced by the substance.

Normally, a detox treatment in an American treatment center can take up to three days to a week, depending on how serious the addiction is. However, there are certain substances, such as heroin and methamphetamine, which require much longer detox treatments. These treatments can even go on for as long as a month.

Counseling Care and Maintenance Medication

Once the patient is out of the obvious form of the addiction treatment, which is the detox, it is important to provide maintenance medication so that the person does not feel the urge for the substance again. These medications are again provided under strict medical supervision, but they can be provided in both an inpatient and an outpatient format.

Counseling is done mainly so that the person can learn ways and methods to keep the temptation for the substance at bay. It is always an attempt to prevent the person from getting re-addicted to the substance. Towards this end, the family of the patient is also coached on how to cope with the addiction treatment and how they can monitor the patient's condition and become a constructive force in the treatment of the patient.
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