Principles of understanding and treating addiction

Addiction is a serious disease

It is one that might lead to death if not treated correctly and the disease is usually in control of the patient.

Brain changes

Brain changes have been detected in patients who suffer from addiction. The changes could be corrected if treated successfully with abstinence from the trigger for at least 14 months. Thus adequate treatment period is critical for successful treatment. Effectiveness for most patients means following the program over the whole 14 months. The program will include strategies to prevent patients from leaving treatment prematurely.

Engagement 

Treatment needs to be readily available. It is an emergency situation.

But the patient is usually in denial and isolation. To help engage the patient in the treatment program we find that pre-intervention work needs to take place with family and friends, who will continue to support the patient during the program itself.

No single treatment is appropriate. At least a full year and two months of treatment is required by one or more therapists as well as the consulting psychiatrist.

Effective treatment

Effective treatment has multiple interventions.

We must establish a strong relationship between the patient and their therapy specialists, early in the treatment process. High caliber decision making means that the therapist is at the front line, rather than waiting for instructions.

A full treatment program has different phases required to restore the brain cell activities to the normal pattern and to reduce the risk of relapse. It is highly recommended that the treating team would continue with the patient for the full program length.

The main sign of successful treatment is the strong bond between the therapist and the patient. Without this the treatment would be doomed to end in failure.

We note that it is frequently the case that a patient might suffer from co-occurrence of different psychiatric illnesses so it is likely that the character of the patient’s needs might change during the detox period. Our core team has high expertise in both psychiatric illness and addiction and will make regular assessment of the patient throughout the journey of detox.  This means also that frequently medication might be necessary for treating the co-existing illness during the detox period.

 

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