Thursday, November 19, 2009

There was a time when we knew little about addiction treatment

That time was well within my own lifetime as well: those who were addicted were looked upon as criminals and treated as such. Fortunately for society (and innumerable individuals) our knowledge about addictions and drug treatment has improved. We now know that it is a disease, one with many causes and thus many possible treatments. Further, we've also learnt that what works for one patient may well not work for another: although there are enough treatments that we can find one or another to suit all.

This is part of a more general trend of course, it's not just restricted to drug treatment. Our whole society is now more aware that we are all individuals, that there are no one size fits all solutions to any problems. We all need to be treated holistically, as a whole person, rather than simply units in one plan or another.

So we find that at modern drug treatment centers like the Pat Moore Foundation there are many different treatment options. It's the patient who works with advisors to decide which is working the best for any individual. This might mean a program based upon therapy: trying to deal with an underlying psychology that predisposes towards addiction for example. Or it might be that such a dual diagnosis isn't quite right and it's more a case of a more medically driven intervention. Or perhaps the group work and support of the 12 steps program made famous by AA is more likely to work?

The advantage of having each of these (and others) all on the same campus is that if one is not working, another can be tried: or if one is working and it is time to move on then that can be done as well. But perhaps the most important point is that as we've learnt more so we've been able to better treat addictions: making the world a better place, one slow step after another.

1 comment:

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