It’s already understood that there needs to be a change in the way that we talk about drug treatment and about those who are working through rehabilitation. Vocabulary plays an enormous role in defining the process from start to finish, encouraging or limiting recovery depending on how it’s used. Along these lines, there needs to be a conversation about viewing addiction as a disease or sickness that needs to be “cured;” this method of thinking leads people to believe that there is a medicinal solution. This happens with a number of other conditions, including many mental illnesses, where it’s often believed that finding the right prescription can be the one and only answer. Really, though, this is far from the truth.
Personal Goals Drive Lasting Change
There are undoubtedly a number of benefits to a medical approach to addiction. Some of these include “the development of pharmaceutical agents that can diminish withdrawal symptoms and ease cravings.” Within this framework, people can better understand the signs and symptoms of addiction when they appear in friends, family, and loved ones. Addiction can be thought of with a framework of biological basis and drug treatment can more accurately address the necessary issues. However, there is much more to treatment of addiction than this, and it’s when people forget to consider the many other layers that misunderstanding and frustration begin to take root.
One of the largest issues with the “disease model” is that medicine can help to lessen the problematic symptoms that come into play within drug treatment, but then do not offer a new desire to move past this stage. They don’t necessarily encourage change in lifestyle by nurturing new patterns of behaviors or thinking. When people are convinced that a pill is the single solution, they engage with a “revolving door” that ultimately does not give them a solid foundation for starting fresh.
No one solution will help each person to succeed within their drug treatment
To change the thinking associated with drug treatment, there needs to be a level of understanding of the physiological and mental effects. More than that, the individual has to have a desire to change, a goal on which they can focus in order to spur their own forward movement. “In a single phrase, motivated self-direction.” No one solution will help each person to succeed within their drug treatment; each path is highly individualized with methods that may only work for that individual. Of course, there are a lot of others whose advice and suggestions may work to ease another’s burden, but it’s wrong to assume that one patient’s experience is standardized enough to have a blanket solution.
Even referring to it as a “solution” is inherently troublesome. Drug treatment is an odyssey, a potentially long and involved process that involves a lot of time, self-reflection, and a number of other factors and trials. Then, there is the difficulty in referring to these people as “patients,” because “patients do not participate in decisions about their care… [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][they] follow the regimens of authority figures who understand the workings of their disease far better than they do.” When you take away the individual effort, then the meaning behind the process is lost.
The belief that drug treatment is a purely medical process that has a one-size-fits-all answer is dangerous. It breaks down the personal desire for change and forces individuals in recovery into a conformity that is detrimental to their being able to truly reach the future they set for themselves. For more information on changing the conversation about those in drug treatment, get in touch with The Bergand Group. The Bergand Group is Maryland’s leading addiction recovery center, and offers support for those struggling with addiction and mental health issues.
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About The Bergand Group:
At The Bergand Group in Baltimore and Harford County, Maryland, our therapists have more than twenty years of experience in the mental health and addiction fields. Our focus is on providing comprehensive mental health care and appropriate care for addictive disorders. We offer both alcohol rehabilitation and drug rehabilitation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance addiction, there is help available. We also offer several other services, including family therapy and counseling. We can help. Contact us today.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]