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Treating Addiction

by Dr Rasyid, Substance Abuse Specialist

Common Misconceptions

There are any misconceptions surrounding those with substance abuse problems: an addict is a criminal; someone who steals, robs or even kills – anything to get their next fix; they can stop using drugs whenever they want to and the failure to do so is viewed as selfish or weak.

This issue is compounded by the media. Drug dependents are often portrayed as an unwanted social class. This creates a stigma surrounding drugs. If you are suffering from drug dependence, you may find it difficult to receive the proper health and support – even from your family and friends.

It’s important to remember that you are not weak or a bad person. Substance abuse is an illness that requires immediate medical and psychological treatment. It changes the physical make up of our body, requiring as much care and attention as someone with diabetes or hypertension. Recent studies have looked at substance abuse from a medical perspective, demonstrating that this is not simply a behavioural problem. Therefore, if it is a medical problem then it requires a medical solution.

Treating Addiction

Every treatment plan is tailored to a specific client. The first thing we look is the type of substance being abused. Are you using heroine, amphetamines, methamphetamine, alcohol or nicotine? We treat every substance differently. There are several factors taken into account: duration, route and frequency of use, the reason why the substance intake started, and the reason why the substance abuse continues.

Our treatment approach is usually based on the biopsychosocial model:

"Bio" consists of medications. The availability of anti-craving medication for substances like alcohol, amphetamines/methamphetamines and heroine help the client maintain the duration of abstinence much longer. This makes the treatment more successful.

"Psycho" refers to psychotherapy and counseling aspect.  Motivational interviewing is a particularly effective method. It prepares the client to make a positive change. The psychotherapy aspects provides the client with support and guidance, helping them to redefine themselves – not as an addict but someone who can successful cross the hurdle of cravings and withdrawals.

"Social" means treating the patient’s social stressors. We will work with the client to restore health to their relationships with their family and loved ones.

If you or a loved one suffer from drug dependency, please get in touch with us:

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