Archives for Treatment

General

Spotting & Responding to Severe, Potentially Violent Mental Illness

The Questions We’re Asking in the Orlando Aftermath…

In the wake of extreme violence in Orlando, FL, along with numerous other relatively recent mass shootings, one wonders if someone should have intervened with these troubled individuals before the violence occurred. But who is that someone, how would that person have known that intervention was needed, and what if anything could that person have done to help the troubled individual and potentially prevent tragedy?

A...
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Mental Health

4 Things to Look for in a Trauma Therapist

To heal from trauma means finally dealing with the source of the trauma, whether it’s childhood abuse or neglect, combat experiences, or a natural disaster or a violent assault. How can this be done, however, when trauma provokes such negative and overwhelming feelings - feelings that most try hard to keep safely buried?

Therapy can be a vital step, helping the person feel safe enough to revisit their...
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Treatment

Dispelling Myths About Naltrexone: Is It Right for You?

Naltrexone has been around for decades as a treatment for those struggling with opioid or alcohol dependence, first in pill form and now as a once-a-month injection marketed under the name Vivitrol. Despite its long-term presence on the scene, confusion about naltrexone’s efficacy and appropriateness abound. Here’s a look at a few myths surrounding this increasingly popular addiction medication to help you determine if it might be right for you: Myth 1: It’s not that effective. Historically, it has been hard to judge how well naltrexone worked because patients needed to take it every day. If they missed even a few doses, its benefit was lost. It is now clear that when the pills are taken as directed or the intramuscular injections are received monthly, naltrexone offers significant relief for many who struggle with addictions to alcohol or opioids.
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Treatment

Obamacare’s First Act: Why I’m Optimistic

The dust has begun to settle ever so slightly on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known popularly as Obamacare, giving us a glimpse at what might be and what has already begun to change in terms of helping some of the most vulnerable among us - people struggling with addictions and mental illness. As someone who works directly with this population, I am optimistic. It’s still early in the process, but the ACA’s mandated health coverage is having important practical and philosophical effects. In practical terms, more people are getting on the insurance rolls; philosophically, there’s increased recognition that those dealing with mental health issues or substance abuse need and deserve help, and that it benefits all of us when they get it.
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Treatment

What Does Drug Rehab Accreditation Really Mean?

When you’re searching for a drug rehab, one of the first recommendations you’ll hear is to find a program that is accredited. What does it mean for a program to be accredited? And does accreditation ensure quality treatment? In lieu of or in addition to getting licensed by the state, some addiction treatment programs choose to get accredited by a third party. In the U.S., drug rehab centers are most commonly accredited by: CARF (the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) – an independent, nonprofit organization that accredits addiction and dual diagnosis programs. It is the largest accrediting body for addiction treatment programs. The Joint Commission (formerly JCAHO) – America’s largest accreditor of health care services and the second largest accreditor of addiction treatment programs.
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Treatment

A Doctor’s Most Dreaded Patient: The Addict

It is an unfortunate reality that most doctors don’t like treating addiction, and they don’t like addicts. They’ll treat the consequences of the disease but they won’t always confront the underlying issues, discuss treatment options or provide referrals to an addiction specialist or even a self-help support group like AA. What’s behind this institutional bias against addicts? A Health Care System in Denial Denial keeps addicts stuck in their disease. It’s also keeping our health care system sick. An estimated six million addicts receive health care in hospitals, emergency rooms and primary care clinics each year. This kind of access puts doctors in an ideal position to recognize and treat addiction, yet they receive very little training on how to do so. During medical school, there’s no required course in addiction and only a few states require continuing education in the use of narcotic medications and the management of chronic pain.
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Treatment

5 Reasons to Refuse an Addiction Treatment (and 5 Reasons Not to)

During drug rehab, dozens of different therapies may be incorporated into a treatment plan. If you’ve done your research and chosen a reputable rehab center, it’s best to keep an open mind and trust the advice of your treatment team. But there are a few instances when you may want to do your own research, get a second opinion or even decline a certain treatment: #1 The Treatment Isn’t Backed by Research Thanks to a growing body of research, we have a good idea of what works and what doesn’t in the treatment of addiction. Even with this knowledge, a surprising number of treatment centers use interventions that are not backed by research. In fact, a five-year study by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University found that most people receiving treatment for addiction “do not receive anything that approximates evidence-based care.” Psychosocial therapies, medication, nutrition and exercise, and self-help support groups are a few examples of effective components of a comprehensive treatment plan. Newer therapies that haven’t been around long enough to be thoroughly studied also may be worth trying, especially if they have very little potential to do harm.
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Treatment

Home Detox: What’s The Worst That Could Happen?

Do-it-yourself detox programs make lofty promises, assuring addicts they can get clean ultra-fast, ultra-cheap. While easy fixes are difficult to resist, especially when it comes to a challenge as great as addiction, anyone who promises a painless, quick and permanent transition from addict to non-addict is deluded about the nature of this disease. Detox, the process of eliminating drugs and alcohol from the body, is the first step toward recovery. For all our disagreements, one of the areas in which addiction specialists are nearly unanimous is that drug detox should take place in a licensed detox facility where the process is monitored and supervised by medical professionals.
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