Posts Tagged ‘addiction treatment’
Thursday, June 3rd, 2010
Who would have guessed some of the newest options for treating the brain in one’s addiction would be medications already in use for things like narcolepsy or antidepressants? An article published by the Associated Press explains how drugs already in use might affect the brain’s addiction to certain substances, from cocaine to methamphetamines.
Through the use of drugs already in use for things like depression, alcoholism (did you know there’s already a shot out there that eases the difficulty in overcoming this addiction?) can block the effects of other drugs on the brain, effectively cutting out the need to use. Although these are trial tests to see if it really works, this step forward offers hope for millions struggling with addictions, the families caught in the crossfire and the economy stuck helping those whose use takes a toll on their health.
The article made an interesting analogy for the new discovery and addiction, saying “Think of it as if the brain were an orchestra, its circuits the violins and the piano and the brass section, all smoothly starting and stopping their parts on cue.”
The director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse Dr. Nora Volkow went on to explain: “That orchestration is disrupted in psychiatric illness,”. “There’s not a psychiatric disease that owns one particular circuit.” This is one of the most promising breakthroughs in the search for what has been thought of as a mythical goal: a cure for addiction.
This being said, most will have to wait for these drugs to be prescribed in addiction treatment. Until this clinical trial becomes active in the public, the best we can do is to work the steps, use the help available and seek aftercare to help in the motivation and direction of managing recovery on one’s own.
Monday, March 22nd, 2010
The last couple years have brought a surge of TV programs dealing with addiction, intervention and recovery for both celebrities and the everyday person. VH1, A&E and now TLC have all taken on the topic, but to what aim?
Do shows like this affect people into action, seeking help for their own addiction or those of a loved one? Or does it simply serve as drama-heavy entertainment portraying people apparently worse off than the viewer?
While any awareness should be good awareness, it appears these shows don’t do much in the way of prompting professional action, but instead create a sense of professionalism within the families who care. A sort of pop-psychology for addiction intervention and treatment. This can lead to some pretty dangerous and misguided side-effects.
What seems to be missing upon many of these shows is the effects of addiction on those around the person with the disease. With the exception of the new TLC show, it’s very rare to see families involved beyond the intervention phase, and when this occurs, families simply participate in attempting to urge the loved one to receive help, rather than making the family (and viewer) aware of the family’s responsibilities in this matter and the effects they have on the progress of their loved-one.
Watching the previews for TLC’s new “Addicted” program, I did hear a sound bite of the interventionist saying “I believe firmly that addiction is a family disorder,” and we couldn’t agree more, but what I hope to see from this new take on the old game is families involved in the progress of recovery for all affected by the disease, and an emphasis on the need for professional intervention rather than make-shift family confrontations.
Another disturbing problem with these shows is the lack of conversation about the need for aftercare. It appears that for most shows treatment is the be-all, end-all for addiction. If one relapses he or she must return to treatment and try again. Money down the drain time and again, and no true hope in sight. VH1 has expanded this closed scope to include “Sober House,” which puts cast members from previous seasons of “Sex Rehab” and “Celebrity Rehab” into a sober living environment. But even here, where is the aftercare discussion. Where is the RAP continuing care?
Relapse seems imminent for most cast members, and on the show’s premier the house manager asks the oft-thought question “What makes one person stay sober and another relapse?”
The answer is actually pretty simple, but lost upon both the asker and apparently the show producers.