Posts Tagged counseling

Role of the family in Treatment of a Drug Addict

It's a hard life.

The participation and encouragement of the family members has a crucial role to play in the treatment of an addict. But an essential fact is that the family members are also often extremely distressed and confused. They often face innumerable problems ranging from violence, separation, divorce, inappropriate role models and extreme financial crisis. The problem of addiction creeps in silently until it is finally detected and it is perhaps only then faced by the family. However, by that time it has left a mark on each family member. Thus initially even the family members require a lot of assistance and encouragement to enable them to support the person in treatment.

Drug addiction is not a condition which can be completely cured once it is treated. It is a chronic, relapsing condition and the chances of reverting to the same situation is quite high if the individual along with his family members do not take adequate precautions. Treating addiction thus involves more than just getting the dependent to stop using drugs. It also involves counseling the family members thus improving the family relationships and functioning.

The family members have an important role to play in helping the recovering drug user adapting to the substance-free lifestyle. Extra money can always lead to a relapse. Thus the family should guide the person in managing finance in a better way by making use of some of the options like clearing his previous debts, budgeting current expenses or investing for the future.

Time management is one of the most important tasks of a recovering drug user and the family can play a critical role in this area by helping the individual schedule activities, engaging him in some activities of his interest.

Re-integration with the family is foundation of any treatment approach. The understanding, support and co-operation of the family members can help these hapless individuals come back to the mainstream of life.

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Treatment of Drug and Substance Addiction – An Overview


The disease of addiction entails a lot of complexities which affect every sphere of the addict’s life as well as that of his family members. Addiction, like any other chronic disease, is treatable. Treatment of addiction has several components which aims at making the victim drug free and rehabilitating him into the mainstream of life. It covers detoxification and management of medical problems, providing individual, family and group counseling and extending follow-up care.

Treatment of addiction is primarily based on certain guiding principles, the salient one being that recovery from addiction is possible though there is a probability of relapse and recovery is usually a long process. The treatment procedure must focus on various needs of the recovering person – physical, psychological, legal, vocational, spiritual and others. Counseling forms an integral part of the treatment and this should continue for an adequate period of time. Regular monitoring of the individual’s needs, problems and his progress is essential.

The involvement of family, community, workplace and support groups facilitate recovery. Co-morbidity is one of the most chief factors since most of the addicts do suffer from different types of physical or mental problems which, if left untreated, will take a more serious form in recovery and this might act as a trigger for relapse.

The initial step in treating an addict is assessment of the causes of addiction and identification of the most appropriate treatment modalities which could meet his needs.

Detoxification is the next step which deals with the abstinence syndrome caused by the cessation of the use of drugs. Detoxification can be done in a controlled environment such as at a detoxification center or on an outpatient basis.

The early detoxification phase is followed by counseling – individual or group. This enables the client to assess his problems and motivates him to develop coping skills.

An effective treatment procedure should have a component of aftercare since it is essential to sustain recovery.

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