Management of substance use

Treatment goals

The primary goals of substance use treatment are to help the individual stop using the drug and maintain a healthy and drug-free lifestyle. This also includes improving the quality of life by achieving productive functioning of the individual within the family, the workplace, and in the society. Substance use is a prolonged affliction, in most cases worse than other medical ailments because the ‘ill’ individual seldom realizes the severity of the problem, thus rarely ever feels the need for treatment. Management of such an illness essentially comprises detailed medical and psychological assessments followed by optimum tailor made treatment plans to curb the use along with strategies to prevent relapse and recurrence of the illness.

Severity assessment

At MINDFRAMES, initial assessment by a medical expert and a drug DE-addiction specialist helps to score out medical problems due to the use of the drug. Neurological references may be arranged with our in house neurologist to rule out cerebral (brain) involvement. A detailed history, medical physical examination, necessary blood investigations; along with EEG (record of the brain electrical activity), and imaging (CT or MRI scanning) are suggested as and when needed. Hospitalization is advised if complicated withdrawal is anticipated. This is then followed up with a structured psychotherapy plan which is custom made for every client. The family members’ involvement is usually considered to be an integral part of the treatment protocol to help individuals quit their drug habit.

Treatment Model

All effective substance (drug) dependence paradigms and addiction treatment programs typically incorporate many different psycho therapeutic components, each directed to a particular aspect of this illness and dealing with its consequences. The strategy involves the need to make the drug afflicted individuals realize that addiction is not a habit, looseness of character or low frustration tolerance; it is a medical illness that requires treatment. The different models of abstinence, breaking cognitive distortions, challenging irrational beliefs, psycho-education of family members, relapse prevention models and self-help meetings are chalked out in our plan and the road to remission is carved.

Instilling Insight

Insight is an awareness of illness and the factors that contribute to it. Insight oriented therapy forms an integral part of a drug dependence program. When people accept they are ill, they are already half cured. The disease model of addiction is explained to the individual as well as family members using the agent – host – environmental representation, which makes people aware of the pathways to addiction and the process of development of dependence. This helps instill insight into the illness process; which is an essential component of recovery. The target is fixed: To convince the individuals about multidimensional harms of continued drug use, build insight into their faulty choices, attain abstinence and enable them to lead drug free, fruitful and productive lives.

Treatment paradigms

Multiple therapeutic models are available to overpower the devils of drug addiction and dependence.

  • Behavior therapy
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Relapse prevention
  • Insight orientation
  • Family therapy
  • Psycho-education
  • Self-help groups

Psychotherapy aims

Therapeutic programme mandates perceptiveness to the problem.

  • Role of introspection and insight
  • The disease theory of addiction
  • Negative effects of substance use
  • Modalities of treatment available
  • Role of family in the management
  • Need for compliance to treatment

Medications used

Substance use has deep involvement of all physiological systems. This requires medical and psychotherapeutic management. Medicines are used in initial and long term treatment of addiction.

  • Multi-vitamins and nutrients
  • Medication that regain sleep
  • Antidepressant medications
  • Medicines to manage anxiety
  • Anti psychotics in rare cases
  • Drugs that control aggression
  • Drugs that manage withdrawal
  • Drugs that decrease craving
  • Deterrents to the substances