Treatment Recommendations

In a groundbreaking report titled “Addiction Medicine: Closing the Gap between Science and Practice,”  the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse reveals that addiction treatment is largely disconnected from mainstream medical practice.  While only 1 and 10 people suffering from addiction actually receive treatment, those that do receive treatment are not receiving “evidence-based care.”

Dual-Diagnosis Treatment

It is now becoming well accepted that addiction co-occurs with, contributes to or causes a wide range of medical conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders.   Therefore, many medical professionals believe that effective treatment must address both addiction and co-occurring mental conditions.  This is often termed “dual-diagnosis treatment.”  It is now common for drug and alcohol rehab and treatment facilities to claim  to offer dual-diagnosis treatment, but often these facilities lack the personnel and capability to effectively provide these services.

Facilities attract many new patients upon the promise of treating mental disorders during the recovery, but often fail to provide even basic mental health services.   A common scenario is for a patient to see a psychiatrist once and then be left to various group therapy sessions a few times a week that do little if any to address the individual issues each patient has.

Groundbreaking Report on Addiction Treatment

According to the report, addiction is a disease of the brain and there is a profound gap between the science of addiction treatment and current medical practice.  The report exposes that most medical professionals are not sufficiently trained to diagnose or treat addiction, and those that are providing treatment are not medical professionals equipped with the Knowledge, skills or credentials necessary to provide the full range of evidence-based services.   As addiction is a disease, it should be treated at facilities that provide consistent medical care delivered by physicians in conjunction with a team of multi-disciplinary health professionals.  Best practices require:

•    Comprehensive assessment of the extent and severity of the disease, a clinical diagnoses , an evaluation of co-occurring heath conditions, and a tailored treatment plan

•    Stabilization of the patient’s condition through medically supervised detoxification 

•    Acute care via evidence-based pharmaceutical and/or psychosocial addiction treatments, accompanied by co-occurring health conditions, delivered by qualified health professionals. 

•    Chronic Disease Management- facilities should provide a medically supervised process involving pharmaceutical and/or psychosocial therapies and continued management

•    Support services that promote a health integration into the world after recovery 

To access the Report please click on the following link:

http://www.casacolumbia.org/templates/NewsRoom.aspx?articleid=678&zoneid=51

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