What helps people stay in treatment?

Because successful outcomes often depend on a person’s staying in treatment long enough to get its full benefits, strategies for keeping people in treatment are crucial. Whether a patient stays in treatment depends on factors associated with both the individual and the program. Individual factors related to engagement and retention typically include motivation to change drug-using behavior; degree of support from family and friends; and, frequently, pressure from the criminal justice system, child protection services, employers, or the family.

Within a treatment program, successful clinicians can establish a positive, therapeutic relationship with their patients. The clinician should ensure that a treatment plan is developed cooperatively with the person seeking treatment that the plan is followed, and that treatment expectations are clearly understood. Medical, psychiatric, and social services should also be available. Whether a patient stays in treatment depends on factors associated with both the individual and the program.

Is there support for individuals after the program is completed?

Yes, 2 years of Continuing Care ‘Follow Up’ is part of the program. Also, with written consents, we recommend support from outside entities, such as employee or medical society assistance programs.

How can the workplace play a role in substance abuse treatment?

Therapeutic work environments that provide employment for drug-abusing individuals who can show abstinence have been shown not only to promote a continued drug-free lifestyle but also to improve job skills, punctuality, and other behaviors necessary for active employment throughout life.

What are the unique needs of women with substance use disorders?

Gender-related drug addiction treatment should attend not only to biological differences but also to social and environmental factors, all of which can influence the motivations for drug use, the reasons for seeking treatment, the types of environments where treatment is obtained, the treatments that are most effective, and the consequences of not receiving treatment.

Many life situations have greater influence in women as a group, which may require a specialized treatment approach. Other factors unique to women that can influence the treatment process include issues around pregnancy and child care, financial independence, and how they come into treatment (as women are more likely to seek the assistance of a general or mental health practitioner).

What are the unique needs of adolescents with substance use disorders?

Adolescent/teenagers drug addicts have unique needs growing from their immature neuro-cognitive and psycho-social stage of development. Research has shown that the brain undergoes a lengthy process of development and refinement, from birth to early adulthood, during which a developmental change occurs where actions go from more impulsive to more reasoned and reflective.

In fact, the brain areas most closely associated with aspects of behavior such as executive skills, decision making, judgment, planning, and self-control undergo a period of rapid development during adolescence.

Teenagers are also especially sensitive to social triggers, with peer groups and families being highly influential during this time. Therefore, treatments that facilitate positive parental involvement, take into consideration other systems in which the adolescent participates (such as school and athletics), and recognize the importance of vital habits, development of executive skills and pro-social peer relationships are among the most effective.

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