Our center exists to guide you through the detox and rehab process and to be your source of medical advice and mental health care. Our medical professionals understand your addiction and are qualified to treat you in a nurturing, nonjudgmental environment. In addition to medical care, we provide you with appropriate recovery coaching and self-help resources.
The American Psychiatric Association’s “Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients with Substance Use Disorder” highlights the following goals of rehab:
Understanding levels of motivation in substance abusers is crucial to determine what motivational strategies are most appropriate for each patient. The goal of motivation assessment tools, such as motivational interviewing, is to elicit the patient’s reasons for change and assist them in moving through the subsequent stages of change.
Creating and Maintaining a Therapeutic Alliance
A therapeutic alliance is an empathic relationship between psychiatrist and patient that:
- allows for the exchange of necessary diagnostic and treatment-related information
- gains the patient’s confidence
- provides support in times of crisis
The primary goal of treatment is to help the patient learn and internalize changes in attitudes and behaviors conducive to relapse prevention. The strength of the therapeutic alliance has been found to be a significant predictor of psychotherapy outcome, with stronger alliances predicting less substance use and better psychological functioning by the patient.
Assessing Safety and the Clinical Status of the Patient
An initial psychiatric safety and clinical assessment is necessary to establish a diagnosis and determine a baseline of the patient’s clinical status, while ongoing safety screening tools are important to detect any changes over time.
It is particularly important to assess patients for suicidal or homicidal thoughts or other dangerous behaviors such as driving under the influence, domestic violence, or child abuse or neglect, which may require changes in the treatment plan or care setting.
Ongoing assessment of the substance use disorder and psychiatric status is also necessary to ensure that the patient is receiving the appropriate treatment and to monitor the patient’s response to said treatment. Co-occurring psychiatric disorders may complicate the treatment of substance use disorders and require specific treatment plans.
Managing intoxication involves evaluating the addictive substances that the patient has used, the route of administration, dose, and time since their last use. Acutely intoxicated patients need a safe, monitored environment with reduced external stimulation, reorientation, and reality testing.
Medications that mitigate the effects of abused substances may be used to reverse their impact, such as naloxone for opioid overdoses or flumazenil for benzodiazepine overdoses. Many patients use multiple substances simultaneously to enhance, while others choose a non-medicated, holistic approach.
At Ardu, we offer both medically-assisted and alternative, holistic therapies.
Withdrawal management requires an understanding of the factors that predict the severity of withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal usually occurs in individuals who have a physical dependence on a substance after they stop or reduce the use of said substance after a period of heavy and regular use.
Patients who use multiple substances are at risk for withdrawal from each substance. Factors that can predict the severity of withdrawal symptoms include
- the type of substance used
- the time that has passed since last use
- the metabolic rates of the substance
- the presence or absence of concurrent medical or psychiatric disorders and past withdrawal experiences
Ardu offers medical detox services, as well as holistic detox services. We assess each patient to determine which combination of the two is the best option for them based on the severity of their withdrawal symptoms and their personal preferences.
Reducing Morbidity and Co-occurring Disorders
In order to reduce morbidity and co-occurring disorders, a health care provider should work with the patient and, when appropriate, with family members through family therapy to develop a treatment plan that meets the individual’s unique needs.
Coordination with the primary care physician is also important for managing the medical aspects of substance use disorders, while baseline screening tests should be conducted to identify any co-occurring mental health conditions.
Substance use disorders are commonly associated with substance-related medical morbidity, and neglect of preventive healthcare and follow-up medical care is common. People in recovery with a co-occurring psychiatric disorder are particularly vulnerable to the self-neglect and morbidity associated with substance use, and integrated psychiatric and substance use disorder treatment programs are recommended.
Monitoring attitudes towards treatment and adherence to specific recommendations can be useful in identifying areas where the patient may need additional support. Even with high motivation to maintain abstinence, patients may struggle with cravings and preoccupation with thoughts about substance use.
Healthcare providers can optimize patient engagement and retention in treatment through addiction counseling and motivational enhancement strategies, as well as by encouraging patients to actively participate in self-help strategies. Continued care, educating patients about relapse triggers, and developing coping skills and lifestyle changes that support sobriety can also be helpful.
If relapse does occur, it is important to encourage patients to resume treatment and adjust the treatment plan to fit their current needs. Ultimately, involving significant others in the prevention of relapse can provide additional support and help patients achieve long-term success.
Educating About Substance Abuse
Medical professionals must educate patients and their loved ones about the nature and causes of addiction, the benefits of abstinence, and the risk of switching to other addictive behaviors. The role of family and friends in aiding or impeding the recovery process can’t be understated and should be discussed both with the patient and their family.
Advice on harm reduction, such as using sterile needles, safer sex, and contraceptive options, may also be provided. Clinicians should direct patients to appropriate educational resources, such as public health services and online resources. It’s crucial to consider the patient’s cultural background and educational level when educating them on substance abuse.
Facilitating Access to Helpful Services
Addiction specialists may collaborate with other professionals to coordinate care for patients and address their various needs. This is especially important for patients who lack resources or the ability to care for themselves due to psychiatric or medical conditions. Providing the patient with resources that can help them learn new life skills, find employment opportunities, or locate a recovery community can make all the difference in their sobriety journey.