|Addicted people may go on
denying their alcohol and other drug problems, even when their lives
are in shambles. It often takes serious trouble -- with the law, at
school, at work, or in the family -- for them to make a move towards
||Where people go to end alcohol and
other drug dependency.
An opportunity for people to start rebuilding their lives.
Varied from one program to another.
Always clearly structured, goal-oriented, and demanding.
A match between client and program to ensure success.
Consistent support and help for people on the road to recovery.
Treatment refers to the broad range of
services, including identification, intervention, assessment,
diagnosis, counseling, medical services, psychiatric services,
psychological services, social services and follow-up for persons with
substance abuse problems. The overall goal of treatment is to reduce or
eliminate the use of alcohol and/or drugs as a contributing factor to
physical, psychological, and social dysfunction and to arrest, retard,
or reverse the progress of any associated problems.
process of getting alcohol and/or drugs out of the system -- of getting
"clean." Some people need medical help and counseling to go through
Assessment: No two
substance abusers are alike in substance abuse histories or their
related problems. At the start of the treatment process, these aspects
of the client's life need to be evaluated to determine the best course
of treatment. During assessment, the client's substance abuse behaviors
are reviewed, as are current and previous medical and psychological
conditions. Other factors, such as family relations and job history,
are also explored.
Information gathered during assessment helps program staff work with
incoming clients to develop an individualized treatment plan. The plan
is like a contract -- it spells out treatment objectives, the
recommended therapeutic services, and other activities. The plan
includes the client's responsibilities, the program's responsibilities,
and how progress will be measured.
Therapeutic Activities and
Services: Treatment programs often address all parts of a
person's life that have been disrupted by alcohol and other drugs:
Clients diagnosed with substance abuse related health and nutritional
problems receive or are referred to medical care, voluntary HIV testing
and education, and Tuberculosis and Hepatitis B testing.
- Counseling services help clients look at the patterns of their
substance abuse. In individual therapy, they look at the
underlying causes of their addiction. In group therapy, among
other recovering people, clients are encouraged to confront their
destructive behaviors and to explore new ways of dealing with people,
with emotions, and with the craving for substances. Family
counseling helps family members understand and participate in the
- Essential to recovery is learning how to spend leisure time.
Through recreational activities clients are introduced to
alcohol- and drug-free ways of enjoying themselves and contributing to
- Programs may provide services to meet specific clients' needs:
classroom instruction for students; literacy, remedial reading
and math for clients who lack basic skills; job training
for unemployed or underemployed adults; and assistance in finding
housing for clients without a home.
Care: Aftercare is critical for a successful return to the
community. It helps people continue to apply the lessons learned in
treatment to their own lives:
Before clients leave treatment, they are usually
introduced to outside peer support groups like Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
or Cocaine Anonymous (CA), which function like Alcoholics Anonymous
(AA). These groups contribute to aftercare by allowing clients to
maintain relationships with other recovering people who can help them
stay alcohol- and drug-free. In addition, recovering people may return
to the therapeutic program for regular group and individual counseling
sessions. These aftercare services help people avoid relapse.
Research has shown that substance abuse
treatment programs that are effective have the following
- Are at least three months to a year in duration.
- Are intensive, comprehensive, and highly structured.
- Require therapy focusing on all aspects of the patient's life.
- Include participation in support groups.
- Provide access to educational, vocational, and employment
- Foster a sense of belonging to a community.
Institute of Medicine Report (1990)
Hawaii Department of Health
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division
601 Kamokila Blvd. Room 360
Kapolei, Hawai'i, 96707