STEP 1: Imagine that you work for an agency that has the goal of substantially reducing the rate of drug abuse in your local community. For this discussion, you will recommend an addiction treatment program for your community. First, Review the National Institutes of Health: National Institute on Drug Abuse website, specifically focusing on the Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment. Consider all elements of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model. Notice that each individual is part of multiple overlapping systems. This is an important consideration for helping your agency develop a comprehensive drug abuse prevention and treatment program. Based on your knowledge of addiction, what elements should the program include?
How will you incorporate evidence-based approaches?
STEP 2: Post your reply (in at least 250 words) in the discussion forum. Your response should include a clear stance on the issue with supporting evidence as to why you feel the way you do. Show that you can think critically on the topic by integrating your own thoughts, analysis, or experiences.
STEP 3: Respond in two separate posts to two classmates (in at least 75 words). Explicitly address their responses and try to extend, complicate, or redirect their points in a substantive, knowledge-demonstrating way.
STUDENT PROMPTS TO RESPOND TO #1: “Drug addiction is a complex disease. It is often no uniform treatment plan due to some factors. Different family backgrounds, different genes, different social backgrounds, and cultures. Drug addiction treatment also varies. In addition, the treatment also requires long-term planning, service, and cooperation. So it is basically an individual treatment. “No single treatment is appropriate for everyone. Treatment varies depending on the type of drug and the characteristics of the patients”. (NIH)
If I were working for the agency, my program would be divided into mild addiction and severe (long-term) addiction. Different plans for different levels.
Mildly addicted, mostly new to drug-abuse categories. Their brain function does not show significant changes usually. For these patients, I think the plan should be started immediately. Because they are likely to gradually develop into a severe addiction. Ask the patients if they can self-restraint from drug and alcohol use, and then ask their family, colleagues, and friends to supervise. For patients who cannot restrain themselves, I think I will use physical control, such as limiting the amount of drug and alcohol use or outright withdrawal. For severely addicted patients, their brain function is likely to change because of the long-term use of drugs. Withdrawal may be at risk of abstinence syndrome. So I think withdrawal is not suitable. Patients are generally advised to undergo CBT and medication treatment, which can be used for many different types of addictions. and long-term follow-up observation. Even if the patient is almost free from the control by drugs, I cannot give up continuing to track and record, because the chance of relapse after detoxification is as high as 40-60%. If the patient is not supervised, there is a high chance that the patient will relapse.
In order to reduce the drug abuse rate in the community, I will put advertisements about the harm of drug abuse in the community to increase the knowledge about the harm of drug abuse. Let people in the community understand the dangers of addiction.
Medication treatment: For severely drug-addicted patients, (opioids) Using methadone is a good way of medication treatment. Methadone is an effective drug for detoxification, it has the effects of analgesic respiratory depression, miosis, sedation, etc. The drug dependence on medication is low as well. But it is not suitable for all addicts. For example, nicotine and alcohol. “Methadone is a long-acting synthetic opioid agonist medication that can prevent withdrawal symptoms and reduce craving in opioid-addicted individuals. It can also block the effects of illicit opioids”. (NIH) For nicotine-addiction patients. Using bupropion and varenicline medication is a good way of medication treatment, which are FDA-approved smoking cessation medications as well. They can effectively help nicotine-addicted patients reduce their nicotine needs. For alcohol-addicted patients. Firstly, use acamprosate to reduce symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. “Acamprosate has been shown to help dependent drinkers maintain abstinence for several weeks to months, and it may be more effective in patients with severe dependence”. (NIH) Then, use naltrexone to reduce alcohol cravings in patients.
CBT: CBT is a very helpful treatment for addiction. CBT is also a recognized addiction treatment method. CBT changes the irrational cognition of addicts by means of cognitive behavior and is a psychotherapy method to correct bad behavior. And change the bad cognition and behavior of drug addicts, helping them reduce negative emotions. Train and strengthen their correct way of dealing with negative emotions to enhance their motivation to quit drugs and reduce the possibility of relapse. “Behavioral approaches help engage people in drug abuse treatment, provide incentives for them to remain abstinent, modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug abuse”. (NIH)”
PROMPT #2: Drug use can start for a variety of reasons. Curiosity, boredom, experimentation, peer pressure, etc. Once use begins, it is often repeated to obtain the feeling that was experienced the first time. From there drugs can be used as a crutch, or to make you feel better when you don’t, for whatever reason is making you feel bad. Bad day at work? Significant other break up with you or cheat on you? Car break down? There are examples for every class of citizen. These incidents are what are referred to as “triggers”. When a trigger appears, how do you deal with it? Everyone has their own method of stress relief. Drug use is one of those methods for some. It can reach the point where it is the only method of stress relief, or the most effective one for those individuals. There is no way to remove all the triggers from a persons life. What we CAN do is minimize the triggers, and change the method of stress relief. In my experience a lot of the time people don’t know other options for stress relief, or the ones they know are things they don’t like. Working out is a proven method of stress relief for example, but many people don’t like gyms, or don’t know what to do when they go. They also may not like sports, or running. If these are the only methods of working out that someone knows, and they don’t like any of them, then they aren’t going to use those methods to relieve their stress or escape their problems. Bronfenbrenners ecological model shows many of the overlapping facets of life, any one of which can provide triggers. Family issues, issues with friends, problems at school or with ones health fit into the microsystem as an example. The meso system seems to involve interactions or mixing between the different parts of the microsystem such as problems with friends at school, or problems between family and neighbors. Some of the most common triggers are financially related, relationship related, and work related. I think for a program to reduce the rate of drug abuse we have to discover what triggers an individual has through some form of discussion. Once we know their triggers we can help to reduce the amount of triggers as best as possible. Knowing there is no way to completely eliminate the triggers we then have to try to retrain the brain to another, more desirable activity. The problem with this that I illustrated earlier, that people often don’t know other options or that they don’t like the ones they know about, can actually be a good thing. Through a community program to allow for training/teaching and access to a large variety of activities we can expose people to hobbies and activities that can be the puzzle piece that fills in the space they are choosing to fill with drugs. I think that any successful program has to take all evidence into consideration and still be fluid enough to adapt as further evidence is gained. In the state of Washington we have a plethora of outdoor recreation activities, and most of them are low or no cost. We also have an abundance of shops and stores that provide the goods for performing indoor activities such as crafting. With a small investment and volunteer opportunities we could easily put together a system to teach and guide people to experience new activities that could help them cope with issues that arise in their life. I think having a round the clock counseling or assistance service that could be contacted when someone is having issues such as the help the suicide prevention hotline provides would be very useful too. Issues don’t arise in peoples lives on a 9-5 schedule, so having assistance that is available outside the typical office hours would be very beneficial to reducing the rate of drug abuse.