Methods in Addiction Treatment

3418 Public Works Drive Knoxville, Tn, (PressExposure) May 12, 2009 -- Methods of care in adolescent addiction treatment may depend entirely on the patient itself. Early editions of the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) described addiction as a physical dependency to a substance that resulted in withdrawal symptoms in its absence. Recent editions, including DSM-IV, have moved toward a diagnostic instrument that classifies such conditions as dependency, rather than addiction.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine recommends adolescent addiction treatment for teenagers and adults alike with chemical dependency based on patient placement criteria, which attempts to match levels of care according to clinical assessments in six areas, including:

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Acute intoxication and/or withdrawal potential

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Biomedical conditions or complications

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Emotional/behavioral conditions or complications

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Treatment acceptance/resistance

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Relapse potential

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Recovery environment

While addiction or dependency is related to seemingly uncontrollable urges, and arguably could have roots in genetic predispositions, adult and adolescent addiction treatment of dependency is conducted by a wide range of medical and allied professionals, including Addiction Medicine specialists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and appropriately trained nurses, social workers, and counselors. Early treatment of acute withdrawal involves:

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Detoxification - or detox for short is the removal of toxic substances from the body. The use of detox depends on the type of addiction. Currently, there are two types of detox used for substance addiction, alcohol detoxification and drug detoxification.

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Alcohol detoxification is a process by which a heavy drinker's system is brought back to normal after being used to having alcohol in the body on a continual basis. Serious alcohol addiction results to a decrease in production of GABA neuro-inhibitor because of the tendency of alcohol to replace these inhibitors.

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Drug detoxification is used to reduce or relieve withdrawal symptoms while helping the addicted individual adjusts to living without drug use; drug detoxification is not meant to treat addiction but rather to provide an early step in long-term treatment.

Acupuncture detoxification - an alternative to detoxification is the use of auricular (outer ear) acupuncture to treat drug and alcohol addiction. Evidence supporting the use of auricular acupuncture to treat addictions is largely based on anecdotal and clinical reports.

Therapists often classify patients with chemical dependencies as either interested or not interested in changing. Any adult and adolescent addiction treatment usually involves planning for specific ways to avoid the addictive stimulus of drugs and alcohol, as well as therapeutic interventions intended to help a client learn healthier ways to find satisfaction. Clinical leaders in recent years have attempted to tailor intervention approaches to specific influences that affect addictive behavior, using therapeutic interviews in an effort to discover factors that led a person to embrace unhealthy and addictive sources of pleasure or relief from pain.

About Self-employed

Donna Sparks is a Professor and a Consultant Physician. Other than her clinical and local teaching commitments, she also continues to enjoy the privileges of research, writing and lecturing.

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Press Release Submitted On: May 11, 2009 at 9:25 pm
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