Addiction to drugs and alcohol affects all of us in one way or the other. In trying to deal with the issue of addiction sometimes it is too late to prevent addiction (Fletcher, 2013). However through support groups, it is possible to help the addicts to get out of the situation and stay clean. Drug addiction can lead to deaths, accidents and economic cost to governments. It is possible for an individual to be addicted to almost any substance. There is a type of addiction where the body and the brain adapt to the material that is the physical addiction. Both chemical and physical addiction take place in the brain (Wormer, 2008). Most addicts do not even realize that they need help for addiction. The first step is to recognize the need for treatment. In this reflection paper, the facility that was visited is Center for Alcohol and Drugs located on 241 main street # 600 Hackensack. When talking about addiction, most researchers define it as a problem of motivation, a bad habit, brain disease or helplessness.
I visited the facility offices and asked for permission clearly stating my intentions. I learned that he center for alcohol and drugs has many different programs that are closely associated with supporting drug and alcohol addicts. The center has residential treatment program, drug detox services, family programs, alcohol treatment, group and individual therapy. The alcohol and drug support groups are anonymous and have allocation for families dealing with drugs and alcohol addicts and people suffering from alcohol and drugs addiction. The first thing I noticed during my visit was the relaxed atmosphere that the facility offered. The personnel was polite and willing to assist. The staff seems professional; from the front desk to the consultants.
The group structure is similar to most group structures. The team members attend daily meetings where there is sharing of their experiences, successes, and failures with the rest of the group members. When the members introduce themselves, they use their first names. The use of first names helps in welcoming new members who can feel comfortable about joining the support group (Society for the Study of Addiction, 2005). In noticed that new members could either introduce themselves or not. There was a chairperson who coordinated and controlled the groups giving permission to members on when to speak. Every meeting starts with a recitation of the group principles.
The support programs at the facility had the same principles as the first principle being the acceptance that an individual is addicted to alcohol or drugs. It is expected that the users admit to their mistakes, work on their shortcomings and use medications to help them grow. There are some addicts who have been to different programs for a long time, and they are expected to help new users to gain control of the situation and get over their addictions. Using the 12 step program, the center for alcohol and drugs has achieved to improve former addicts to abstain from drugs.
One theory of addiction is the social learning theory. According to the theory, people can develop addiction based on their observation of how other individuals who engage in addictive behaviors behave (Miller, 2009). A good example is observing stressed own smoke marijuana and then seeing the individual become relaxed and happy after using the substance. The person following would think that the solution to stress would be to smoke marijuana. Some of the patients that attend the support groups are people that started using alcohol because they saw other people using alcohol. Most of them accept the fact that they thought that alcohol and drugs were a solution to their problems.
The support groups are active in developing growth opportunities. One way that the center of alcohol and drugs support group helps their patient grow is by offering extra programs where the patients can learn new skills while they report for their scheduled meetings. While at the center I encountered people from different ethnic backgrounds, ages, and from different religions. The groups at center for alcohol and drug deal with all addicts irrespective of their ethnic, religious, gender or income background. The only area that different is the age where young users have different meetings and groups.
Throughout the visit, I observed how some of the addicts were struggling with basic things like communication, concentration and balance. As an individual, I firmly believe that the effects of drug addiction can have a devastating effect not only on a person but also to a family and community as a whole. However, I also feel that being anonymous because youre an addict can restrict or slow down the treatment process because of fear. It is my opinion that any drug addict should not feel embarrassed to talk about their situation. At the same time, I know that there are instances when people can judge and discriminate against drug users who may lead to extreme actions such as suicide. The visit illustrated, however, how possible it can be to get over an addiction with the help of support groups which play an important role when t comes to fighting alcohol and drug addiction.
Fletcher, A. M. (2013). Inside Rehab: The surprising truth about addiction treatment: and how to get help that works. New York: Viking.
Miller, P. M. (2009). Evidence-based addiction treatment. Burlington, MA: Elsevier/Academic Press.
Society for the Study of Addiction. (January 01, 2005). Treatment of addiction: Legitimacy competence and effectiveness in primary and secondary care. T&FG.
Wormer, K. (2008). Addiction Treatment: A Strength Perspective. New York: BigHeartedBooks.
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