Effective Treatments For Chemical Dependency

Chemical dependency is a psychological and biological disorder with cultural, social and spiritual dimensions. Varying internal and external causes culminate to form a cause of an individual’s addiction. Inherited genetic and environmental factors contribute to individuals demand for mood alteration. Psychoactive drugs are used by addicts regularly to alter their brain. Chemical dependencies drugs are categorised into three major groups:

  • a) Central nervous system depressants
  • b) Central nervous system stimulants
  • c ) Hallucinogens.

Chemical dependent individuals choose the drug based on their need to ‘overcome depression’. Government and other civic bodies regularly make efforts to provide different types of treatments to individuals in order to help them overcome their chemical dependency.

There are a number of different kinds of treatment programs for substance abuse, although most evaluation studies have focused on four primary types of treatments:

  1. Methadone works as a substitute for heroin to drug dependent individuals. Methadone maintenance programs help in reducing drug consumption and crime.
  2. Therapeutic communities help chemically dependent individuals to maintain an addiction free lifestyle. These communities treatment facilities which provide opportunities encounter group therapy and educative sessions.
  3. Outpatient drug-free programs provide counselling sessions which are supported by training in social skills. However these programs have been less effective in reducing addiction as compared to other types of treatments.
  4. Civil commitment programs comprises of rehabilitation centres where the drug addicts are ordered by the court to complete one of these programs as an alternative to prison.

Chemical dependency and the associated social and health problems can be treated effectively in most of the cases if the needy have access to affordable and timely rehabilitation services. This is most likely to be achieved with broad community-based health care services that can work with individuals in their own communities over longer periods of time. UN discussion paper published in 2008 highlights the need for such policy led community led rehabilitation programs which treat the individual with dignity and patient orientation.