About Addiction Treatment Strategies & Vocabulary of Addiction

Understanding the Vocabulary of Addiction

Understanding the Vocabulary of Addiction

Vocabulary is important because if you look at the concept of an engram, it’s just a memory loop. If someone keeps telling you over and over “don’t think of a pink elephant” and then asks what colors the elephant you’re not supposed to think of, the answer’s easy; the elephant’s pink. engram works exactly the same. Knowing all your triggers as they relate to your addiction reinforces that engram and makes you sicker. It’s going to make the neurological loop fire quicker, possibly on its own. It’s doesn’t need a trigger because it’s active. What you need to look at carefully is what words you use to describe what you have.

No Such Thing as an Addict

First of all, there is no such thing as an addict. When someone says addict, you think of the worst; down and out, drunken, abusive, abused the system, etc. These terms link an engram to what you believe you are, which then you perceive yourself as a loser. Everybody that failed at treatment because they’re an addict, so what we do is change that addict to addiction.

We Don’t Treat Addicts, We Treat Humans

Here at ATS we don’t treat addicts, we treat humans, people who have a medical condition because of an addiction. It’s neurological and medical. If you help someone understand their addiction and treat them, it’s medical. Perception has quite a bit to do with the outcome. If you think you’re a loser, if you think there’s hope and potential for you because you have a medical condition, we can treat that that addiction and you can get better.

There is no reason your chronic condition has to interfere with your way of life. Vocabulary is extremely important and so is changing the mindset of people who have medical conditions of addiction versus a moral condition of being an addict. That what we do here at Addiction Treatment Strategies. We treat those who have a medical condition of an addiction.

Contact us at (618) 692-6880 or email ebusker@addictionts.org

Inpatient vs Outpatient Treatment

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment

Inpatient vs Outpatient Treatment

Inpatient rehab started in the 1970s in the military for soldiers who had alcohol addictions. They would give their soldiers 30-day leave and say they’ve got to get it under control. That is the origin of today’s 30-day rehab. The military had a need to take care of their soldiers and in addition to that point, insurance was a real big thing in the concept. Over the last 100 years, our 30-day rehabs have been based on what we knew in the 1970s or what we believed in the 1970s, that people had to go away for treatment.

Inpatient Treatment Defies Logic

In reality treatment and addiction is the most restrictive environment. It’s the only condition where someone starts a treatment program by going to a hospital. That defies logic because hospitals are expensive, and the outcomes aren’t particularly good. The best that we can come up with in terms of outpatient or inpatient rehab outcomes is for the 30 days that they’re in treatment, it’s pretty good. We can control the environment while they’re there.

Even Betty Ford or Hazelton, two of the biggest and most prestigious treatment programs in the United States, can give you 3-7% of their patients at the end of the six months following the treatment are doing as well as or able to when they were in the hospital. This tells you of this 3-7% are doing okay, there are 97% of people who aren’t doing okay. This is not a good omen with regard I treatment outcomes.

Positive Results from Outpatient Treatment

There are other options available. There is nothing you can’t do on an outpatient rehab now that we have medications to detox people from alcohol and heroin in a safe environment. Outpatient rehab is one-tenth as expensive. People can go to an outpatient program can get about the same unit of service in two years as the cost of one thirty-day treatment program. Thirty-day programs cost $30,000 compared to an outpatient program that is $10,000 a year.

We believe you should be treated with outpatient rehab because this is where the addiction occurs. It occurs where you live and you have to learn to adjust and manage your addiction in the environment in which it occurs. The safest, most effective way to treat people with an addiction is on an outpatient basis or an extended period of time. It’s closer to a 12-18-month time in order to get people stable where they can learn to manage their condition. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing condition that you can’t manage. It takes time to treat addiction and we need to understand that it takes an additional amount of time to restructure the brain. The most effective way to treat people with an addiction is on an outpatient basis.

Contact us at (618) 692-6880 or email ebusker@addictionts.org

addiction treatment strategies family support & Family Orientation & Support

Step 5 of ATS 5 Step Program

Family Orientation & Support

The fifth and final step of the program is family orientation and support. Recent meetings with some parents have brought up the term team and we like this because it takes a team of individuals working together to bring change. Family or people around the person with the addiction do not understand what’s going on because they have not been oriented as to the medical or neurological conditions of an addiction. These surrounding family members or people are aware of just the repercussions which may be;

    • Lying
    • Cheating
    • Stealing
    • Automobile accidents

The family interventions and counseling through the behaviors helps teach the family/parents how to support and how to become a component of a team that works collectively to bring about change in the patient.

Support Members Must Have Patience

The first and most important thing to tell the support people is patience. Sometimes the support people believe there is some sort of magic bullet that we give patients and then send them to rehab for 30 days, then they will come back from the process “cured”. Not only do we help the patients but educating the support people in the process of addiction will give them knowledge and that’s also power.

They also need to understand that it is neurological and they’re not responsible for making behavior changes and they can’t control this; the addiction does. The patient has compulsions and can be a big component of the behavior they engage in. The compulsion is far more complicated and often needs to be explained to family members that oftentimes, patients with addiction do things they can’t control until change is brought and the patient can become a team member.

Contact us at (618) 692-6880 or email ebusker@addictionts.org

addiction treatment strategies group therapy & Group Psychotherapy

Step 4 of ATS 5 Step Program

Group Psychotherapy

Step four of the program in the psycho-educational groups is focused on understanding is knowledge, knowledge is the power to change. This is what we teach in the psycho-education room. In this psycho-educational room, we want to apply what patients learned in an educational component to group psychotherapy. Everybody who comes into this program initially comes in having significant issues in their own lives and is able to relate it to one of four categories; health, legal, relationship, and location.

    • Health focuses on how the substances are impacting your health and whether there is a risk of overdosing or how their health issues seem to be impacting the patient’s life? Is it affecting your thinking, feeling, or behavior? Patients may believe they’re lying about their physical condition, to denial, then to a neurological condition that prevents them from understanding their addiction is ruining their health.
    • Legal can be DUIs, which constitutes a legal problem. ATS can help you talk about it and figure out if it’s a mental health issue or if it may need to be dealt with in an unemotional manner.
    • Relationships are a primary problem ATS deals with. Patients may need help dealing with a spouse, mom, dad, etc. Addiction can always have impacts on relationships in terms of emotional responses. Family dynamics or family support is covered more in step five of the program.
    • Location deals with patients who may have lost jobs due to their addiction and it certainly shows in those who switch jobs. These results occur from addiction and suffering from these addictions.

What is the Intention of Group Psychotherapy?

Group psychotherapy is intended to discuss what other types of significant issues patients bring that can be discussed so other can identify with them. This decreases the intensity of feeling like they’re the only one when most patients have very similar issues.

Contact us at (618) 692-6880 or email ebusker@addictionts.org

addiction treatment strategies group psychotherapy Psycho-Educational Groups

Step 3 of 5 Step Program

Psycho-Educational Groups

The third step in our five-step plan is psycho-educational groups. What these do is discuss the concepts specifically designed for our program with each patient. Cognitive behavioral therapies are used, to not just react to a feeling but use that cognition before you behave. There are various concepts in this method to attempt to reach out that we teach patients. Psycho-educational groups are the platform they use to teach these concepts.

There are 70 different lectures for the psycho-educational groups that we use for each patient. The lectures help patients understand more in depth and in the psycho-educational groups they build skills and it gives them the opportunity to ask questions as to what is expected of them. It also gives them the chance to understand concepts and vocabulary used.

Contact us at (618) 692-6880 or email ebusker@addictionts.org

addiction treatment strategies individual therapy

Step 2 of ATS 5 Step Program

Individual Therapy

As mentioned in step one of the five-step plan, we help with a variety of disorders and will detox a patient. The next step of the plan is individual counseling. A lot of people come in with a variety of different underlying conditions that are manifested in substance abuse. Depression and anxiety can lead to a person using substances to “medicate” and help release. This is when individual counseling is used.

Each patient has an individual plan they coordinate with staff members so when they get stable and healthy, they can rely on the plan rather than turning to substances. This plan is liable to change as a patient goes through the program and progress with them. While a patient goes through the program they will meet with their therapist two or three times a week and can contact us here at ATS any point during the program.

Contact us at (618) 692-6880 or email ebusker@addictionts.org

addiction treatment strategies medical detox medical assistance

Step 1 of ATS 5 Step Program

Medical Assistance

Here at Addiction Treatment Strategies, we use a five-point program to address needs related to addiction. First and foremost, we will assure you’re medically okay. Most patients do come needing some level of detoxification from alcohol, opiates, or benzos. First, the therapist will evaluate news history and mental health background for the patient. We must know if you’re being treated by another physician or treating conditions. We do have patients with outside physicians getting treated for other conditions such as depression, anxiety or anorexia, so they must coordinate a treatment plan. If the primary problem is an opiate condition or alcohol condition physicians are aware those patients need to be detoxed safely so a path is determined.

Detoxification Process

Physicians will work with what is available to them and use the current effective medication to address an opiate condition, either Suboxone or any other available medications. Patients who are on an opiate or have an opiate addiction problem will be on some type of medication to decrease the cravings of the compulsion to use. We will get them off that opiate and onto a medication, and if possible, slowly detox or decrease dependence on that opiate. This does take a length of time and will be managed by a physician.

This process also occurs for people who are dependent on alcohol and physicians have medications available to use for detoxification from alcohol. The two most dangerous substances that we deal with in regard to withdrawal are not opiates, but alcohol or benzodiazepines. Medications for those two can cause seizures so physicians must monitor closely and have medications ready to help these patients.

Co-Occurring Disorder Treatment

Therapists will then get involved with the other underlying causes by having weekly visits with our patients. They plan to care and address other conditions which may be anxiety, depression, bipolar, or some mental health condition that led to substance abuse. One of the problems that we have dealt with in the past related to medical intervention for patients is holding an intervention specifically for the drug of choice and not facing the underlying issues. Therapists will address the co-occurring disorder; the underlying disorder that led to substance use. All patients are treated for co-occurring disorders if symptoms are shown because it’s one particular symptom decreases the other one that’s on the surface. Treating the two simultaneously is ideal.

Contact us at (618) 692-6880 or email ebusker@addictionts.org

How ATS Approaches Addiction & Addiction Treatment Approach

How ATS Approaches Addiction

Addiction Problem – Moral vs Scientific Approach

The first step in solving an addiction problem is to describe the problem. Conventional wisdom has indicated that addiction is a moral problem. In the 1930s the political climate in the United States, or all over the world with for that matter. People had substance abuse disorders or substance problems, primarily alcohol at that time, and they were all considered drugs. Those people were then determined morally flawed and what they needed to do was work on their spirituality in order to get better since it was a moral problem.

In 1932 AA, or Alcoholics Anonymous, was developed and since then has been a predominant conventional wisdom understanding on how to treat an addiction. Now contrary to conventional wisdom is science. Science is easier to understand and in 1930 scientists started to understand the neurobiology of the brain, specifically a scientist by Donald Hebb. Hebb discovered how neurotransmitters functioned by firing in a series and then become wired in the series. What Hebb was saying is as a result of multiple neurotransmitters firing in a series, these neurotransmitters would fire in that loop then developed what is known as an Engram or memory loop. The Engram is the essence of why we have an addiction.

Defining Addiction

There are multiple definitions for addiction. We have the NIMH definition which states addiction is a chronic relapsing disease in which the structure and function of the brain have changed. We also have a SAMHSA definition, which is very similar. We also have an ATS definition. In ATS addiction treatment strategy, we say substance abuse, or an addiction, is a stress-induced impulse control disorder that leads to the use of a substance or a behavior to decrease that stress. We use this definition because it’s related to the science of the 1930s. As compulsion and the craving fire and the person becomes stressed, it can lead to the neurological response to decreasing a stress which can be eating, alcohol, or heroin. Any of those behaviors or substances can be used to decrease the stress.

ATS Scientific Approach To Addiction

What we offer here at ATS is a program that addresses the individual needs of a patient related to a scientific approach to an addiction. First and foremost, we offer medical assistance to decrease cravings and compulsions to use a substance. We also treat the underlying causes of an addiction. Our physicians are familiar with anxiety, depression, bipolar, and ADHD. We treat these simultaneously and inevitably almost all our patients have underlying causes for their addiction. Our patients may have started using substances as early as 12 or 13 years of age and that’s a time when their brain is growing quickly so if you start using marijuana at an early age, your brain growth development will morph as a result.

All our physicians and therapists are available to our patients to develop a unique treatment plan for that individual to address the underlying causes of their addiction and in addition to their addiction. Our therapist is available to our patients 24/7. We don’t work 9-5 because addiction doesn’t occur 9-5. We understand that patients may need to come to us Sunday at three in the morning. Our patients get better as a result of our individual availability to all of our patients. Most of our patients have been in the program a minimum of six months and the majority of our patients are here from 12 to 18 months because it takes that long to fix this. If it’s a neurochemical problem, in which the brain function is destructed, we’re not going to fix that in 30 days.

ATS Approach

At ATS we use medical assistance, medical interventions, individual therapy, and group educational classes. In these classes, we teach CBT behavioral learning skills. We have 70 individual lectures that we use, where a teacher comes in and teaches people how to use our strategies. We also have lesson plans for all of our patients to go through the plans in an educational format and then they can practice those skills in group therapy or group intervention. We have group intervention classes here where people can practice CBT in a format with 25 or 20 other patients who are here. We practice those on a regular basis.

Here at ATS we also have family support groups where patients come in, along with the patient’s family, and we teach them as to what it is we do at ATS that increases our outcomes. Our outcomes here at ATS are relatively significant from our perspective. Patients who have been on our program for two years, at the end of the two years, those patients who came in unemployed, 70% of them are now employed. That’s a good sign because that means they’re back in the work environment. Of those patients who came still living with mom and dad, about 33% of those people are living individually. In addition, those people also have relationships with a significant other. At ATS, we have 70% of our patients who are now employed, which means they’re making over $30,000 a year and are able to support themselves. They no longer live with mom and dad, they have a relationship, and they’re no longer using substances.

We know that it takes an appreciable amount of time to reboot the brain and that’s what we do here at ATS. We don’t treat addiction, we treat people with an addiction.

Contact us at (618) 692-6880 or email ebusker@addictionts.org