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Principles of Treatment

Drug abuse is complex and is the result of many interacting factors (refer to Chapter 8, “Could I Become an Addict?,” Figure 8-1, which describes these interacting and additive factors). Accordingly, treatment is geared to meet this complexity. If treatment has not worked for someone, then it might not have been done or understood properly. There are several important, general principles that characterize good treatment. Dr. Martin Adler and his colleagues have summarized principles of effective treatment.[2] Reading through these provides an idea of what to look for in a treatment plan, or why treatment might have failed in some cases.

The first principle is that no single treatment is good for all individuals. What a counselor would do for a college student who gets stoned on marijuana a lot, and whose grades are falling is different from what a doctor would do for a sixty-year-old alcoholic who has imbibed every day for years and years and is on the verge of liver failure. Importantly, if treatment does not seem to be working, consider another type or source of treatment. A life might be at stake!


  

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