Overcoming the barriers

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 29, 2002

This is the eighth story in a 13-week series that focuses on drug addiction in Butler County. This is also the second of three stories that will focus on substance abuse treatment.

There are different methods utilized in substance abuse counseling to bring about positive moral change in an addict.

Probably one of the most commonly used approaches to such change is the 12 Step program, which is practiced by the Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous groups. In this method, steps 4 and 5 and steps 8 and 9 deal with life inventory of the wrong deeds done and who was affected by them.

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In addition to this, the addict then makes up the damage done as a result of these negative actions. This plan is effective in recovery so long as the person's addiction has not progressed to the point where the individual has lost his or her ability to confront and communicate or to identify and solve problems. If an addiction persists long enough, an addict will lose even the basic social skills needed to perform in group therapy and to admit any wrongdoing.

In cases where drug addiction began in the adolescent years, individuals have not had the opportunity to develop these life skills. As a result, they do not perform as well in a 12 step program or other traditional treatment setting.

In these cases, the addict needs to be educated or re-educated in basic life skills before there can be any real hope of success in raising moral standards and permanent sobriety.

When conventional approaches are not working with a drug addicted person there are effective alternatives to pursue in recovery before one gives up. What has not proven effective is substitute drug treatment e.g. methadone, anti-depressants or other prescribed medications designed to mask the symptoms of addiction mentioned in this article. This in effect just trades one addiction for another. It does not aid the addicted person in developing the life skills necessary to raise their moral values or their quality of life. Nor does it provide them with the necessary tools to remain sober and so relapse becomes imminent.

One effective alternative method to recovery is the life skills training and moral inventory used by the Narconon program. This program provides a specific course of treatment which includes training in communication, a full body detoxification process, counseling in problem identification and solving, and counseling in personal values and integrity. These programs help individuals to accomplish heightened moral standards and sobriety with an improved quality of life.

Over 30 years ago author and researcher L. Ron Hubbard identified the basic barriers to successful recovery which have been discussed throughout this series of articles on addiction . Through his research he developed a means of treating them successfully. When Narconon was founded in 1969 by William Benitez, it was based on Mr. Hubbard's research and developments in the field of drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Benitez developed a working relationship with Hubbard and together they established the first Narconon program in Arizona.

Narconon has been using this treatment method successfully for over 30 years. It has only been within the last five or six years that the scientific and medical research have caught up with these methods of treating addiction. It is now acknowledged by the medical community that drugs do store in the body in the form of metabolites and that the chemical imbalances created by drug addiction are nutritionally driven. Further nutritional program components have been added to just about every type of treatment method and is recognized as a valid form of therapy in chemical dependency treatment.

If you now someone in need of help, it is recommend that research be conducted on all

treatment options. Take the time to thoroughly inspect the treatment programs available,

determine how these programs address the mechanics of addiction, and find out what the

long term recovery rate is. Drug rehabilitation does not have to be a revolving door if one takes the time and effort to pick the right recovery program.