1. Medication-assisted Treatment Are treatments using the pharmaceutical agents an improvement over the damage that the drugs of abuse cause to the brain? Why or why not?
Addiction is a problem that affects the functionality of the brain such that one cannot resist the urge to indulge in the substance to which one is addicted. Substance addiction has affected individuals in the society, and these effects trickle down to affect the economy of a nation. As a result, various studies have been dedicated to finding a solution to addiction where one of them is medication-assisted treatment. The treatment uses pharmaceutical agents to improve the damage caused by addiction helping an individual to go back to leading a drug and alcohol dependency-free life. One of the pharmaceutical agents used to assist an individual recover is Acamprosate. It is a helpful anti-craving agent that is used to treat alcohol addiction. The reason as to why the agent is valuable is because it assists an addict to abstain from alcohol and at the same time decreasing any chances of relapse. Other than this, Acamprosate alleviates pain, boosts the naturally occurring immune system of the body, fight inflammation in the body and improve one’s mood and ultimately the quality of life. After using these agents combined with behavioral therapy, an individual’s life goes back to normal hence an improvement and repair of the damage caused by abuse to the brain (Blackwell, 2010).
2. Relapse often happens in addiction treatment. Is relapse evidence of the failure of treatment or evidence of addiction? Should the counselor change the treatment methods if relapse happens? Why or why not?
Relapse happens more often than not. According to Hendershot, Witkiewitz, George and Marllat (2011), the relapse rate for twelve-month alcohol and tobacco cessation happens between 80-95%. From this, it can be derived that relapse is not an indicator of failed treatment. Relapse is also not evidence of addiction, the reason why an individual is seeking treatment in the first place is that they have recognized their addiction even before relapsing. Therefore, can be termed as one of the challenges in the process of treatment and should not be taken as a failure or prove but as it is, a challenge among many challenges in the recovery process. It is for these reasons that evaluation should be done on the individual to identify if the therapy had been working before relapse. After evaluation, the therapist should adopt the relapse prevention treatment to avoid another relapse from happening and ultimately recovering from addiction.
Hendershot, C. S., Witkiewitz, K., George, W. H., & Marlatt, G. A. (2011). Relapse prevention for addictive behaviors. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 6, 17. http://doi.org/10.1186/1747-597X-6-17
Wiley-Blackwell. (2010, September 17). Acamprosate prevents relapse to drinking in alcoholism, review finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 15, 2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100907210819.htm
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