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Psychotherapy and Counseling for Drug Abuse Treatment


Society is the many-sided form of existence for people. It is represented in many different ways through the life of every member of society. Political system and its conditions is the issue due to which any society of any state exists. Then comes the social obligations put both on a member of society and of course on the society itself. And as we continue to develop and to grow as the form of social organization , humans vices, defects and drawbacks continue to develop as well.

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Drugs is the biggest vice of humanity, along with the mental and moral deviations, as homosexuality, horrible diseases of modern times, social neglect and abuse it causes and goes along with. The problem it arises is how the society should and must get over it.

Medicine is the issue to point out the ways and the means to solve this problem. As the years go by, the problem goes forward at a steady gait.

Different countries are constant in their problem solution findings, for instance Sweden, the state gives help to every drug addict, via feeding the drug addict, giving shelter if needed, calming and providing with medical support and even…giving a drug dose, when its urgent for the sick. Yes, sick, it is the only term to determine the state of the drug abuse and to assess the scale of the danger. There is the need to find out the solution. And as the problem continue to relapse the society is to find out the solution with all available means of medicine.

There are different types of overcoming the drug abuse. Concerning medical ways of treatment, recently, the pharmacological source to overcome drug abuse is practiced along with the nonpharmacological: counseling and psychotherapy ways.

The psychological way to determine and to annihilate the addiction that is psychotherapy and counseling both engaging the drug addicts and the psychologist into the hard work.

Different Researches

In 1992 under the sponsorship of the NIDA a counseling model was originally developed for the cocaine addicts. The Collaborative Cocaine Treatment Study by Woody and Mercer was originally based on the 12-steps approach. 12 steps to make the participant of the research cover psychological aspects of the releasing from drug abuse: aiding the patient to realize the suffering from drug abuse, assessment of the problem scale, forwarding the drug abuser to leave the drug, constant encouraging via new, drug-free way of living and, finally, helping the drug abuser to improve self-esteem and to get over the burden.

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The prominent feature of the program was the philosophy of the project. Basically, it was cored over the two incorporated elements: approval of the given model and spiritual measurement of realizing the pain of drug abuse. The spiritual aspect did not imply a bond to any religion, it was simply based on the religious principles of openmindedness, honesty and willingness to be released.

The program came out as the constituent of the exhaustive outpatient treatment. It implied the post-counsel kind of a supervision by the personal supervisor and comprised the medical and psychological approaches of in-treatment and post-treatment counseling.

Then comes the program on counseling the drug abusers described in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse by Robert Fiorentine and M. Douglas Anglin.

The program was the huge research effort by the Substance Abuse Treatment Center to assess the efficiency of Los Angeles as being the issue of the Target Cities Project. The accessibility and the positive effect were expected to be the main goals of the program applied to big cities of the U.S.A. with the core attention to Los Angeles. “This study explores the role of counseling in the treatment of drug abuse. It assesses whether increasing the opportunity for group and individual counseling increases the frequency of client participation in counseling, and whether such an increase generally enhances the effectiveness of outpatient drug treatment.”( Fiorentine & Anglin, 1997, p. 1).

The program implied the in-treatment and post-treatment counseling with the drug abuser. The duration of the very given program was up to the localization of the project within Los Angeles boundaries and the Los Angeles metropolitan zone, each comprising 16 and 9 adult outpatient programs, respectively. The project was structured into Part I and Part II, comprising in-treatment and post-treatment study.

The efficiency of the worked out research was definitely obvious. 24 counsels per month of the Target City Program succeeded over 20 clients sessions of other treatments. Other issues of the program succeeded, as well, over the comparison programs issues. The point that the participants of the Target City Program did not differ from those of the 12-steps program, is to be noted.

The project made by George E. Woody and coworkers was the psychotherapy finding in addition to the methadone-treatment of the drug abusers, representing the authors review on the psychotherapy project held in 1983. The experimental study was held to prove the efficiency of the psychotherapy extra assistance during the drug abuse treatment.

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The scientists achieved different results mostly discriminating from each other on the basis of using extra psychotherapeutic assistance. The Pennsylvania researchers compared counseling with extra therapy assistance or cognitive behavioral therapy with the counseling treatment only. The results were remarkable enough to state that psychotherapeutic way of treatment gave better outcomes in more given areas then that using no extra therapy aid. In addition, the results were graduated via psychiatric severity scale , that is low-, mid- and high-severity levels. And again the results varied due to its levels accordingly. High-severity patients showed a number of gains. The conclusion came as psychotherapy extra assistance altered the traditional way of treatment. And psychotherapy gave much more benefits to the participants of methadone treatment.

Experimental Study

The experimental study is focused on the working moment of study, that is modeling an extra-experimental situation, with given terms and under special conditions mad for this very experiment. Now, concerning the topic of the essay, the experiment over the psychotherapeutic and counseling treatment implies the methodological base of the study, worked out through the previous experiments experienced, supporting base, that is the staff to make the study and finally the clients of the study.

The clou of the study is to be approached by the means of experimental analysis through the many way research of the groups of the probationers. That is substance abuse, criminal activity and as finally psychological functioning of the client. Whatever the substance abuse or the addict period, the psychotherapeutic treatment is the part of the study and is crucial due to its extra use efficiency, as it is seen from the later experiment by Woody and co-workers described.

Based on the vivid and life experience in the drug abuse treatment, experimental study has its fundamental principle to practically show its importance.

Descriptive Study

The main goal of the descriptive study is to assess the sample, concerning drug abuse treatment, at one point in time. First comes the field of the study, dealing with precise substance group abusers.

The descriptive study on drug abuse treatment is intended to deal with the theoretical data. That is not connected to the theory of the drug abuse treatment or psychotherapeutic theory, but connected to the specially selected data on the drug abusers syndromes to assess the level of addiction during the interviewing the probationers, analyzing the scope of the addict, the time of addict, the problems it is connected with.

Then the differentiation amid the psychological points, social, criminal, medical aspects of the study, where the collected data is to be analyzed, begins to evaluate the level of the abuse and the scope of the disease.

The descriptive study importance comes evident through the originals of the study, as it is the way to collect the data. Besides, the importance of the descriptive study is per so: it can be the starting point of the drug abuse treatment preceding the experimental one.

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Now, it is clearly seen that since the mankind and society made a great step forward the innovative technologies and the genesis of the society, universal mind produced many problems to be solved. The problem of drug addiction causing drug abuse and the treatment if possible and timely given has several difficult, but still effective, ways of solution.

Descriptively it is seen that many experiments on drug abuse solution succeeded much thanks to the innovations in medicine. First, there is a pharmacological treatment, making much on the body of the patient. But the thing is that the patient is no ordinary sick, and drug abuse who is to be focused on. And now another aspect of the problem becomes conspicuous. The junkie is the person with deviated psychology and as a result, with great psychological troubles. And the way to treat and to cure these problems as a rule far from ordinary pharmacological therapy.

Here comes the psychological treatment based on definite talking with the physician, that is counseling. On the given projects on the drug abuse treatment, it is descriptively seen that positive gains are observed when counseling used. But closer to the topic of the discussion prominent feature to be seen is the extra assistance of the psychotherapy in addition to counseling and common pharmacological treatment.

Positive results of the counseling are apparent on the specimens of the NIDA 12-steps program, when the clients are give the relief in the broadest meaning of the word.

But the Target City Program clearly shows its positive results. Being applied in the conditions of one of the crucial, cities of the U.S.A., from the drug abuse problem point of view, Los Angeles, it showed great results exceeding those of other programs of the type. The clients were free to choose between telephone talk and face-to-face discussion. And the major portion of the clients chose the later as the most convenient.

But the results of Woody and coworkers research are of great success and makes a breakthrough in the treatment of drug abuse, when prominent positive results were gained much thanks to extra assistance, psychotherapy.

It is clear that the counseling itself or psychotherapy itself, being applied as the only treatments, is of great query. But the combined of pharmacological, counsel and psychotherapeutic means treatment is of no doubt.


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