Introduction: Choice of Practice Location and Its Description
Addiction behavior therapy is a topic that is consistently relevant around the world. The number of psychiatric patients and people with various addictions is now increasing. It is essential for professionals who encounter these clients to upgrade their qualifications to become confident practitioners. Interning as a counselor at a private and managed detox center called Sober District Detox helped me gain the knowledge and experience I needed, as well as achieve my goals. The practice included individual and group work with clients, counseling, personal assistance and care, mastering theory, and data analysis. A specialist who has an integrative view of the problem and knows both clinical theory and tools from different psychotherapeutic approaches is the most prepared for the work and what is behind it.
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Objectives and Assignments: Content and Examples
Before beginning the practice, the primary goals that needed to be achieved for a sense of satisfaction and completion of the process were identified. My main goals were to increase empathy, improve the quality of professional communication with clients, learn theoretical skills and in-depth study of the detoxification process, and gain practical experiences. The assignments I completed throughout my internship contributed to these goals. Working directly with patients, counseling them, giving personal assistance and support provided the ability to enter the client’s situation and improve the quality of communication. Sometimes, there were no clients, and it gave time to study theory, reflection, and data analysis.
A vivid example from the internship was a patient who had been treated at the clinic several times. She had relapsed and ended up coming in with her husband, who was also addicted; the treatment had to be done from scratch. As a result, the couple left halfway through their program as AMA; AMA stands for Against Medical Advice. Relapse is only part of the process; it is essential to realize that sometimes all the work can be futile because the patient is not ready to accept it.
In that case, it is necessary to move on and find new solutions. This example teaches analytical and timely work in stressful situations, gaining confidence in one’s actions, and the importance not only of the detox process itself but also of psychological work with the patient (Zhu & Wu, 2018). The main goal of every counselor, including mine, is for clients to live a manageable life after treatment, not to fixate on the fact that they are addicts and will remain so forever.
Description and Examples of Skills
It is crucial to understand that when working with addicted clients, theoretical and academic skills are not enough. Interning as a counselor in the detox center involves possessing and continually improving technical, administrative, and social abilities. Technical skills are vital for the clever use of equipment and computers. Managerial skills make a structured work process, help to allocate time correctly, and maximize productivity. At the same time, when it comes to working with patients, the critical skill is social. If the work does not assist the client, it’s always hard on the staff, and the question arises as to whether everything was done right. Furthermore, the internship helped me to understand how undereducated people are on the subject of addiction. Accordingly, it is critical to connect with the patient and remove the social distance to provide competent help that will be effective.
All the cases that occurred during the practice can serve as vivid examples of acquiring specific experiences. Working with a client who had relapsed and with a culturally diverse patient improved my social skills. Training a new employee improved administrative and professional abilities. Working with equipment and on computers contributed to advance my technical knowledge. At the same time, even after several months of education and work, the employee cannot feel completely confident and competent. This feeling comes only with time and experience, accompanied by stressful situations, mistakes, and disappointments. Analyzing, thinking critically, wanting to grow, and having a tangible goal will help me feel like a professional.
Historical, Political and Social Circumstances: Relationship to Practice
To understand the purpose of establishing the detox center, one should understand the historical, political, and social circumstances that contributed to it. Historical and political factors always have a close connection: the emergence of anti-drug state policy stems from trends previously identified in the history of the country and the world at large. It is conditioned by the impact of a decrease in the country’s population, deterioration of the qualitative composition of the nation’s gene pool due to the expansion of the illegal distribution of narcotic drugs. These trends have a destructive influence on the primary resources of the national economy – the intellectual development and physical health of the country’s population.
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The social circumstance contributing to the center’s creation is that it is not enough to remove the physiological dependence on the drug. Rehabilitation is necessary to heal a person from such a severe illness forever. After the detox procedure, the risk of relapse decreases, and the patient’s well-being improves considerably (Sofin et al., 2017). Combining all these factors shows the relevance of such a comprehensive problem as substance abuse and the need to solve it. Sober District Detox intends to meet this challenge: the mission of this organization is to provide support in a safe environment to its patients and the tools to achieve the goal of permanent abstinence (Sober District, 2021). Creating such hubs and training competent professionals in this field is necessary to combat this global problem.
Local, National, Global Disruptions: Impact, Overcoming and Examples
The coronavirus is the most notable disruption that has affected health care in general and the work of Sober District Detox; this shock is local, national, and global. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted drug services and harm reduction programs. During the internship, there were days when there were no clients. Currently, the center does not provide outpatient detox programs because of COVID-19 (Sober District, 2021). At the same time, inpatient detox continues to function now.
Given the pandemic and subsequent economic and financial crises, it was necessary to look for solutions to cope with all the difficulties. On days when there were no patients at the center, new training programs were created, and a certain amount of time was also devoted to reading and studying theory. I used the internship site effectively as much as possible and avoided anxiety over the challenges I encountered.
Conclusion: Experience and Recommendations
The experience of interning at Sober District Detox contributed to new knowledge for me. Direct patient contact helped me increase the quality and level of professional communication, improve my empathy and critical thinking skills, and become more confident in my actions and decisions. In addition, the detoxification process itself was mastered in detail, and new curricula were developed. The combination of all these aspects is essential for a counselor in this type of medical facility. It is vital to find alternative ways to deal with the coronavirus situation, create new treatment programs, and train staff to make all future internship opportunities at the location meaningful and productive. The pandemic is a new reality; it is necessary to accept it and develop further. Drug addiction is a pressing problem that needs to be addressed urgently.
Sober District. (2021). About us. Web.
Sofin, Y., Danker-Hopfe, H., Gooren, T., & Neu, P. (2017). Predicting inpatient detoxification outcome of alcohol and drug dependent patients: The influence of sociodemographic environment, motivation, impulsivity, and medical comorbidities. Journal of Addiction, 2017, 1-11. Web.
Zhu, H., & Wu, L. T. (2018). National trends and characteristics of inpatient detoxification for drug use disorders in the United States. BMC Public Health, 18(1), 1-14. Web.