Chemical Addiction Progress More Rapidly in Young People than Adults?
Chemical dependency is the obsessive use of chemicals like drugs, alcohol, and tobacco and the incapacity to stop using them, in spite of all the troubles caused by their use. People with a chemical dependency can stop using for a while but find it hard to start all together. This is where professional help is needed to stop it for life. Those who quit without professional help, typically overcome with an agonizing desire to resume alcohol, tobacco or drug use. Alcohol and drug addiction are progressive diseases. In most, addictions begin gradually and grow until one's life becomes increasingly uncontrollable. As recurring efforts to gain control over the addiction are unsuccessful, life for the person who has developed a chemical dependency begins to fall apart (Chemical dependency, n.d.).
Drug addictions in young people have been found to progresses more quickly than the same addiction in adults. Consequently, it is very important that addictions be caught early and drug treatment started before the problem develops into something deeper. Addictions can be recognized by way of a pattern of problems in a young person's life and they are a direct consequence of drugs. Also, chemical dependency can radically affect a workers ability to contribute to the company's accomplishment, leading to a drop in output, reduced product quality, augmented absenteeism and higher health care costs. A chemical dependency can lead to failed marriages, broken homes, severe emotional troubles and even death (Chemical dependency, n.d.).
Chemical dependency is characterized by unremitting or episodic behaviors that point toward the fact that a person is having trouble with a substance abuse:
getting high on drugs or getting drunk on an ordinary basis lying, particularly about how much they are using or drinking staying away from friends and family members who are not mixed up in drugs
giving up things they used to enjoy such as sports or spending time with certain friends
talking excessively using drugs or alcohol believing they have to use or drink in order to have fun stressing to others to use drugs or drink alcohol getting in difficulties with the law taking unnecessary risks suffering on the job due to substance abuse before, after or during work missing work due to substance use depressed, discouraging, or suicidal feelings (Chemical dependency, n.d.).
Drug abuse epidemiology is one of the more taxing areas of epidemiology. One of the fundamental reasons for this is the nature of substance use and the circumstances around it. Use of some substances is illegal world-wide, while others are only illegal in some nations. The difference between legal and illegal substances is in itself a difficult notion. The legality of a substance is neither a temporal nor a general constant. For example Heroin was generously prescribed in the United States till the Harrison Act of 1916, while tobacco has been an illegal drug in several nations in earlier times. Certain designer drugs and amphetamine analogues continue outside of legal control. Alcohol remains an illegal substance in some Islamic nations. Even if the substance is legal, its use may be linked with social disapproval and disgrace. These reasons frequently result in substance use becoming a hidden action. This poses important problems in substance abuse epidemiology, since people do not like to report their use of substances and even if they do, the degree of the use and the connected problems may not be reported correctly (Guide to Drug Abuse Epidemiology, n.d.).
There is also the difficulty of defining the boundaries of substance abuse. A lot of substances, like volatile inhalants, were not documented as substances of abuse till they were shown to cause specific psychoactive effects and a pattern of use very similar to other substances. The boundaries between use, abuse, harmful use, non-medical use and dependent use were also not clear for a long time. Definitions and criteria evolved as a part of international classification system (ICD-10) have helped significantly in this area, but frequently it is not probable for epidemiological studies to collect sufficient information to characterize the use pattern into these categories. Varying definitions used in epidemiological studies have resulted in difficulties in comparing the findings across studies. This has been one of the main limitations of substance abuse epidemiology over the years (Guide to Drug Abuse Epidemiology, n.d.).
Assortments of drug treatment programs for chemical dependency are accessible on an inpatient and outpatient basis. Programs are typically based on the kind of substance that is being abused. Detoxification and long-term follow-up management are significant features of successful treatment. Long-range follow-up management typically includes formalized group meetings and developmentally age suitable psychosocial support systems, as well as sustained medical supervision. Individual and family psychotherapy are frequently suggested to address the developmental, psycho-social, and family issues that might have contributed to and resulted from the development of a drug substance abuse disorder (Chemical dependency, n.d.).
The biopsychosocial model of chemical dependence is a broad, inclusive umbrella that permits clinicians to focus on the evaluation of overall clinical severity. As with the treatment of other disorders, the harshness of the addiction should establish the kind and concentration of treatment. When a clinician tries to do significant assessment of clinical severity, there is not full agreement on the best methods for evaluation. For example in the case of alcoholism, some researchers focus on a) severity of present or cumulative consequences of drinking, b) intensity of alcohol consumption, c) harshness of current or cumulative signs of alcohol dependence, or d) problem length (Chapter 2 -- The Role of PPC in a Managed Care Environment, n.d.).
When using the biopsychosocial model there are many assessment tools that are available to clinicians. The Addiction Severity Index (ASI) widens severity assessment to patients using or abusing drugs other than alcohol and centers on seven problem areas generally found in addiction patients. The ASI is not intended to be a placement tool, but rather an instrument to determine severity of illness. The severity profile in the ASI is founded on the numbers and types of troubles the person has experienced in the last thirty days as well as in the past year. The Recovery Attitude and Treatment Evaluator (RAATE) is a tool for determining severity using multidimensional assessment focusing on five dimensions. The biopsychosocial severity profile produced is the product of clinical judgment based on history data and assessment of current functioning. Since it measures severity at a cross-sectional point in time, the severity of illness will show alteration, sometimes within a day or two (Chapter 2 -- The Role of PPC in a Managed Care Environment, n.d.).
Another assessment tool is the Minnesota criteria use a Level of Chemical Involvement Scale that puts people in one of four levels of severity, ranging from level 0, which describes people who present for evaluation but for whom chemical use is not presently a problem; up to level 3, which represents the most severe level of chemical association. Treatment is guided by the Level of Chemical Involvement in conjunction with an assortment of behavioral and social factors such as legal or family troubles. The ASAM patient placement criteria centers on six dimensions in order to define biopsychosocial severity:
1. Acute intoxication and withdrawal potential
2. Biomedical circumstances and issues
3. Emotional or behavioral conditions and difficulties
4. Treatment acceptance or resistance
5. Relapse prospective
6. Recovery atmosphere (Chapter 2 -- The Role of PPC in a Managed Care Environment, n.d.).
In order to attain cost-conscious addiction treatment, the next step, after an incorporated model of compulsion and assessment of severity is agreed upon, is to characterize the biopsychosocial treatment to match the patient's clinical severity. Biopsychosocial treatment of alcohol and other drug disorders depends on the accessibility of a complete system of levels of care, a range of treatment modalities within those levels, and a continuum of care. Patient placement criteria are an essential but not adequate determinant of patient-treatment matching. Once a person is placed in a suitable level of care, selection of the specific assessment-based modalities, ultimately guided by empirically-based practice guidelines, completes the personalized treatment match (Chapter 2 -- The Role of PPC in a Managed Care Environment, n.d.).
Chemical dependency is a treatable condition. The first goal of treatment is abstinence. The chemically dependent person must stop using alcohol or drugs. T his occasionally necessitates a period of medical detoxification. Once alcohol or drug use is ceased, people may sincerely feel that they have the longing and aptitude to stay clean. This period can last days, weeks or months before cravings return. In order to reduce the risk of a relapse, the person must address individual problems and life troubles related to the chemical dependency (Drug and Alcohol Information, 2005).
Some of these issues can be addressed in group therapy, personal counseling sessions, instructive lectures, and discussion groups in chemical dependency treatment. The therapy process helps chemically dependent people get the insight and skills needed to comprehend and deal with troubles associated…