|Inpatient vs. Outpatient |
|The Ongoing Battle on Drug Rehabilitation |
|Student Name |
|Axia College ...view middle of the document...
â€ (NIDA 2005) A person with addictive behaviors mixed with chemicals, alcohol, street drugs, and/or prescription narcotics is what is referred to as a drug addict. There is no set amount of time or specific amount of use someone would need to classify as a drug addict, just the want to use again and again without regard to the harm it causes to themselves or others. Over time however, the brain alters its inner receptors to accommodate the use which can make getting off the drugs even harder for the patient. This makes an effort for rehab even harder. It is not just the physical symptoms of withdrawal an addict needs to deal with; there is also the psychological need for the drug. This combination makes any rehabilitation effort impossible without professional help.
Once an addict makes the decision to kick the habit, drug rehabilitation is introduced. There are many factors that help medical and mental health professionals decide on a treatment program for an addict such as: length of addiction, substance addicted to, any mental health disorders, age, health issues and also whether or not the patient is insured. The question of insurance changed in 2008 when Congress passed the Mental Health Parity Act. This act states that insurance must cover an unlimited amount of mental health or substance abuse treatment needed. (NCSL 2008) For insured addicts, that can mean the difference between getting the help they need rather than only being allowed to stay for as long as their insurance will pay.
While there are still options for uninsured addicts, unless they have means to pay for the stay themselves, those options can become greatly limited. Luckily there are programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), for people wanting to curtail their drinking problem in an outpatient setting. It can also be effective for patients that have recently left an inpatient setting as a step down program, and additional support. This program offers sponsors who are men and women that worked the steps in the program successfully and have been sober for an extended period of time. This sponsor offers their support around the clock if needed to help the newcomer through the tough time and help prevent any relapse. (AA 2009) Alcoholics are not the only ones with such a great support on their side; Narcotics Anonymous or NA is the version for drug addicts. Both programs are based on 12 steps that are continuously â€œworkedâ€ in order to keep the person sober. Each block of the cycle represents a step towards sobriety and the strength it takes to not only get sober, but stay sober. AA encourages its members to constantly â€œwork the stepsâ€ to keep a handle on their sobriety. The steps used by AA are illustrated by the diagram below:
While AA is not the only outpatient option available, it is one of the only programs that is free of charge and only asks for dontations for support. Other outpatient programs may require the patient to travel...