Ethics in Rehab

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There are many aspects of drug and alcohol addiction rehabilitation that should be considered before starting a treatment program, such as the setting or environment of the facility, duration of treatment, how much it will cost, which specialist is involved in the addict's recovery, and so on. But one of the most controversial problems of addiction treatment lies within the moral aspect of rehab, known as the "ethical rights of people in rehab."But what exactly are these rights, and why is it so controversial?

To begin with, it is important to remember that the disease of addiction does not make a person "bad" or less important than everyone else. They are people who are dealing with a very common disease, and addiction can happen to anyone. The stigma that drug users are homeless, not educated, or criminals, is no longer the norm because we now know the disease does not discriminate with those factors. Addicts are people too--with families, careers, values and aspirations. So of course, addicts in recovery have rights too, like everyone else. That is exactly what ethics in rehab means: that when it comes to rights, recovering addicts must be treated like anyone else, no matter how severe their addiction is, which entails the following:

1. They must be informed of everything that will be involved during rehab, and consent to it

2. Their thoughts, decisions, and opinions will be respected and heard equally.

3. They cannot be forced into any treatment, and will not be harmed in the process.

4. The information they give to licensed professionals will be confidential, unless they consent otherwise.

5. That medical professionals, therapists and counselors always work in the interest of their client and nothing more.

6. And that these ethical rights are protected by law and by official codes of conduct.

Ethics are an important aspect of treatment because it is what protects the interests of the recovering addict. However, there is some controversy due to the fact that addicts can have bad judgment, or blind ways of thinking; they may be harming themselves and others because of their habits.

One example would be a heroin addict, who has been hospitalized or on the verge of death due to overdose incidents. This person may not be suicidal, but cannot stop the urge to take heroin, therefore, putting him or herself in near fatal situations frequently. In such a case, someone they know may seek help from an addiction specialist. Also, an alcoholic may be physically abusive when drunk, and therefore a judge may give them a choice of rehabilitating or going to jail. These are situations where the addict is pressured to choose rehab, and many believe this is justified, while the addict may not agree. After all, some people who suffer from substance dependency may also be suffering impaired thinking, cognitive problems, or a mental health disorder such as depression/anxiety that causes them to not want rehabilitation, even though it is obvious that they need treatment in order to save their life.

A good addiction treatment center will make sure the clients' ethical rights are acknowledged, respected, and remembered at all times. Finally, this also contributes to the treatment process because recovering addicts want to be heard and respected, and not treated unequally. Giving them respect and power over their decisions will give them the confidence, trust, and the support they need to desire a new, better life.

For more information on our addiction treatment programs and therapeutic approaches, call toll free at: 800-960-5041. Florida Center for Recovery offers residential drug and alcohol rehab treatment through 12-Step and Non 12-Step Programs.

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