Treating An Addict: From A Doctor's Perspective
Believe it or not, there are doctors who aren't too excited about treating addicts. While there are many issues that come into play as to why this is, the first and foremost is the general view of addicts and how they behave.
For a very long time, addiction has been viewed as a failure of willpower or quality of character. It has only just begun to be viewed as a real mental health disease that needs to be treated by medical professionals instead of ridiculed by the public and arrested by law enforcement. This being said, there are still some doctors who rise to the occasion to really help addicts with their addictions.
Sure, doctors can certainly help an addict who might be overdosing in the ER, they may be able to clear up a bacterial disease or rehydrate an addict suffering from dehydration. These are things that they are trained and capable of handling. Yet, the actual addiction is something that the vast majority of doctors have no training in caring for. While addiction accounts for one of the most serious medical emergencies in the country, most graduate degree medical schools do not offer courses on addiction treatment. This leaves doctors with a stunning lack of information and know-how to help these people.
With addiction come other mental deficits and problems. One example is denial, and for the doctors who do inform their patients of a possible drug addiction, they can sometimes be met with anger instead of gratitude for any assistance. Denial is a difficult hill to get over for many addicts and is one of the things that make them hard to treat. Some doctors may find this difficulty to be rather off-putting; it definitely aids in their discretion of treatment. After all, doctors expect their patients to want help, not deny it.
With the vast numbers of doctors who either will not or simply cannot diagnose and treat addiction, it should be a main priority to make a change in the graduate programs for healthcare professionals nationwide. Addiction, unlike many other illnesses necessitates a very long term treatment program. It isn't the type of problem that can be cleared up with a prescription (no pun intended), or with stitches or a cast. It doesn't take just three days, or six weeks. Addiction recovery is something that can last years, and requires the right kind of guidance and attention. For doctors, the list of problems that come with addiction currently outnumbers the capabilities they do have to treat addicts. Education, training, and a better understanding can make doctor visits all the more effective in identifying or prevention an addiction crises.
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.