The Importance of Compassion in Substance Abuse Treatment

compassion, substance abuse treatment

Even today the need for substance abuse treatment tends to carry a stigma attached to it, and it is still common for some people to think that alcohol or drug abuse is simply a lack of willpower or control on the part of the individual. Someone who has a problem needs care that is compassionate and that allows the individual to retain their self respect and dignity. Many programs, especially those designed by the government and those that tend to have a shoestring budget, do not offer the compassionate care that can be very beneficial during treatment. Many who use these programs end up relapsing fairly quickly after they leave, and they continue to suffer with self esteem and confidence issue as well.

Everyone has problems, struggles, and challenges, and no one except god is perfect. Substance abuse treatment professionals who offer judgment or who look down on those that they are treating can actually make recovery more difficult and lower the success rate of the program. Some Christian programs for substance abuse offer compassionate care, with the philosophy that you should hate the sin but not the sinner. Alcohol and drug abuse are no different than mental illness or physical disease, and all of these need to be treated in a compassionate manner in order to help the individual recover and get back to normal. Programs that do not involve staff with compassion are far less likely to achieve the desired outcome, and you could end up requiring several rounds of treatment in order to get better.

Do You Know Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder?

borderline personality disorder, mental disorders

Approximately 5.9% of the population in the USA, or 14 million Americans, have borderline personality disorder. When all forms of mental disorders are calculated the percentage of the population that is affected is much higher. Statistics show that 20% of patients hospitalized in a psychiatric hospital has BPD, and 10% of those who engage in outpatient mental health treatment have this condition as well. With statistics and numbers like these it is rare for someone not to have a family member or friend who has BPD or another one of the possible mental disorders. In spite of this mental illness still carries a stigma, and some are ashamed to admit that they need help or that someone they know and care about needs treatment.

It is possible to detect signs of mental disorders, including borderline personality disorder, so that the individual can get the help and treatment that they need. Some of the most common symptoms of BPD include:

  • Constantly overreacting, exaggerates on a regular basis.

  • Unstable relationships with family, friends, and significant others. Because the individual with BPD are often angry or even violent this can impair relationships and lead to deep feelings of hurt and mistrust.

  • People who have borderline personality disorder have a distorted self image of themselves, with a feeling of low self worth and very poor self esteem. This can cause depression and mood swings which only make things worse.

  • People with this mental disorder tend to be reckless, engaging in impulsive decision making and acting without any concern for their safety or the safety of others.

Rural Teens Face High Risk of Teen Drug Abuse, Especially Prescription Painkiller Abuse

teen drug abuse, prescription painkiller abuse

A recent research study has found that prescription painkiller abuse among teens from rural areas and small communities is higher than what has been seen in large cities and urban areas. The research showed that this type of teen drug abuse was 35% higher for adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 years old who lived in rural communities. Teens who reside in small towns are 21% more likely to engage in this form of substance abuse than urban adolescents. One explanation for the increased risk that researchers have focused on is that primary care providers are not widely available in rura areas, causing teens to go to an ER or urgent care clinic. These medical facilities are typically more likely to prescribe opioid drugs for pain.

The study on teen drug abuse and prescription painkiller abuse by adolescents utilized data that was collected for the National Survey on Drug Use and Health for the years 2011 and 2012. The data included survey information from more than 32,000 teens. According to Pennsylvania State assistant professor of rural sociology, demography, and sociology Shannon Monnat “Over 1.3 million adolescents abused prescription opioids within the last year. With this number of adolescents there are major implications for increased treatment demand, risk of overdose, and even death from these opioids.” The study also showed that girls were more likely to engage in prescription painkiller abuse than boys were. The prescription drugs which seem to be used in rural areas include morphine based formulations like percocet, Oxycontin, and oxycodone. Monnat went on to say “There has been a shortage of primary care practitioners in rural areas for a long time. Often, emergency rooms or urgent care clinics might be the only place for someone to receive treatment in a rural area.”

Individuals with Schizophrenia who have Negative Symptoms Typically Fare Worse

schizophrenia, negative symptoms

A new study by King’s College London researchers shows that individuals with schizophrenia who have negative symptoms also tend to typically fair worse and have a worse outcome than those with this mental disorder who do not have negative symptoms. The patients who exhibited negative symptoms of schizophrenia had a much higher risk of admission to the hospital for this illness, the admission time was longer, and these patients were also more likely to be readmitted to the hospital after they have been discharged. Some of the negative symptoms that may be experienced include less speech and activity, poor motivation, and even failing to make eye contact with others. Positive symptoms include delusions and hallucinations, and these are usually the first symptoms targeted for treatment.

The study by the researchers is the biggest ever to look at and evaluate the link between clinical outcomes and negative symptoms for people with schizophrenia. The study involved sample cases from a pool of 7,500 individuals with schizophrenia. Department of Psychosis Studies researcher Dr. Rashmi Patel explained “Hospital admissions are the main drivers of cost in the care of patients with schizophrenia — yet they have traditionally been linked to the severity of positive psychotic symptoms. Our data indicate that negative symptoms are an equally important factor, and suggest that a greater emphasis on assessing and treating these features of schizophrenia may have significant health economic benefits. However, as our findings are drawn from observational data, interventional clinical studies are required to determine whether an effective treatment for negative symptoms would lead to better clinical outcomes.”


Treating Depression With Digestive System Bacteria May be Possible in the Future

Depression, digestive system

Science is discovering that the bacteria normally found in your digestive system can help treat depression, in a field of study called psychobiotics which is relatively new. You have roughly 100 trillion different bacteria and other microbes in your body, and these microbes carry out a number of vital functions. Many believe that the microbes in the body also have a link to mental health. It is possible that these bacteria and other microbes may be able to treat more than just digestive system disorders, and the could hold the key to an effective treatment for chronic depression. University College Cork in Ireland microbiome specialist and neuropharmacologist Dr. John F. Cryan , PhD, is one of the leading researchers in the link between your digestive system and your mental health.

Studies have been performed on mice in the lab which show that a disruption in the usual microbes in the body can lead to both mental and physical problems. Some of these studies have shown that mice which are bred in conditions with no beneficial bacteria at all have social awkwardness, and when the natural biome in the mice is disrupted the mice will display signs of depression, anxiety, and even autism. Dr. Cryan has worked very closely with a range of specialists during his research on the link between mental health and beneficial bacteria and other microbes, including psychiatrists, gastroenterologists, and microbiologists. Another study on mental health and bacteria in the digestive system was performed by Dr. Mazmanian in 2013. This study showed that mice with certain symptoms of autism had a lot fewer of the bacteria Bacteroides fragilis in their gut than the normal mice.