Term Paper: Addiction Treatment Centers

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Gambling Addiction Center

The center will provide group sessions for the purpose of facilitating peer interaction and social pressure to work the program and practice abstinence when it comes to gambling and any of its components.

The group sizes will vary depending on the number of clients that the center has at any given time, but every effort will be made to put the clients into groups of between 10 and 13 people (Taxman, 2006).

Research across the nation into addiction recovery treatment supports this size for group dynamics. This size of a group is successful for several reasons.

People who enter a program and begin to participate in groups often feel nervous and do not want to be singled out or made to feel that they are the center of attention.

Because of this the larger groups size works well because they can join in when they are ready, but until then they can remain quiet but still take in what other group members are saying.

As the group continues to meet, however, the client usually begins to feel more open and begins to participate. At this point the importance of groups size shifts to needing a small enough group that each client can participate within the given time frame.

Nongambler administrators trust the previous research results and with those results in mind will actively seek to maintain group sizes between 10-13 clients (Taxman, 2006).

The groups will be co-ed with regard to gender, simply based on the fact that the treatment facility does not plan to limit the number of males or females that are accepted for treatment. If there is a bed available on the female side that will be provided to a female client. If it is available on the male side the bed will be provided to a male, however, in setting up groups the focus will remain on quality and group size, not separating men and women.

One of the most important principles in addiction treatment according to research is to provide a social setting in which peer discussion and peer pressure provide the incentive to abstain from the addictive element.

This social setting works well if the client has several people that he or she can relate to within the group setting. If the group is too small the client may fail to find others that he or she can relate to. If the group is too large then he or she may feel overwhelmed or conversely be so crowded that there is never a chance to speak or ask questions (Taxman, 2006). The group size of 10-13 clients provides a large enough group to find others to relate to while at the same time remaining small enough to create bonds within that group.

When determining the best setting for a residential treatment center, many things were taken into consideration. While the accessibility factor was a significant one indeed, those at the planning stages of the center believed that a serene setting could be located not far from a more urban area, thereby creating easy accessibility as well as peaceful environments for the purpose of optimum treatment.

The expansion of legalized gambling in America carries a high cost. A 1997 Harvard study found that an estimated 15.4 million Americans suffer from problem or pathological gambling -- often referred to as gambling addiction. The National Academy of Sciences found that "pathological gamblers engage in destructive behaviors: they commit crimes, they run up large debts, they damage relationships with family and friends, and they kill themselves (Kelly, 2000)."

Pathological gambling is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as an impulse-control disorder with symptoms similar to those of drug and alcohol addiction. The gambling addict experiences tolerance (needing ever more gambling) (Kelly, 2000), withdrawal (if trying to stop), loss of control (cannot stop even if trying), and often lying and illegal acts such as stealing to support the "habit (Kelly, 2000)." The effects of this addiction are wide ranging and often threaten many who are not at all involved with the gambling. It is not unusual for a gambling addict to end up in bankruptcy, with a broken family, and/or facing a criminal charge from his employer (Kelly, 2000)."

In knowing the chaos that gambling addiction can create, it becomes important to break or interrupt that cycle to begin and maintain the residential treatment setting. For this reason administrators of this residential treatment center believe that the best setting for recovery will be in a serene setting.

A country, serene setting provides many significant benefits to those recovering from gambling addiction.

It removes most elements of modern technology, and city life, which for many gambling addicts can be triggers to instill the desire to place bets.

In addition the serenity of the residential treatment facility being located within a country setting allows the clients to regroup mentally, spiritually and emotionally as they begin to make their way back from the black hole of addiction.

A final and often disregarded element of strength in providing a serene setting in a residential treatment facility is to increase the likelihood that clients will stay and work the program until their release date.

While the residential treatment is a voluntary program, in which the client voluntarily checks in and is able at any time to voluntarily check back out, the country serene setting provides an unspoken obstacle to walking away.

Many times the family members of the client have become so concerned with the addict seeking assistance, that they will not be willing to facilitate the client leaving the treatment before it is complete. If the center were located in the heart of the city, it would not be difficult for clients to walk away from the center before completing treatment. The distance from nearby cities is not so great to make it inconvenient for families to visit but inconvenient enough for clients who would have to walk quite a ways to find transportation or other assistance should they decide in a weak moment to leave treatment without completing it.

It has been shown that the most effective treatment begins with a residential treatment program. Providing sustained support in a residential setting has been shown time and time again to be the most effective treatment method from addiction including gambling addiction.

The term behavioral health recovery management was coined to depict the process of sustained support through the developmental stages of addiction recovery (Loveland, 2003). This concept grew out of and shares much in common with "disease management" approaches to other chronic health problems, but BHRM emphasizes quality-of-life outcomes as defined by the individual and family (Loveland, 2003). BHRM shares the disease-management goal of effective stewardship of healthcare resources, but it places a greater value on the management of global health and the quality of life of the individual and family. Heavily influenced by new, grassroots, recovery-advocacy organizations, it balances the focus on cost with the experiences, needs, and aspirations of those living with and recovering from addictions (Loveland, 2003).

Changing the timing and duration of service. There currently is a collision between clinical characteristics of persons seeking addiction treatment and the administrative/fiscal structures governing such treatment (Loveland, 2003). The multiple-problem client/family is becoming the norm, particularly within publicly funded programs (Loveland, 2003). The greater number of presenting problems, the synergistic interaction of these problems, the frequent intergenerational transmission of such problems, and the degree of personal and environmental obstacles to successful recovery would all seem to dictate integrated models of greater service intensity and duration (Loveland, 2003). Yet clients find a categorically segregating service system where interventions are becoming ever more brief and fragmented (Loveland, 2003). In this collision between personal needs and systems design, clients are placed in modalities that have little chance of permanently altering the trajectory of their problems, and then are blamed for the failures of the systems in which they are enmeshed (Loveland, 2003). This collision also contributes to the demoralization and flight of service staff who feel they have become paper-processors rather than people-helpers. And we have rising therapeutic pessimism fed by the growing number of clients with multiple treatment episodes (60% of those admitted to public treatment in the United States have been in treatment before, including 24% who have been in treatment three or more times (Loveland, 2003). The current system of brief intervention with chronic substance use disorders is analogous to treating a bacterial infection with half the needed dose / duration of antibiotic therapy (Loveland, 2003). It may produce temporary symptom suppression, but it can lead to a later resurgence of symptoms, often in a more virulent and treatment-resistant form (Loveland, 2003)."

This creates a need for residential beds for the purpose of treatment. The cost to taxpayers continues to climb as addicts who go through a revolving door of outpatient attempts become resilient to treatment. Criminal activities create taxpayer supported inmates, while failure to maintain adequate nutritional status can lead to taxpayer funded health issues. Residential treatment options… [END OF PREVIEW]

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