Treatment for drug use and addiction disorders

Drug use disorders can be treated effectively in most cases if people have access to a wide range of services that cover the continuum of issues that patients may face. Treatment services must match the specific requirements of the individual patient at the specific phase of their disorder. These services include outreach, screening and brief interventions, inpatient and outpatient treatment, medical and psychosocial treatment (including treatment of common comorbidities), residential treatment, rehabilitation, and recovery-support services.

1. Outreach/SBIRTH (screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment)

At our center, we use a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment services for persons with substance use disorders, as well as those who are at risk of developing these disorders. This is being achieved through outreach programs to schools, communities, churches and professional settings, amongst others.

2. Initial screening

A brief procedure used to determine the probability of the presence of a problem, substantiate that there is a reason for concern, or identify the need for further evaluation. This determines the presence or absence of a problem. This is not a clinical diagnosis neither does it enable one to make a clinical diagnosis. The results of this brief screening determines if the individual is likely to benefit from the referral for a comprehensive assessment. It also provides an opportunity for education, and/or early intervention, alerts provider to risk for interventions and offers the opportunity to strengthen the commitment of the person. We use some screening tools to ascertain information about the situation (e.g. ASSIST, AUDIT).

3. Comprehensive assessment

This is the process of defining the nature of the problem, determining a diagnosis, and developing specific treatment recommendations for addressing the problem. The purpose of a comprehensive assessment is to determine necessities for the level of care for SUD treatment, the type of intervention needed to address the problem, evaluate the strengths the client brings to treatment to support recovery and engages the client in the treatment process.

Laboratory investigations. Complete blood count (CBC), liver function test (LFT), VDRL, urinalysis, urea and creatinine, HCG, hepatitis, blood glucose levels.

Rapid drug test. Urine toxicology

Screening. this is done to measure patients drug dependence.

History taking / physical Examination. A thorough physical examination is done by the psychiatrist.

Psychiatric assessment. It is important to note that psychiatric disorders can co-exist with use of alcohol and other drugs, especially increased risk of suicide and self-harm.


Post detoxification management (withdrawal symptoms)

Rehabilitation. AODL, relaxation techniques / exercise, cognitive behavioral therapy, occupational therapy, psychoeducation, strategies for management of cravings, Empowerment Program.

4. Individualized care plan

A collaborative planning process that supports preferences and recovery specifically for the person receiving the service. This is intended to identify the strengths, capacities, preferences, needs and desired outcomes of the person. The approach of every case is individualized.

5. Aftercare

Continuing of care is prioritized to enhance staying stable after rehabilitation, to prevent relapse and to achieve a life filled with rewarding relationships and a sense of purpose. This can be achieved through the creation of:

  • Therapeutic communities. Highly structured programs that can last for 6 to 12 months. Staff and residents work together to obtain and maintain recovery. Treatment will help the individual change negative beliefs and destructive patterns. Educational, vocational, and other supports will be offered.
  • Follow-up. A monthly visit to the centre is established for continuum of care. Patients are reviewed on a monthly basis by professionals and evaluated to know their progress.
  • Support groups. Support groups and social networking give people who are overcoming addictions the ongoing encouragement and support needed to help them continue to recover and stay sober long term. These groups include other people who are going through or have gone through the same type of experiences, so they can help each other.