There is no generic alcohol rehab treatment, per se. Alcohol addiction in itself is a highly person-specific problem and every addict will have to be treated differently. As a healthcare professional, it makes sense for you to give personal attention to each of your patients so that informed decisions can be made about their treatment.
Successful alcohol rehab programs are carried out in partnership between the patient and the healthcare professional. In this blog post, I would list down some of the industry best practices that I have come across over the past few years:
Provide Evidence: Evidence-based written communication is the best way to foster an environment of mutual trust with your patient. Most alcohol addicts are averse to recognize the extent and severity of their addiction. However, if you are able to prove their addiction and pen it down to them, it gives them a tangible proof of their addiction. In most cases, such documents serve as a trigger for the addict to let go of the bottle.
Be culturally sensitive: There may be cases when you would have to communicate sensitive information to your patients. You must ensure that you are culturally and emotionally sensitive to their needs while communicating such information. You may also need to communicate patient-related information to the patient’s family and it pays to align yourself with their cultural preferences. You may also encounter patients who do not understand English or may be special abilities patients; ensure that your staff is well-trained to handle such eventualities.
Caring for the younger patients:
You may be required to treat young people (age group16-18) for alcohol addiction. The transition from pediatric care to adult care can be intimidating for such patients and this patient-group stands the maximum chance of relapsing back into addiction. Ensure that the family of such patients is involved in their rehab process and that the family takes all the key decisions in partnership with these patients.
Do some research:
As a rehab professional, you should know more about the patient than regular healthcare professionals. Rehab professionals may often be required to strike off-beat conversations with their patients, and as a professional, you should know about the interests of your patients. In order to understand the patient better, you ought to do research on the things that drive your patient’s actions.
Is it a special genre of music that pulls the patient into taking to the bottle? Does the patient forget about depression when he indulges in some hobby or art form? Does the patient feel the urge to consume in presence of certain people? Are there events that trigger a patients “reward system” for consuming alcohol? Does your patient have a criminal record?
All these questions go a long way in understanding the socio-cultural fabric of your patient. Ultimately, the efficacy of the rehab programs is dependent upon how well patients respond to treatment and how well you are able to appeal to the patient’s cognitive centers. Knowing about them and accommodating their needs can go a long way in treatment.