The Multidisciplinary Approach In The Treatment Of Addiction

The multidisciplinary approach in the treatment of Addiction

Addiction is considered a physical and mental illness, as it impairs the chemistry, physical state, thoughts, behavior and emotions of the person who suffers from it. On the other hand, it makes you unable to control your behavior, due to the strong desire you feel to consume the substance or perform the addictive behavior.

The control that addiction exerts on the person is such that it makes them invest a lot of time, effort and money to satisfy the addictive desire. This is why the person begins to neglect important aspects of their life and suffer psychological discomfort.

This disease is multifactorial, since it is influenced by biological, psychological and social aspects. Consequently, Addiction treatment usually takes a multidisciplinary approach. In this article I describe the multidisciplinary approach in the treatment of addiction.

What is a multidisciplinary approach?

A multidisciplinary approach is one that appropriately uses the knowledge of different academic disciplines, through the collaboration of professionals from different specialties. Its objective is to analyze, specify and address a problem from different perspectives simultaneously.

This type of approach is widely used in the branches of social and health sciences, because multiple diseases, disorders and social problems tend to intermingle and lead to each other. In this line, It is common for multidisciplinary teams to be formed made up of health personnel and/or professionals from the social field..

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However, it is something difficult to achieve, since it requires fluid communication between professionals, working together, a lot of organization, keeping the professional ego in check and learning minimal knowledge from other branches. Likewise, it is worth it for its numerous advantages.

Advantages of the multidisciplinary approach

This approach allows us to share relevant and enriching knowledge to deal with a problem or resolve an issue, both in a specific specific case and in a long-term project or task. This amalgamation of information favors creativity and innovation, as well as the prevention of errors by having so many different points of view and disciplines.

In addition, They achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness, by setting common objectives from the beginning by different professionals. In this way, they do not step on each other, they are directed towards the same goals and information flows faster than if they worked without communicating with each other.

In addition, they prevent problems due to mental exhaustion of the professionals themselves, since distributing the objectives and work can make it more enjoyable and possible. In this way, your self-esteem and professional satisfaction increases.

The multidisciplinary team in addiction treatment

Addictions are one of these diseases in which medical, social and psychological problems are mixed, often the midpoint between the first two perspectives. Therefore, addictions require treatment with a multidisciplinary approach, in which professionals from different disciplines work together to address the problem.

With this objective, specialized addiction teams are created, made up of health or clinical psychologists, doctors and nurses, and social workers or other specialists from other professions. Although addiction is analyzed with integrative care, each professional performs a specific function.

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1. Health or clinical psychology professional

Psychological professionals are usually health psychologists (who obtained specialization with a qualifying master’s degree) or clinicians (who completed the PIR, that is, through a 4-year residency in the public sphere).

They carry out psychological therapy, both at the individual and family level, to involve the person’s environment to help them with the problem and be their support network. Its objective is to evaluate, identify and change patterns of thoughts, emotions and behaviors of the person suffering from addiction.which create or maintain the addiction.

To do this, you are taught skills, resources and strategies to be able to face your illness, and everything that causes and maintains it. Special emphasis is placed on reducing psychological discomfort, preventing relapses and establishing a new lifestyle desired by the patient.

2. Professional in the branch of medicine and nursing

The involvement of other health professionals is very important, since psychologists do not act directly and immediately on the biology and chemistry of the patient. Doctors and nurses can closely monitor the person’s progress with respect to their addiction, as well as evaluate and treat health problems derived from the continued use of addictive substances (such as hepatitis, tuberculosis, HIV…).

At the same time, including doctors in the multidisciplinary team allows the person to be prescribed drugs that help relieve their impulsive desires to consume or engage in addictive behavior, as well as reduce the symptoms of withdrawal syndrome. Besides, These professionals are the best suited to offer you recommendations on how to lead a healthy life..

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3. Professional from the social branch

From the social field, professionals from different disciplines can participate, such as social psychologist, social educator, social integrator or social worker. These professionals have knowledge that can allow the person to reintegrate into society.

Social professionals can guide you to access social resources and supports, as well as associations to build a broad support network.. On the other hand, sometimes people with addiction have legal problems, so, if necessary, they can refer you to legal and criminal bodies to comply with their pending charges.

Likewise, it is common that, due to addiction, the person neglects the area of ‚Äč‚Äčtheir academic or work life, so that they abandon education early, often lose jobs and have difficulty finding others. Added to this is the high financial expense that almost all addictions entail.

For this reason, social workers usually provide information and access to training and jobs for people with addiction. In the end, addictions are a common problem in society and, therefore, must be addressed with a broad outlook. The social approach is fundamental, and there should be more changes at governmental and institutional levels.