Systemic Approach: The Future of Treatment
Addiction treatment has been a very active field, what with the rise of new addictive substances and their accessibility. Treatment methods and professionals must always be flexible and always ready to adapt to the ever-changing scenario of addiction and rehabilitation. The challenge that treatment professionals have been facing for the longest time is the problem of acceptance and personal responsibility. It is hard to treat addicts because they do not want to be treated; most addicts fail or refuse to realize the gravity of their disease until it is too late. The first step in the healing process is always acknowledgment of the problem. The systemic approach to addiction treatment teaches addicts personal responsibility and attempts to repair family relationships. Instead of focusing on the individual, the systemic approach focuses on the family as a unit and tries to address family issues associated with the addiction.
A change in the addict’s lifestyle is vital to address the addiction, however, this change must involve the family. Family members are the persons who usually encourage, or even coerce, an addict into a rehabilitation center, and the systemic approach requires the full support of an addict’s family, friends, and loved ones. An addict’s family plays an important role in the systemic approach since it is believed by systemic treatment experts that addiction is not a disease of the individual, but of the family as a unit. Addiction is brought about by serious personal problems and unresolved family issues. Resolving these is the first step towards sobriety and the elimination of addiction.
Although the systemic approach focuses and relies on the full support and involvement of the family, it is vital that the change be instigated by the addict himself or herself. Before addicts can be helped by others, they must learn to help themselves. During treatment, the addict and the treatment professional develop a relationship in which they can align their expectations and develop treatment objectives. These objectives address the root cause of addiction and family conflicts that have pushed an individual into addiction in the first place.