Medical and Spiritual Model of Drug Rehabilitation

Like cancer, heroin addiction must be treated. Two existing fields of treatment for addiction are the spiritual model and the medical model. Both conceptualize that addiction is a manifest symptom of an underlying biochemical disorder. They also depict that it is a disease in which certain people are born with a body chemistry that makes them more susceptible to addiction. Dependency on a substance, whether it is physical or psychological which interferes with normal thinking, feeling and behaviour, is another criterion that both models agree on.
The spiritual model's simple healing method is the very act of reaching out to another addict, which in turn open's one's heart and brings serenity and peace within. The medical practitioner would want to find the chemical missing in the individuals underlying biochemical disorder and thus want to treat it with drugs such as methadone ( Thomas, 1986 ).
The spiritual model on the other hand agrees with this lacking biochemical disorder, but believes that the addiction is primarily based on misplaced psychological needs such as love, caring, sharing and intimacy, and thus can be remedied without the use of drugs
( Gallant, 1992 ).. Typically, the medical practitioner is not ready to engage in any psycho-therapy whatsoever, whereas, the spiritual model emphasises the continued use of psychotherapy treatment, which has proven to be an effective treatment for the disease of alcoholism. The spiritual motto is "people need people." This is the heart of the recovery process.
Co-Morbidity It is well known that people with mental illness also suffer from addiction. This term is called co-morbid. For example depressed people may find that opiates can give them a temporary lift or alcohol can help them sleep. Or a person who suffers from schizophrenia will often stop using their medication and due to the side effects of their medication and turn to alcohol or drugs for relief of their disorder. Unfortunately, these attempts at self medication usually end up with a patient having two problems, a psychiatric and an addiction problem. In a lot of cases it’s very hard to determine if the addiction or the mental illness came first. Many times what was thought to be an underlying psychiatric problem turns out to be the result of an addiction. On the other hand there are clients that don’t seem to get any better with sobriety on its own. In many cases if medical treatment is withheld the client will get worst.
The red flag with treating addiction is suicidal ideation. When a person is considering suicide or actually has a plan to carry the suicide out, they need to be under psychiatric care. This is the medical model of treating addiction or mental illness. Addiction is an actual mental illness, however, their is confusion when their are other mental illnesses involved as mentioned in the co-morbidity section of this article. When a person has a mental illness along with an addiction, it takes a true professional to help this person, for a host of reasons...
The real bottom line to yes there are different models for treating addiction, however, there is no one model that fits all. The mental health field should welcome a wide variety of treatments to treat addiction as well as mental illness.
Robert Goulard Counselling Service

Author's Bio: 

My personal recovery process was the most difficult and rewarding experience of my life. It created the solid foundation from which I now meet challenges personally and professionally in all areas of my life. My goal as a qualified and professional counsellor/therapist is to help you identify, clarify and modify your internal environment so that you too can meet the challenges you are faced with in life, in a new, meaningful and life enhancing way. I believe that happiness, peace, joy and love are available to all people, despite their past actions or circumstances.