San Clemente, Calif. — In a new article, Need for Tailored Treatment for Addiction, by Tonmoy Sharma, M.B.B.S., M.Sc., founder and CEO of Sovereign Health, the author states that the most important aspect of assessing a patient with substance use issues is determining if there is a co-existing mental disorder — also known as a dual diagnosis. Mental health disorders can fuel a substance use disorder; treating one disorder and not the other will sabotage the chances of a successful recovery.
Treatment for addiction to drugs or alcohol is complicated; there is no single specific treatment that works for everyone with addiction problems. A care plan will differ according to each patient’s specific needs and symptoms. Extensive scientific study on the topic has shown that the most effective treatment for substance use is a clinical plan tailored to each patient’s needs, beliefs and symptoms, and to their unique problems. Dr. Sharma writes, “While treating a patient, it is also important to know about their background, age group, gender and family history because there might be many factors that can influence the approach to treatment.”
Gender, for example, plays an important role in appropriate treatment. One gender-based model is POWER (Primary Opportunities for Women Experiencing Recovery), an approach for women ages 40 years or older that teaches women how to manage their health conditions, repair damaged relationships and establish stable, sober and supportive networks. For men, there is a corresponding program called PRIME (Personal Recovery Integrating Men’s Experiences), which is designed to give men ages 40 years and older the power they need to manage their health conditions, repair damaged relationships and establish stable and supportive sober networks.
These two approaches are proven to be successful and highlight the fact that men and women have different underpinnings of their addiction and that treatment should vary accordingly. “Patients from all walks of life, and of all ages and genders, will have the best chance at recovering from disorder when they are thoroughly assessed at intake and have their treatment tailored to their individual needs,” writes Dr. Sharma.
The article details other types of treatment approaches, including CROSS (Christian Recovery Offering Significant Success), which is a faith-based approach for both men and women. Another component of a successful treatment plan may involve medication-assisted therapy (MAT) — which, although not required for all patients, can support recovery by relieving serious physical and mental symptoms of withdrawal and recovery. Extensive research has shown that MAT, when combined with other therapies, can greatly increase the chances of recovering from substance use.
In closing, Dr. Sharma reminds us, “People come in all shapes, colors and sizes. So, does addiction treatment, which should be designed to meet each individual’s needs.”
About Tonmoy Sharma
Tonmoy Sharma has spent years crisscrossing the country presenting on measurement-based care (MBC) at conferences and community events. His hope is that in the not-too-distant future, clinicians and the public nationwide will embrace MBC as the highly successful, evidence-based treatment that is the best approach to treating addiction and mental health issues.
Sharma has been recognized with numerous awards, honors and grants for his work in advancing mental health and its treatment in the United States, Europe and Southeast Asia. He is a prolific researcher and scientist as well as the author or co-author of more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and five books on schizophrenia and mental illness. Dr. Sharma has served on numerous editorial boards, acted as peer reviewer for 14 international medical journals, and has been on various advisory boards governing the development of antipsychotics. He currently co-hosts KABC 790 AM’s “In Your Right Mind,” a cutting-edge, weekly radio show that covers various topics in behavioral health, and was selected by the OCBJ to be listed in the OC500 as one of the most influential people in the Orange County business community in 2016.
About Sovereign Health
Sovereign Health is a network of detox and behavioral health treatment centers that have qualified for the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal accreditation. The company consistently ranks as a top provider of behavioral health services, according to the independent eBASIS report from McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. In McLean’s quarterly reports for 2016, Sovereign has surpassed 50 other treatment centers nationwide in several important health care measures.
Sovereign Health’s facilities are licensed in accordance with state regulations. The Joint Commission is the nation’s leading health care standards-setting and accrediting organization and sets a very high bar for qualifying for the Gold Seal designation. Sovereign’s extensive national network of nine facilities across five states also enjoys the distinction of being accredited to provide concurrent mental health and substance use treatment, a rarity in the field.
Sovereign Health’s mission is to provide a broad spectrum of high-quality behavioral health treatment services for adults and adolescents, including support services for family members. One factor that differentiates Sovereign from other treatment providers has been the company’s ability to offer separate mental health and addiction or dual diagnosis treatment programs at its facilities. For more information, visit www.sovhealth.com.