Fighting Addiction: A New Direction

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Xiaoqing (L) and a consultant take part in an interview with Reuters at the Time Plastic surgery clinic in Shanghai February 4, 2010. The 21-year-old, who would only give her name as Xiaoqing, is seeking extensive plastic surgery to look like U.S. actress
Countless lives have been destroyed by alcohol addiction. Though many, upon realization try to come out of it to start afresh. Center for Motivation and Change is working relentlessly to bring back hope for them. Reuters

Countless lives have been destroyed by alcohol addiction. Though many, upon realisation try to come out of it to start afresh.

The Center for Motivation and Change (C.M.C) is working relentlessly to bring back hope for them. “It uses a suite of techniques that provide a hands-on, practical approach to solving emotional and behavioral problems, rather than having abusers forever swear off the substance — a particularly difficult step for young people to take.”

“The traditional language often sets parents up to feel they have to make extreme choices: Either force them into rehab or detach until they hit rock bottom,” said Carrie Wilkens, a psychologist who helped found the C.M.C. 10 years ago. “Science tells us those formulas don’t work very well.”

As a result, the subject slowly starts feeling comfortable with the treatment and usually responds well enough.

“The center’s approach includes motivational interviewing, a goal-oriented form of counseling; cognitive behavioral therapy, a short-term form of psychotherapy; and harm reduction, which seeks to limit the negative consequences of substance abuse. The psychologists also support the use of anti-craving medications like naltrexone, which block the brain’s ability to release endorphins and the high of using the substance.”

But this controversial approach has also been severely criticised. David Rotenberg, executive vice president of treatment at the nonprofit Caron Treatment Centers remarked, ““The majority of people who are chemically dependent would love to be able to drink and drug in a more moderate fashion,” Rotenberg said. “Most drug addicts and alcoholics would love to drink just a couple of drinks, and they try to do so, with poor results.”

To this, the C.M.C doctors argued, saying, “treatment for young people needs to be tailored for them, since teenagers and young adults are neurologically, psychologically, socially and legally different from adults, and have different treatment needs.”

According to a lot of parents, C.M.C has given new direction to their child’s life. “My child is much more than a label or a diagnosis,” a mother said. “She’s not a problem to be solved, but a child to be loved and guided toward a better life.”

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