When it comes to treating alcoholics and substance abuse, it is not just the patients who need help. It is also the people treating the illness and this is why they should be going on courses and refreshing their knowledge regularly. They need to understand exactly what the detox process is and how it will impact the human body.
They need to be prepared for anything from vomiting and the release of bowels to crying and begging, it’s not easy, but it can be professionally managed and in a short space of time .
As a professional in this field, they will also need to understand the ‘disease model’. This is the model that is used as a reference tool for how addiction works and what professionals should expect. They also need education on the kinds of drugs that are currently available to help patients such as Naltrexone, a drug that assists in preventing those who have suffered fro alcoholism to relapse and go back to their old habits.
They will also need to understand the importance of aftercare treatment, which in South Africa is difficult to implement. It includes follow up treatments, educating alcoholics on community resources and even checking in with them to ensure that they are holding down jobs, have good relationships with family and not suffering from psychological issues that may lead them back to addiction.
Part of the treatment also involves counseling the friends and family of a person and explaining to them what to expect and how they can help. This is no easy task because they cannot understand the disease and thus struggle to relate to what the person is going through. However, getting them to a place where they feel comfortable talking about the problem of addiction and feel they can help the person is part of a counselor or nurse’s job.
As a counselor or worker in a alcohol rehab centre, you have a huge responsibility on your shoulders and this is not something you can take lightly. This is a job that is very rewarding, but may come with a lot of tears, a lot of struggles and some danger at times. It is one that is rewarding though. Look for help in your area?