Substance abuse can be influenced by various factors. For example, mental, physical, spiritual, and social factors often play a role in addiction. These aspects can also interact with one another, resulting in a disease that is complex and unique for each patient. As a result, treatment options that inspire overall wellness can be very beneficial. In fact, this approach is often more effective than traditional strategies that only treat the symptoms of addiction.
Chambless Johnston of Johnson City, Tennessee, is a proponent of this method of treatment, known as an integrative approach. A doctor at the East Tennessee Recovery Centre, he works with individuals with substance abuse issues. He and the team at East Tennessee Recovery offer patients an integrated treatment model. They incorporate the social, mental, and physical aspects of addiction, as well as the use of medication and psychological therapy. This approach has been proven to be highly successful in treating addictions. According to Chambless Johnston, an integrative approach to recovery aims to hit all factors related to substance abuse.
The Integrative Approach
According to acam.org, an integrative approach to treating drug addiction involves addressing all factors that may play a role in the disease, as well as the outcomes of substance abuse. This approach often involves addressing the physical, psychological, and social aspects of chemical dependency and addiction. An integrative approach may also include medication-assisted therapy, a technique that can be especially helpful in the first stages of recovery. The goal of this integrative approach is to evaluate and improve all aspects of the individual’s life that are related to their substance abuse. By re-establishing and sustaining overall health and wellness, the treatment is much more likely to succeed over the long term.
In addition to acknowledging the complex nature of substance abuse, a holistic approach also allows for more personalized treatment. That is, the unique needs of each individual can be tailored to using this approach. Dr. Chambless Johnston notes that this approach has been shown to be one of the most effective treatment methods for overcoming drug addiction.
There are many physical aspects related to substance abuse. This can include physical health and fitness as well as genetic components. These physical factors play a role in perpetuating addiction but may also present as symptoms of substance abuse. These symptoms can be both short and long-term. In fact, Chambless Johnston indicates that addiction is known to aggravate other physical conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. As an example, poor physical health may play a role in manifesting addiction but can also be a side effect of recurring addiction. By focusing on physical health, patients feel stronger and more energized. In addition, increased physical activity has been linked to decreased anxiety and depression, two psychological factors that are known to influence substance abuse. Therefore, by improving the physical health of a patient, their emotional well-being will also improve, reducing the confounding factors that could be impacting addictive thoughts.
In addition to promoting physical well-being, an integrative approach will also often consider biological factors. Most commonly, this involves genetic testing and tools. A patient’s history and genetics are examined to uncover any possible hereditary influence. With the help of doctors, like Chambless Johnston, and pharmacological intervention, these influences can be addressed. By doing so, there is greater potential for long-term recovery.
Various psychological factors also play a role in addiction. In fact, in many cases, a coexisting mental health issue is present in those who experience substance abuse. If a mental health concern is uncovered, both aspects can be addressed and treated. This can help the patient significantly, as mental illness and substance abuse are often closely intertwined. Dr. Chambless Johnston explains that integrative treatment which includes examining and treating mental health factors can significantly improve recovery rates. An integrative approach often uses counseling or group therapy to help uncover and address co-occurring psychological factors.
An integrative approach also considers factors like personal relationships and self-esteem. These aspects can play a role in promoting substance abuse and, if uncovered, can be addressed and improved to enhance recovery. Treatment plans will introduce tactics, techniques, and treatments specific to the individual and the psychological factors that they face. This often includes a focus on coping skills and social skills.
Dr. Chambless Johnston on Social Aspects
Social aspects can also influence drug addiction. For example, a patient’s relationship and interactions with peers, as well as family circumstances and relationships can play a part in substance abuse. In some cases, these factors can play a significant role in leading the individual to abuse substances. An integrative approach aims to address these issues in order to aid the recovery process. As with other compounding factors, the approach taken to address these social aspects is personalized to each patient and their unique circumstances.
According to Dr. Chambless Johnston, an integrative treatment model also considers life after recovery. Patients who receive this type of treatment are prepared for their return back into the community. Often, job application and interview skills are taught and, in some circumstances, patients may be connected with employers.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes