Psychotherapeutic treatment of opiate addiction.
A challenge in the treatment of opiate addicts is submitted by the limited available research data and the shrinking financial resources. In response to this challenge, therapists must increase the specificity and efficiency of their interactions with patients. A model which specifies targets of treatment was outlined. It is recognized that methadone maintenance treatment programs alone cannot possibly precipitate the necessary psychological and social changes. Yet, a complementary psychotherapy treatment model has not been endorsed and, therefore, outcome research on potentially efficacious therapeutic strategies has been almost nonexistent. In order to evaluate the usefulness of various modalities, the techniques must be clearly defined and focused on producing changes in the specific problem areas of narcotics abuse. Using an empirical model which includes the specification of the goals of psychotherapeutic involvement, patient and therapist can both clearly understand the treatment contract. It is hoped that they will focus their efforts on obtaining one appropriate and realistic goal after another in a logical sequence with defined priorities. Only in this way can we ascertain which "different (counseling) strokes" are useful for which "different folks".
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