Treatment For Addictive Behaviors Should Not Punish

Treatment For Addictive Behaviors Should Not Punish

Treatment for Addictive Behaviors Should Not Punish

Some people may try to force their loved ones to stop risk-taking behaviours like substance misuse by setting unrealistic expectations and punishing any infractions. However, even well-meaning forms of punishment cannot cure substance use disorder (SUD) or related mental health issues. Instead, these forms of "tough love" often interfere with treatment for addictive behaviors. 

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Motivation for change is a key component in addressing substance misuse.” The Samarpan Recovery rehab centre uses evidence-based tools and assessments to determine the best treatment and motivation for each client.

Negative Reactions To Maladaptive Behaviours Don't Help

Individuals struggling with SUD have behavioural issues influenced by physical changes caused by substances and their side effects. Chemical imbalances in the brain cause people to exhibit emotional outbursts and addictive behaviours. In addition, they may have difficulty coping with stress.

If communities or family members react to unwanted behaviours by shaming or punishment, it may increase the severity of symptoms or cause additional mental health issues. In addition, clients who feel ashamed or afraid of being judged may not seek treatment for addictive behaviors.

A few reactions families should avoid include:

  • Blaming their loved one for the symptoms of their condition instead of getting them to help

  • Belittling their loved ones in an attempt to shame them into changing

  • Avoiding the issue or enabling their loved one in the hopes the problem will go away on its own

  • Putting unrealistic expectations on the loved one to "get better" without necessary treatment for behavioral addictions

  • Cultural, religious, and personal beliefs affect how families react to individuals struggling with SUD.

Punishing Addictive Behaviors Can Reduce The Effectiveness Of Treatment

According to Martin Peters, Director of Residential Services at Samarpan Recovery, “In more dated approaches to treatment, shaming and punishing approaches were used. These have been seen to be ineffective, unethical and often counterproductive. The majority of clients that present in treatment, already have endured shame, and further shaming and punishment do not have any clinical justification. Within Samarpan, we treat clients as an individual and work to understand more about them, and their needs, and to work in a collaborative approach.”

Collaboration during treatment for addictive behaviors positively affects the following:

  • Client and family engagement

  • Effectiveness of therapy and other treatments

  • Long-term recovery and emotion stabilisation

Our care team provides treatment at the client's pace to ensure they feel comfortable and confident in their ability to maintain sobriety and cope with stress during ongoing recovery.

The Importance Of Empathy And Compassion During Treatment For Addictive Behaviors

Empathy and compassion are essential to the treatment process. Martin Peters has stated, "Whilst often feedback can be direct and hard for the client, staff are trained to ensure that this comes from a place of care, as opposed to a place of shame, and that positive reinforcement and modelling in the treatment milieu is much more effective." Families can support their loved one's recovery by not putting pressure on them and avoiding unrealistic expectations. Instead of creating ultimatums, families can empathise and learn more about their loved one's condition.

The Person Is Not The Unwanted Behaviours

It is important to remember that unwanted behaviours are a symptom of a medical issue and not a moral failing. Shaming, judging, or punishing someone for doing something socially unacceptable while under the influence does not help the person recover. Healing from SUD is hard work. Clients may have trouble following through with treatment for treatment for behavioral addictions  if they fear being judged or punished.

Clinicians can help clients make positive changes by doing the following:

  • Modelling healthy behaviours

  • Accepting the client where they are today

  • Providing high-quality care and services

  • Setting achievable recovery goals

  • Monitoring progress and adjusting treatment as needed

The experts at the Samarpan Recovery rehab centre inspire, motivate, and encourage clients to expand their skills and thrive during rehabilitation.

Supporting Your Loved One During Recovery

Obi Unaka, Deputy Director of Residential Services at Samarpan Recovery, has stated, “The punitive approach has been proven to be just that with no marked behaviour change. Our approach encompasses a collaboration with the client to elicit an intrinsic willingness to change.” Samarpan Recovery works with families to reduce the effects and spread of mental health stigmas. By focusing instead on positive reinforcement and support for healthy changes, the care team helps families and their loved ones heal.

Families engage with the recovery process by doing the following:

  • Regularly checking in with their loved one during their treatment for addictive behaviors

  • Offering emotional support

  • Taking part in the healing process by attending family therapy or support groups

The dedicated professionals at the Samarpan Recovery rehab centre use multiple methods to help clients recover from substance misuse. Positive reinforcement, psychotherapy, peer support, prescription medication, and family engagement can support healthy changes. Families can inspire their loved ones to make healthy changes by encouraging them and avoiding judgemental language or actions.

Clients often fear being judged, embarrassed, or shamed because of their maladaptive behaviours. Social stigmas and family pressure may cause some clients to feel ambivalent about treatment and recovery. During rehabilitation, clients may feel increased stress if their community or family expects unrealistic results. At the Samarpan Recovery rehab centre, we believe compassion, empathy, and a person-first approach to care will ensure the best possible outcome. We facilitate family engagement and encourage family members to show their love and support throughout recovery. To learn more about how to get help from one of the best rehabs in Mumbai, call our office today at +91 81809 19090. Our intake specialists are here to answer your questions.

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