Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Drug Rehabilitation Service Blocks New Avenues of Cure

Consider the hypothetical case of a general practitioner who is also a psychiatrist with three decades of experience had been using a simple, brief psychotherapeutic tool that was safe and effective in removing the emotional charge from patients' memories of past abuse.

In his or her work as a locum GP s/he meets a person who is in a drug rehabilitation centre and finds that a large section of drug and alcohol abusers, the patient has a history of emotional physical or sexual abuse which would respond to the use of this specific approach. The GP teaches the patient a mental exercise to practice five minutes a day for two weeks, and needs to meet up in order to complete the process. The GP liaises with the rehab centre, offering to come in free of charge to do the work, in the hope that this case will demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach, so that it can be added to the array of help offered to their clients.

You would think that drug rehabilitation services, faced with one of the most challenging problems caring services face, and given that success rates in drug rehabilitation, although not measured, are not amazingly high, would be open to looking at what is involved and how effective and safe it is? Wouldn't you?

You would be wrong. The offer would be turned down by a management decision by the "funders", although there were no funding implications.

You would also tend to imagine that if the GP wrote to the local mental health authority and the prisons, offering to make a presentation about this brief and effective approach, that they would answer the letters sent, wouldn't you?

Wrong again.

The management of health services will have "naught but that which is hammered out on their own anvil", as it says in the intro to the King James Bible*

Doctors are continually criticised for offering only a drug based approach to mental problems, but when they try to use sychotherapeutic, talk based approaches, they are blocked.

Ah well. La lutte continua.

*this should not be taken to imply that the writer is in any way religious.

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