Psycho-Spiritual Strategies in Treating Addiction Patients: Experience at Al-Amal Hospital, Saudi Arabia
Addictive behavior generally, and addiction to alcohol and drugs in particular, are among the most challenging facets of contemporary psychiatry. In addition to the high comorbidity associated with various psychiatric disorders, the addict also has psychological, social, and spiritual concerns. Thus, a holistic approach to the problem is more than justified. Psychologists and psychiatrists for many decades have neglected the spiritual dimension in particular. The multidisciplinary team at the Al-Amal Hospital Project in Saudi Arabia adopted the holistic bio-psycho-socio-spiritual model and has found success in dealing with this problem. On admission, the patient signs a treatment contract and reports to the B Ward for biological, psychological, social, and spiritual assessment. After assessment, the team designs a management plan for each patient to be carried out at the rehabilitation unit. The patient usually stays in this unit for 3-6 weeks before discharge from the hospital. After discharge, the patient is followed up as an outpatient by the continued care unit.
This paper primarily highlights the details of the spiritual aspects of this intervention, then discusses the possible mechanisms involved, cognitive restructuring, religious-induced positive affective states, and behavior modification strategies.
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