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THERAPEUTIC COMMUNITY MODEL

 

An addict is a normal human being very much like you and me. What differentiates him from us is the fact that he has chosen drugs as a means of attaining temporary happiness. These drugs have slowly but gradually overpowered his whole identity to such an extent that they have become an end in themselves. Erstwhile productive member of the society has been debilitated to such an extent that he has completely lost his own self-esteem and his whole world has been circumscribed by a dose of drugs. This process of degradation not only destroys his nervous system but his whole world too.

All this society also ostracizes him and pushes him to a dead end. Drug addiction is a disease like any other. But lack of awareness and society’s antipathy to a drug addict aggravates the situation. An addict becomes more like a parasite and psycho-socio traumatic experiences take away all the constructive reason for his existence. That is where SHAFA comes in. Four-sided approach of therapeutic community model and long-term treatment program at SHAFA rejuvenates the primordial spirits of the addict and take him on a journey of regiment of health and total bliss.

 


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THERAPEUTIC COMMUNITY MODEL -  NEED & IMPACT

 

“The only thing constant in this world is change”. When we talk about change, we are not talking about any outward change. In order to be a productive member of society, the addict needs to change from within, thus the change has to be on all the four levels, physical, emotional, social, and spirit Drug addiction is not merely a chemical problem but a problem with deep roots connected to the addict’s lifestyle and all the personal and social association that come with it. An addict is someone who believes in personal and instant gratification, having led a life of complete emptiness. He finds himself caught in the web of addiction and spends his days spinning lies to himself to justify his very existence. This is the universal truth of the addict.

Given this backdrop, it is rather easy to understand the need for TC as a treatment method for addiction. This Community treats addicts not as physical, emotional or moral cripples but as people who can reacquire the ability to live and enjoy normal lives. It believes in the inherent goodness of all men. It believes that one is not supposed to be judged by his past alone but more for what he does honestly in the ‘Here & Now” to correct his mistakes. TC also believes in the capacity of Man to change, and to better himself. It stands to dispel the myth “once an addict always an addict”. It has disproved it by presenting those who have overcome addiction and are living productive lives. The addict here is given help to help himself, and treated as a person capable of “normal” things in life. He gets a very clear message that here at last is a place that is willing to give him a chance to earn a place under the sun. After earning a new lease in life, the addict becomes willing of giving help to someone who needs it.

The whole process of recovery from addiction, involves in large measure the ability of the addict to be able to step out of his limited space, share in the pain or failure of another and offer a helping hand. This in turn increases his commitment to his own recovery, for how can one enlighten another unless he believes in what he teaches.” Prior to his coming to the TC, the addict had led a lifestyle that was largely self-centered. In the realm of faith, he was agnostic, with no room for God or any Higher Power. The TC is the anti-thesis of what the former addict lived by. To be in recovery, it is essential for the addict to give up self-love and find solace in faith or belief in God or a higher power. The TC also believes in the power of the Human Values. It uses a more practical term quality to describe values. In order for a recovering addict to realize his essential freedom, his personal dignity, and be able to take responsibility for self, his life and conduct should be of positive quality.  

 

FOUR STAGES OF TREATMENT

The TC thus can be best described as a process of self-change or self-renewal that comes from a deep experience of perceiving life in a different light. Thus there is a relationship in the progression of the treatment and the increasing awareness of the recovering addict. The treatment is divided into four stages

STAGE - ONE
STAGE -TWO
STAGE - THREE
STAGE - FOUR
The newly recovering addict in this stage learns to live a scheduled life. He is subjected to the various “behavior shaping tools” to curb inappropriate behaviors. The value and the adaptive function of the basic tenets of the program are taught repeatedly. At this stage, one simply “acts as if” or goes along with the flow before acting with conviction.
The addict now begins to show more initiative in seeking opportunities for personal growth by coming to terms with himself and his past. He discovers a source of inner power and starts to realize that he can exercise some control over his feelings and direction of life no matter how small. He understands that “he alone can do it, but he cannot do it alone.”
This is a period of self-reflection, of questioning the purpose of one’s life. The ex-addict now begins to put together the broken pieces of his life. He is sufficiently at peace with himself and with his environment. Increased self-understanding helps the ex-addict set more realistic goals appropriate to his perceived capacities.·

A dramatic change in the ex-addict’s general attitude is noticeable in this stage of his journey. He begins to integrate the new values, the belief system of the TC, his social relationships, into a coherent and consistent lifestyle that promotes recovery.  He is a role model in the community who does daily up and down from his place of residence.


After graduating from TC the addict finds what he was looking for all this time. He finally finds a way out of the whirlpool. He finds a purpose in life and his life becomes meaningful. At last he finds his “true calling.”

 

 
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