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Evidence Based Mental Health Care: Alternative Therapies In Drug Detoxification

3821 words - 15 pages

Introduction:The aim of this paper is two fold. Firstly, I wish to offer a reflective account of personal development, and secondly, offer a critical analysis of one area of practice in my placement area, and make recommendations as to how it may be possible to better engage clients and alleviate some of the more pressing withdrawal symptoms.PART 1: JOHNS REFLECTIVE CYCLE (1992) AND CARPER (1978):Description of the Placement Experience:The placement area that I was assigned to is a Tier 3 community opiate detoxification team (National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse, 2002), aimed at those members of the community who felt that their motivation to detox was such that they had no need for inpatient services, or the more closely observed interventions of the Drug Dependency Unit (DDU) or Drug Intervention Programme (DIP). This is part of a consultant led service (Merseycare, 2007), employing staff from many different disciplines, such as social workers, counsellors and both General and Mental Health nursing staff (Audit Commission, 2002).The team offers patient assessments for the community setting as well as assessments for those suited to an inpatient detox unit, a three-week community based detoxification regime off opiates such as heroin and methadone using Subutex or Lofexedine as well as making use of Naltrexone should the client require it as a relapse prevention strategy, and effective working partnerships with other professionals.By the midway point of my placement, I was fully involved in all these areas, working on my own as a part of the team. My mentor was always available should I have needed her input, and the rest of the staff team were more than willing to answer any questions that I might have. All documentation that I completed was checked and countersigned by my mentor or other staff members, and informal supervisions and appraisals of my performance were done almost on a daily basis. More formal supervisions also took place on a weekly basis with my mentor, in which I was able to express any concerns and reflect back on my experiences. Towards the end of my placement, I had the opportunity to visit other areas within the Drug Directorate, including an Inpatient Unit, The DDU for a Pregnancy Clinic, as well as a Dual Diagnosis Clinic and a category C prison. I also managed to visit an independent organization, and observe the needle exchange that they do.During this time, one area I did notice a considerable improvement in, was my assessment skills, and it is this upon which I have chosen to reflect.Reflection:Prior to this placement setting, on the occasions that I had taken part in client assessments, I found that I was very nervous and hesitant, not trusting entirely in my own skills, even though I knew that I had the basics. Initially, I had no idea what to expect from this placement. The client group, with which I would be working, were from a section of society that I felt I did not know an awful lot about. In...

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