Colorado Drug Rehab....
Therapeutic Communities and other Behavior Modification Programs
Behavioral Modification gained popularity in the 1970's and is based on the Pavlovian idea that man is an animal and changes actions based on stimulus and response. It was popular during these early years for elementary teachers to have bags of M&M's to reward children for proper responses.
In drug treatment, the Therapeutic Community model was developed in the 1960's, which uses reiducule and shamming tatics as Adversive Stimulus rather than M&M's in an attempt to change thinking and behavior. These program are popular with criminal justice populations and have demonstrated less than a 10% long-term success rate. As long as the person is in the original "therapeutic" group and has gained some privledges for being a "perfect client", the compliance is high, but for those that need support to make changes, it can be devistating and leads to many clients exiting the programs early to maintain some personal power and dignity.
Beginning of the "TC's" (Therapeutic Communities) are traced back to the early 1960's, when these original ideas were gaining recognition from the publicity of the Synanon Program in Santa Monica, CA. The Synanon organization was originally developed by a charismatic leader, Check Dederich, as a drug rehabilitation program, By the early '60s, Synanon had also become an alternative community, attracting people with its emphasis on living a self-examined life, where there were no secrets and lying was a cardinal taboo. Mandatory sessions with all participants were held at the end of the day with the rule that any inquiry was worthy of a response that was not limited by social constraints, but the truth was always demanded, no matter how brutal that might prove to be. These sessions were know as the "Synanon Game".
Synanon ultimately became the cultish Church of Synanon in the 1970s, and Synanon disbanded permanently in 1989 due to many criminal activities, including murder and attempted murder, and civil legal problems, including Federal tax-evasion problems with the Internal Revenue Service. Read more at the Wikipedia Link to Synanon. For most of the 60s, Synanon was one of the few narcotic treatment programs in the United States, other than psychiatric wards in hospitals and other similar organizations. Heroin addiction was rampant on the east coast and Jazz musicians made heroin a part of their lifestyle, leading them into debilitating addictions. There were so many famous musicians at Synanon in the 60s, including Joe Morelo, the drummer for the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Joe Pass, one of the top jazz guitarist, Gerry Mulligan and others who came together while in Synanon and recorded an album, "The Sounds of Synanon" which feature the big band sounds of Stan Kinton. Many of these genius muscians recovered at Synanon and continued their professional careers, while a few continued to relapse on heroin and alcohol. According the Therapeutic Communities of America, Inc., the trade organization supporting this modality of alcohol and drug treatment, the primary goal of a Therapeutic Community is to foster individual change and positive growth.
This is accomplished by changing an individual’s life style through a community of concerned people working together to help themselves and each other. Putting importance into the group and not the individual was their strong suit. Clients in a TC are members of the group and not seen as patients, or clients. Unfortunately, the research on these TC's hasn't shown that they have been able to be as successful as they as they would have liked. Most TC's become driven by those with the strongest and most persuaive personalities, leaving the more reserved participants in a powerless position of doing most of the work and having little decision-making roles. There are some large alcohol and drug treatment providers that use this type of programming: Reject Straight, Straight, Inc., Daytop, Phoenix House, Odyssey House, and Gateway. Daytop has had the support of the Catholic Church in Rome and in the New York Diocese, which has given it the appearance of being a "Christian-based Program", but in reality, TC's are far from being based on the Christian model of treatment.
Today, there are two TC's in Colorado, the ARTS program, that is sponsered by the University of Colorado's Health Science Center's Psychiatric Department and Syancore, a private TC. Anyone considering this model of care tobe appropriate for themselves or a loved one, should talk to the counselors at Colorado-Drug-Rehab.com, who have reviewed many TC's, on-site, and who can tell you what goes on beneath the outward appearance that behaviors are changing for the good. There are a few addicts and alcoholics that may benefit from this type of treatment, but one would need a thorough evaluation before anyone could determine if a TC would be beneficial.
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DISCLAIMER: None of the information contained here should be considered medical advice. Alcohola nd d;rug detoxification should be done under medical and/or professional supervision. At the first sign of alcohol or drug withdrawal sysmpoms or discomfort, immediately seek medical advice. Do not attempt to detox from alcohol or other drugs without proper medical supervision. If you feel that you have a medical emergency, call 911 and seek local advice.