Addressing drug treatment problems entails the application of various modalities, which are essentially used to determine the urgency level and treatment option that will be used. This mainly entails the establishing the frequency and respective drug quantities consumed by the victim in consideration. According to Blume (2005), “The First look is at how many drugs the person consumes and when, or at what some researchers and therapists call consumption rates and patterns” (p.5). Moreover, it is also critical to consider the accompanying individual characteristics of the affected individual. This is because at time the consumption rates and patterns can mislead due to distinct variations in body size, gender differences, and other contributing personal differences (Blume, 2005). These aspects generally lead to a precise profiling of an affected victim by undergoing treatment.
Demographics of Served Population
Demographics play a critical role in the dissemination of proper treatment options since it takes into account the current and specific trends of that population. Hence, it leads to the avoidance of application of previous population profiles, which hamper achievement of desired relative efficacy. Demographic factors include age, race, gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic background (Milkman & Wanberg, 2005). These form the major determinants for drug consumption trends and patterns in different community settings. In a previous research it was established that there is less compelling evidence regarding the use of race, gender, age and educational level as consistent predictors of the desired treatment outcome (Edmunds, Institute of Medicine (U.S), and Committee on Quality Assurance and Accreditation for Managed Behavioral Health Care, 1997). However, further research has correlated these demographic indices as major determinant factors of the same. It is therefore important to note that demographic factors entail a major a component in determining the outcome of a chosen treatment option, since the population characteristics are essentially reflected or portrayed as individual traits of the affected victims.
Numerous referral mechanisms have previously been pursued in ensuring that the implemented treatment options or approaches have a long term impact on the victim in focus. In practice most of the referral schemes in place are primary non arrest schemes and arrest referral schemes. Majority of the referral mechanisms are typically community based, since in most case drug victims are expected to integrate with their respective communities. Miller remarks, “A referral to self-help groups may assist in the development of what is realistic for the client, thereby complementing therapy work” (p.22). The arrest referral schemes are typical in the criminal justice departments or depending on the clientele group in focus. Ghodse observes that, “because of the high incidence of drug-related crime, drug users frequently come into contact with the criminal justice system. This offers a window of opportunity for intervention at a time when drug user may be particularly receptive to offers of help” (70). This shows how such referral mechanisms are essential in the long run.
There are critical factors to be considered before instituting referral mechanisms. In addition to other relationships, the potential of harm occurring to the individual needs to be the principle factor in determining whether or not a referral should be done (Blume, 2005). Moreover, making follow up to referrals forms a basic entity of ensuring efficacy of the referral. Blume (2005) observes that “And do make follow up to make sure that the referral led to contact” (p.96). This ensures that the referral indeed led to the occurrence of a positive impact on the client. Other additional elements that need to be considered when making referral involve ensuring that there is a match between the chosen professional and the client, timeliness, and an appropriate location (Blume, 2005).