The department of psychiatry was pioneered by Dr.T.George in 1983 and was taken forward by Dr.Sarada Menon and Dr.S.Vijayakumar.
The Rajaji Centre for De-Addiction was inaugurated on November 4th, 1991.
1. Medical treatment:
Medical care to deal with withdrawal symptoms
For co-existing medical / psychiatric breakdown or suicidal attempts due to addiction
Both alcoholics and drug addicts are admitted in the ward for a minimum period of 24 days. Detoxification is done during the 1st week and, in the 2nd week of admission, cardiac and liver status is assessed.
If all the parameters are normal, the patients are started on Disulfiram/Acamprol therapy. Individual counselling, Family counselling and Group therapy are provided for the patients. Simultaneously, all the patients are subjected to a series of psychological assessments like MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory), GRS (Rating scale for Depression), SCL (Symptom Check List) and IQ.
Inter-medical facilities are available for the patients admitted in the de-addiction ward. If a patient admitted is found to have ailments like cardiac, TB, skin, eye, ENT, ortho or surgical problems, all the problems are handled simultaneously.
2. Psychological therapy:
With the focus on abstinence along with improvement in quality of life, it covers Assessment, Counselling, Group therapy, Re-educative lectures and Family therapy.
3. Supportive therapies:
Life skills training on strengthening self-esteem, stress management, assertiveness, decision making, problem solving skills, and Yoga / relaxation techniques are given.
There is also a relapse prevention programme – to recognise high risk situations and emotional triggers that could potentially lead to a relapse and to learn coping mechanisms.
The ward has indoor recreational facilities such carom board, chess, badminton, and TV. During their stay, the patients engage themselves in gardening and other recreational activities. The Annual Day is celebrated every year and small mementos are given to recovered patients who continue to be sober. It is very heartening to note that the rehabilitated patients themselves motivate others and bring them in for treatment in the Centre. They continue to work as volunteers and help in the follow up of patients. It is noteworthy that some of the patients have also contributed financially for the upkeep of the Centre.
Follow up services:
Patients and their family members are counselled on future follow ups and regular intake of medicines. If the patients do not come for follow up, they are contacted by telephone, letter or home visit.
The Department has been regularly conducting awareness programmes on substance abuse and its ill effects through lectures, interaction, street plays, etc. in schools, polytechnics and colleges, self-help group members (men and women), and in slum areas we have visits to the Government Vigilance Home, Chennai, for counselling the inmates once a month.
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