Friday, 23 November 2012

What BEST involves during treatment:

The Revised Treatment Structure of the BEST Addiction Treatment Programme:

The Elements of the BEST (Brain Electro-Stimulation Transcutaneously) are the same as in the book but the timetable has changed to incorporate the patients' requests for more occupational therapy. We have also included the more successful Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as well as the option for Trauma Therapy:

Element 1 The contract between the chief care giver and the patient who wishes to undergo treatment.
Element 2 Brain Electro-Stimulation Transcutaneously (BEST) consisting of a mild electric current supplied via 2 electrodes to an area behind the ears for 10 to 14 days continuously. The patient is in control of the output
Element 3 A one-to-one relationship
Element 4 Three prescribed readings daily
Element 5 Physical relaxation exercises (PRE) three times daily
Element 6 Mental relaxation exercises (MRE), (Gestalt therapy - Meditation) three times daily
Element 7, consists of 18 'in between relaxation exercises' (IRE) (a set of 18 acupressure exercises around the head, which according to the research can increase the brain's production of endorphins [endogenous morphines])
Element 8 Family/relationship therapy (depending on the needs of individual patients)
Element 9 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Psychotherapy, and/or trauma therapy, 1 hour daily
Element 10 Informal existential or spiritual counselling (So far accepted)
Element 11 Occupational therapy
Element 12 Anti-ictal medication may be necessary in the case of benzodiazepine and alcohol addiction in a 9-day reducing schedule.

As opposed to more loosely structured programmes, this programme is a very intensive one, yet very engaging. It is hoped to reduce opportunity for discussion or thoughts of drug use, which are a common problem in addiction units. See Table 2 for the structure of the programme. In order to prevent relapses intensive follow-up three times a week after work for two years is reccomended.

Table 2 

07.30: Morning meal
08.00: Set of Mental Relaxation Exercises (MRE) involving traditional transcendental meditation increasing to 20 minute sessions. Full instructions will be included in the book Healing Addictions by Karl Schmidt, meanwhile free, comprehensive, instructions for meditation can be found here: and meditation is demonstrated free on YouTube:   

08.30: Set of Physical Relaxation Exercises (PRE): endorphin release (see references for research evidence). These involve mostly Yoga exercises for beginners building up from 15 to 30 minutes. Full instructions are in the book but further examples of yoga relaxation exercises can be found here: and they are also demonstrated free on YouTube:
There is also seated yoga for people with disabilities: and Yoga For Dummies also has some helpful links:
09.30: First reading session (patients can choose from a large selection of inspirational works, including memoirs by successfully recovered addicts as well as a wide range of psychological self-help books and books on worldwide philosophy and religion)
10.30: Occupational therapy (generally involves discovering hidden talents, such as drawing, painting, writing or whatever arts or crafts, in which they show an interest)
12.00 Lunch
12.30 Rest
13.00 Reading
14.00 Psychological Counselling or family therapy
15.00 MRE
15.30 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or trauma counselling
16.30 In-between Relaxation Exercises, which involve acupressure exercises around the skull to stimulate circulation and regenerate the production of endorphins
17.00 PRE
17.30 IRE
18.00 Free choice reading
18.30 TV News
19.00 Dinner
20.00 Selected TV Programmes, tape or video (or if preferred more occupation therapy or free choice reading if preferred)
22.00 MRE
22.30 Bedtime

1. Pert, C. (1997) Molecules of Emotion, Pocket Books,
2. Bloom, W. (2001) The Endorphin Effect, Piatkus,
3. Patterson, M. (1986) Hooked! The NET Approach to Addiction Treatment,
Faber & Faber, London
4. Emrich, H.M. (1981) ‘The Role of Endorphins in Neuropsychiatry’,
Herz, A., (1981) ‘The Role of Endorphins in Addiction’, both cited in Karger, S., (1981) The Role of Endorphins,
5. Karl Schmidt, (2006) Healing Addictions Without Drugs, Published by Sable-House 

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