Addiction can seep into every area of one’s life, causing damage to relationships, employment, finances, physical health and so much more. For many men and women, the choice to undergo addiction treatment will eventually need to be made, either willingly or through a court-order. Sadly, some addicts will never be able to make this choice, as addiction can so easily take a life away.
If you have taken the brave and intentional step to reach out for help, you may be curious about the different drug and alcohol treatment options that are available to you. Undergoing the detox and rehabilitation process can take time, and can feel intense during particular moments. And while the process is not easy, the rewards available to you at the end are countless. Rehabilitation offers you the opportunity to take your life back. After you complete a treatment program, you will feel secure in knowing how to handle the stressors of life without returning to drugs and alcohol. You will also be given a fresh start, a chance to pursue dreams that may have been placed on hold because of addiction.
Depending on your individual needs and circumstances, a variety of drug and alcohol treatment programs are available such as medical detox, inpatient and outpatient, dual diagnosis treatment opportunities, alternative therapies, 12-Step programs, sober living homes, aftercare services and more.
Let’s take a closer look at each treatment possibility to help you determine which might be the best option for you or a loved one.
Once you have enrolled in a treatment program, the first phase typically consists of going through the detox procedure. Detox allows your body to rid itself of the offending substance(s). Depending on which substances you were abusing, how much you were taking, and how long you were using the substances, detox does have the ability to product withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal occurs when the human body has become dependent upon the substance to function, and symptoms happen as a way of your body letting you know something is amiss.
Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening, which is why the safest place to detox is in a detox facility. In this type of treatment program, you will undergo an initial physical and mental health exam in order for physicians and facility staff to have a better understanding of your needs and individual situation. You will be overseen throughout the entire detox process, which can last from several days to several weeks depending on the substance. Withdrawal symptoms can occur in as little as a few hours since your last fix.
Being enrolled in a detox program allows physicians and medical staff to administer medication or life saving techniques in the event of withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can differ from person to person, but some of the most common mild drug and/or alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include:
More intense withdrawal symptoms can include:
While these symptoms may seem frightening, keep in mind the purpose of being in a detox facility is to be under the care of a physician who has set a plan in place to help you get through the detoxification process with as few symptoms as possible.
Sometimes, a patient will need to be part of a medically-assisted detox program depending on what substance was abused. These types of programs typically offer a pharmaceutical medication to replace the illicit drug the patient is detoxing or being weaned from.
In most cases, medically-assisted detox can last between three and seven days, and some examples of drugs that may be used include methadone, Suboxone or a benzodiazepine. The use of these medications is to reduce the magnitude of withdrawal symptoms that can occur while being weaned off an illicit drug.
An inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation program is one of the most commonly used treatment options when it comes to overcoming addiction. When enrolled as an inpatient, the individual will be living at the facility full-time and undergoing a lengthy rehabilitation process. Inpatient programs can last anywhere from 30 to 90 days, yet some programs can last from six months to over one year. Research has shown the longer a patient stays in an inpatient rehabilitation program, the greater are his or her chances of successfully maintaining sobriety when transitioning back into the real world.
Inpatient rehabilitation provides the person with shelter, food, psychotherapy, medication, and alternative treatments and safe environment. It is typically suggested someone enroll as an inpatient when they have struggled with addiction for some time, if they have gotten sober and relapsed in the past, or if they are dealing with a dual diagnosis (meaning they are struggling with both the addiction and a mental health condition).
Every inpatient rehab facility is unique, and will offer its own types of treatment programs, programs lengths, atmosphere, location and price. Some rehab centers are more basic and simple in nature, while others are luxurious, casual or resort-like. Location and price are usually key factors when making the choice as to which facility is best for someone’s needs. In addition, some facilities focus on drugs, while others many focus on alcohol, or only working with patients who are dealing with dual-diagnosis.
Each inpatient rehabilitation center will also have its own rules. Some may allow family and friends to visit, or offer a family counseling option to heal broken relationships, while others do not allow friends and family members to visit at first hoping the patient will focus solely on treatment.
In order to find the best inpatient addiction rehab for you or a loved one, find several that pique your interest and speak to a staff member at each facility who can offer more information. Be sure to ask questions about the types of programs offered, if insurance is accepted, what is the cost, what type of counseling or alternative therapies are provided, and if the facility is licensed and/or accredited.
Outpatient rehabilitation centers offer a good portion of the services available at an inpatient rehab program, however the patient will not live on the premises. This is an ideal choice for someone who needs to stay in his or her home due to responsibilities such as childcare.
Being part of an outpatient program allows most people to continue working, attending school and keep up with commitments. Typically, a daytime program will be initiated, leaving free time in the evening. For patients with severe addictions, or dual-diagnosis, an outpatient rehabilitation program would not be the best choice and success in recovery will be minimal. Once you explain your situation to a rehabilitation center, staff members will be able to help you better decide if an inpatient or outpatient program is ideal for your needs.
While in rehab, a large portion of your days will be involved in some type of psychotherapy or counseling. This may come in the form of one-on-one counseling or group counseling. Counselors and therapists will help you discover the reason why you started using drugs or alcohol in the first place, plus assist you in learning cognitive behavior techniques, which will help you in the future. In addition, relapse prevention techniques, and family counseling opportunities may also be part of your program.
More and more addiction rehabilitation programs are adopting a variety of holistic and alternative therapies to offer patients. These can range from: equine, music and art therapy; fitness, exercise, diet and nutrition programs; massage and acupuncture; biofeedback; yoga and meditation; and prayer and Christian-based counseling. These forms of therapy provide a great way for patients to relieve stress and/or provide them with a way to express themselves that doesn’t involve talking.
The term Dual-diagnosis is used for patients who are dealing with both an addiction and a mental health condition, for instance a mood disorder, anxiety disorder, personality or eating disorder. Dual-diagnosis is often called co-occurring or comorbid disorders, and in many cases, one condition can exacerbate the other. For example, if someone is struggling with a mental illness, he or she may try drugs or alcohol to feel better.
To be a patient in a dual-diagnosis program, a person must be assessed and meet the criteria for a psychiatric disorder. In addition, a facility will determine if he or she has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, is a danger to themselves or others, wants to undergo rehabilitation, etc.
In many dual-diagnosis programs, behavioral therapies are considered a large portion of treatment. This can include cognitive behavioral therapy, integrated group therapy, dialectic behavioral therapy, and one-one-one intense psychotherapy. In addition, medications may be combined with these behavioral therapies and are decided upon according to the patient’s diagnosis. Medications used may include:
It is important for any patient of a dual-diagnosis program to be aware of the fact that these types of treatment programs are generally more rigorous than an addiction-only rehabilitation program. In addition to counseling, daily support groups, and being engrossed in alternative therapies and techniques to avoid relapse, daily education and counseling revolving around mental illness and addiction will be added to the itinerary.
In many cases, the idea of completing a rehabilitation program and immediately entering back into society can seem overwhelming and/or frightening. In these situations, a rehab facility may suggest a patient enter into a sober living home, also called a sober living community. This provides the individual with a transition period that offers increased freedom while still providing some of the therapies and/or programs available in rehabilitation.
In a sober living home, everyone is able to relate in some way. Residents are each trying to move forward with his or her life, abstaining from alcohol and/or drugs. Friendships are typically made, and housemates encourage and support one another to maintain sobriety.
Each sober living home has its own rules. For instance, some will employ a curfew on residents, while others may expect each person to engage in housework and chores.
Aftercare is a crucial part of the recovery process, and involves any additional treatments after initial drug or alcohol treatment is over. Aftercare services come in a variety of forms including support groups, continued counseling, follow-up meetings, 12-Step programs, dual-diagnosis support, learning new coping strategies, etc.
You may be wondering why aftercare services are so important. The truth is, studies show up to 50 percent of people who have successfully completed an addiction treatment program will relapse at some point in the future. And, with the greatest risk of relapsing happening within the first two months after completing an addiction program, you can see why continued therapy and support is critical.
Aftercare offers continued hope, encouragement and support to anyone who in recovery and should be a part of any addict’s long-term sobriety plan.
As you see, there are a wide variety of drug and alcohol treatment program options, each offering distinctive services and levels of care. If you or someone you love is battling with addiction, consider enrolling in a rehabilitation program and getting on the road to recovery.
There are thousands of inpatient and outpatient programs across the country. To find the right rehab facility for you, research several facilities that would cater to your needs and then reach out directly to learn more about program types, costs, and more. If the process seems overwhelming, ask a friend or family member to help you research which rehab center might be the best choice. You do not have to live in the grips of addiction any longer. Get started in a treatment program now and give yourself a fresh start at life free from addiction.