The struggle to overcome drug and/or alcohol addiction is far from easy. Addiction takes over a person’s life, destroying their mind and body, tearing apart their relationships and taking away their home, job and more. The only way to stop the pattern of destruction is to stop the substance abuse but, again, this is easier said than done. In some extremely rare cases, individuals have halted their negative habits cold turkey, but for most people gaining sobriety and rebuilding their life will require more help.
This is where treatment programs come in. Treatment programs for drug and alcohol addiction are built to help individuals halt their substance abuse and safely go through detoxification. They then learn how and why they fell prey to addiction in the first place, which will assist them in staying sober. Most treatment programs offer individuals 30, 60 or 90 days of a temptation-free lifestyle that is focused solely on their recovery.
The amount of time a person spends in a program along with what kind of program they are involved in and how their treatment is carried out all depend on their specific struggle. Programs can be inpatient or outpatient. They can focus only on recovery from addiction or on recovery from addiction and from a mental health problem. The treatment can involve medication, therapy or a combination of both. It all depends on the person in treatment.
It has been said time and time again that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. This is still true. If an individual wishes to recover, the must first recognize they have a problem, normally done through identifying the symptoms of their addiction. Depending on which substance they are addicted to, their symptoms may vary. For example, a person addicted to methamphetamine may be unusually active, eat less and seem anxious while a person addicted to alcohol may be characterized through blackouts, memory loss, a rise in aggression, changes in sleeping patterns and the need to drink in order to function. To learn more about the symptoms of different types of substance abuse you can go here.
Once the addiction have been identified and recognized, one can start the journey towards recovery. Often this may start with an assessment. Assessment allows the staff at a treatment program to directly understand the needs of each client. It also allows them to identify any underlying causes such as trauma or a mental health disorder which may be fueling the addiction or be a result of it. It is essential that these co-occurring issues be treated simultaneously to reduce the risk of relapse and ensure a full and effective recovery hence why assessment is so important as it identifies anything that should be addressed. It also identifies how best to treat each client whether they need an inpatient or outpatient program, how long they should stay, if they need medication and/or therapy etc.
The next step is detoxification. This is a time during which the body processes out any and all remaining chemicals from the drugs or alcohol. Detox will normally cause withdrawal symptoms which vary depending on the length and severity of the addiction. It is advised that detox be medically supervised as some withdrawal symptoms can become dangerous. Medical supervision also provides medication and other services which can lessen the severity of the detox process. Once the detox process is over, the person can focus on their recovery with a clear mind.
Individuals in recovery will normally be advised to go through a treatment program on an inpatient basis. This means they will be living in a sober home, away from temptations and attend therapy and classes while living at the home. Some people in recovery however, may be allowed to go through treatment as an outpatient so they can attend therapy and receive needed treatment while still maintaining the parts of their life that they do not have the ability to set down for a long period of time.
Medication is one of the two main things used to treat individuals who are recovering from addiction. Often, medication is used to help ease the process of detox. It can also be used to treat other issues which are either fueling or stemming from the substance abuse. For example, a person who abuses methamphetamine may have developed anxiety as a result which can be addressed with medication. On the other side of the spectrum, a person abusing alcohol may have done so to cope with depression or trauma which can again be addressed through medication.
An individual should discuss medications with a doctor first. Sometimes it may take a few different medications to find the one that addresses an individual’s symptoms. It is important to keep in contact with one’s doctor as well to monitor any side effects caused by the medication.
Therapy is also extremely useful when treating drug and alcohol abuse. Therapy allows the individual in recovery to address any underlying issues which may have been causing their substance abuse and also learn about different coping skills that will help them to remain sober and happy.
Therapeutic approaches at a treatment center may include individual therapy or group therapy. There are also several alternative methods of therapy. This can include Cognitive Behavioral therapy which teaches clients a method of changing formerly negative thoughts to improve their life by learning to identify the source of a problem and implement thinking that results in a positive outcome. Other alternative therapies can include Solution-Based therapy, Narrative therapy, Equine therapy and more.
Which therapy works best for each individual can depend on their circumstances and background. However, whether therapy is the main form of treatment or it is combined with medication, therapy should help provide an individual in recovery with coping skills that will help them lead a happier and healthier life after their time in a treatment program.
Knowing about how a treatment can help a person struggling with addiction can be helpful but finding a treatment center is its own project. That is why we are here to help. To learn more about treatment programs in your area call the Recovery Helpline at (855) 441-4405 for more information or to talk to one of our representatives through our Live Chat.