The Countless Choices to Treating Substance Abuse
If you or someone that is close to you is struggling with addiction, you are probably aware of the fact that dependence is not a straightforward problem. It is a complex issue that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and uncontrollable cravings, despite the knowledge that it is harming the user with devastating consequences. Even if the path of dependence begins voluntarily, over time the use becomes compulsive. One of the frustrating aspects about recovery is that there are so many different therapy options and rehabilitation programs that offer their services. Sometimes it can be extremely difficult to understand the difference between the many diverse choices available.
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Some Important Principles of Effective Treatment
Scientific research that has been underway since the mid-1970s reveals that it is in fact possible for an individual to stop using altogether, avoid a potential relapse and make a complete recovery after struggling with addiction. Because of that research, there are a number of key principles that need to be at the base of any good program in order to provide long-term recovery:
- The realization that addiction is certainly a complex and difficult problem to overcome, but it is treatable. It affects behavior and brain function, especially in long-term users.
- There is no ‘one best’ treatment for everyone. What may work for some patients may not work for others.
- It is important that treatment be readily available for the individual if he or she seeks help. Statistics show that those patients on a waiting list for a long time tend not to follow through with the initial desire to seek help.
- It is important to remain enrolled for an adequate amount of time in order to allow for long-term change. This is a critical component that should not be overlooked.
- Medically assisted detoxification should only be used as the first step in a process, not as the sole treatment option. It can’t do much to change long–term drug abuse on its own.
- In order to be effective, treatment has to be voluntary.
- It is important to determine potential underlying issues that a patient may be coping with that caused them to start using illicit substances in the first place.
Stop! Before you send your loved one to a drug rehab center based only on cost or location, contact us to find out what types of rehabilitation programs have the best recovery rates.
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When we say that there are countless different options, we are not exaggerating. If you can imagine a particular demographic, there is probably a program that caters exclusively to that particular demographic. These are just a handful of the different options available. It should by no means be considered a definitive list of available programs:
- Residential – Also referred to as inpatient, this means that the person actually lives in the rehabilitation facility. Because the patient leaves a potentially harmful environment, it often means that the temptation to use illicit substances is drastically reduced. This is because there is no availability. There is a distinction between the long-term programs (which can run for several months) or short-term programs, which can end after only 28 days.
- Outpatient – A somewhat similar concept to the residential option, the patient does spend his or her days in recovery, undergoing treatment, but at night they return home or to a halfway house. This option is sometimes used when single parents are unable to have anyone else look after their children.
- The 12-step model – The oldest recovery program currently in existence. It requires patients to attend meetings regularly after completing a program. It hammers home the fact that true recovery is not possible without adhering to the tenets of the program and that addiction is a disease. The basis of this treatment was founded with religious undertones and while certain branches have been actively working towards becoming secular, many of these programs still have a deeply religious basis to it.
- Drug replacement therapy – Within this type of therapy, patients are provided with prescription medication in order to deal with withdrawal symptoms from illicit substances. Perhaps the best-known example is methadone distribution to patients that are struggling with a dependence on heroin. Many would suggest that this is nothing more than replacing an illegal drug with a legal one.
- Holistic treatment – This is the exact opposite of drug replacement therapy. These types of programs are centered on the belief that we need to heal the body in a natural way. These programs often have a focus on overall health, natural detoxification methods and greater overall physical and mental health (healthy food choices, nutritional supplements, exercise etc).
- Different options – There are many options available for different populations. There are countless programs targeted at age and gender groups that are tailored to fit the recovery goals of each individual. Some of the examples include men only, women only, GLBT only and age specific groups.
- Outdoor therapy – This involves challenges that can be found in nature (such as backpacking, white water activities and rock climbing to help provide growth experiences that allow a person to make long-term, fundamental changes in their life. The first known program was in 1978,Colorado Outward Bound’s Alcohol and Drug Courses. These programs are not only intended to create more self-confidence, but also to create a better understanding of nature.
- Local options – The aforementioned selection can be found throughout the country, there may also be many different options nearby. It all depends on where the person is at the time and where they may be willing to travel.
Knowledge is Power
With so many different options, it is frustrating to hear that treatment should begin as soon as possible to be effective, but that you still need to educate yourself on what the best possible course of action may be. In that situation, it is possible to talk to our qualified counselors and find out what treatment options may be available that would suit your needs.
Remember that there is no “best” option that can serve everyone, it is important that a facility look at the individual’s needs and proceed from there. Long-term change has a far better chance of happening if the program adapts to the patient, rather than expect the patient to adapt to the program. If you are interested in finding out more, it is a good idea to discuss your needs with one of our qualified counselors.
Call us at for substance abuse recovery assistance.The worst thing that anyone could do is nothing. Let us help you find drug rehabs that have the best chance to work so you or your loved one can begin the journey to permanent lasting recovery today.