If you don't think that drug addiction is an issue in society, think again. An estimated 20 million Americans have used an illegal drug in the past month, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Structured treatment seems to have the best outcomes for those seeking help; know your options when you are ready to access addiction treatment and begin a road to recovery.
Some common questions surrounding addiction and treatment include the following:
Signs of addiction.
The signs of addiction vary, but can impact the user physically, mentally, and socially. There may be changes to daily habits, lifestyle, or personality that can be detected by family and friends. Some addicts may socially isolate or may begin socializing with other addicts in order to continue using.
When the addict denies there is a problem, it may become necessary to facilitate an intervention to help nudge the addict toward recovery. Long-term drug use and abuse can cause irreversible health problems, including stroke, heart disease, cancer, and mental health issues. Addiction is often referred to as a family disease, causing damage and conflict in relationships and family dynamics.
An inpatient drug treatment program at a hospital ensures that the patient is monitored and medicated during this critical time. Typically, treatment should begin with a safe, supervised medical detox. This can make the process much more comfortable as well. Withdrawals from some substances, such as alcohol, can cause seizures which could be fatal if unsupervised.
Residential drug treatment usually involves a live-in situation, with or without supervision, that is chemical-free. These environments are often called "sober living" houses. They may include some programming or group activities that support a drug-free lifestyle. These living situations provide a way to connect with new, sober peer groups, which can be integral for long-term success in recovery.
Outpatient drug treatment usually provides structured programming, classes, and therapy to the participants. This may be intensive, requiring daily attendance, to provide the client with support and supervision in lieu of a live-in situation. Outpatient programming and support groups are excellent ways to remain engaged in treatment and motivated toward recovery.
Therapy helps re-frame old ways of thinking and may also guide patients toward healthier ways of coping with the world around them. Long-term addiction takes a toll on relationships, and therapy may help heal past issues. Therapy also can be a way to stay active and engaged in treatment after leaving rehabs or hospitals, providing support as you adjust to sobriety.
Relapse prevention planning.
Therapists and providers may also help to develop a relapse prevention plan for their patients and clients. Since you can't predict the future or control every situation encountered, it is wise to develop a plan of supports and resources that will help prevent relapse. This is an integral element of maintaining sobriety and avoiding the pitfalls that could lead to drug and alcohol use.
There are some commonalities in the elements of treatment for different addictions, but there are also some distinctions that impact the most effective models of treatment. Prescription drugs, such as opiates and Benzodiazepines, should be treated at an inpatient facility for medical supervision, and alcohol withdrawal can cause death, and should only be detoxed under a doctor's care. The choice is ultimately up to you, and the model of treatment that works best depends on the individual.
For more information, consider a psychoeducational assessment.