One of the hardest struggles for a drug user is admitting that you are addicted. More often than not, drug abusers are either in denial or too embarrassed to admit their addiction. As a result, many of these individuals end up living under the shadows of drug abuse for the rest of their lives.
On the other hand, quitting drug abuse is challenging as well. Once a user stops using the drug or any other addicting substances, they may experience drug withdrawal symptoms which can make quitting more difficult. In effect, some of them may end up going back to their old routine, slowly destroying their lives.
Such scenarios are not new. In fact, statistics reveal that substance abuse is a current problem in the US and in other parts of the world. More so, substance abuse is now considered a disorder rather than an addicting habit.
What are My Addiction Treatment Options?
It takes a lot of courage to acknowledge a struggle with substance addiction. However, with the support of the people around and the community, a struggling addict can overcome any obstacles including drug addiction.Once that person has collected his resolve to change their life for the better, the next step is finding a treatment facility that can help the person on the way to recovery. With that said, there are different options the struggling person can choose from.
There are various therapies, detoxification programs, support groups, and inpatient/outpatient facilities offering treatment for recovering addicts. The aforementioned choices suitable for the patient depends on the severity of the addiction. More importantly, the recovering addict should continue attending therapy sessions and support groups. This is to ensure complete recovery and even help inspire others who are on their way to recovering from addiction.
As mentioned, there are different addiction treatments that can help individuals get rid of addiction from their system. It can happen via various settings, different methods and techniques, and different durations.
Entering into a rehab facility should not be perceived as a short-term treatment. Rather, recovery may take time to ensure the struggling user does not go back to his or her old ways.
Drug and Alcohol Detox
Drug and alcohol detoxification involves the administration of medications to flush or “detox” these harmful substances out of their bodies. Detoxification is considered the first step to treat individuals with moderate to severe symptoms of substance addiction. Stopping substance use can result in withdrawal symptoms, which can further make recovery a struggle. In such cases, detoxification from drug and alcoholic substances may be paired with other types of therapy to help patients manage their withdrawal symptoms. Such a procedure will continue until the individual is able to manage his addiction.
Detoxification alone may not suffice in helping recovering addicts, but this is considered an important step to an effective treatment and recovery from addiction.
Different types of therapies are used to treat substance addiction. These include one-on-one or group therapy sessions are usually organized by an addiction counselor. Other kinds of therapy include behavioral therapy, using medications, or both. Results may vary depending on an individual’s personal needs as well as the types of drug they use.
Support groups also help in the patient’s road to recovery. Under support groups are different types of groups that provide unwavering support to recovering addicts. All treatment methods are unique to every patient, as already mentioned.
Regardless of any kind of treatment an individual chooses, the important thing is that that person is determined to overcome his or her addiction problems. More so, such treatments can only do as much for the struggling addict. At the end of the day, a successful recovery from addiction is up to the person himself.
Common Types of Therapies
This kind of treatment is focused on establishing a spiritual foundation on a person’s road to recovery. This is also ideal for those individuals who consider themselves religious or spiritual, yet still, have a hard time coping with their addiction.
People who fall under the said category may feel stigmatized due to their addiction. This is because they think others would think of them as less likely to be an addict. On the contrary, we are all at risk of addiction including religious individuals.
Faith-based treatment facilities provide programs that focus on faith. These facilities are apt for individuals who prefer to seek help and guidance from his or her religious beliefs. At the same time, their faith enables them to stay strong while they are on their way to addiction recovery.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Also known as CBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is used to help patients “heal” by opening up their innermost thoughts and feelings that trigger their addiction by talking about it. This kind of therapy is used to treat anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and many more.
The therapist will encourage the patient to talk about his or her current problems that may trigger addiction. In return, this therapy breaks down these negative feelings and thoughts into smaller parts and shown ways to deal with these issues to help you change your thinking into something positive.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a type of therapy that was originally created to treat individuals on the verge of suicide or self-harm. It is said to be a modified version of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBF). Furthermore, it is also used to treat other mental disorders such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and drug addiction/substance abuse.
This method helps patients realize what triggers their negative behavior, including thoughts of suicide and using drugs and alcohol. Likewise, this therapy also helps struggling individuals to cope with such undesirable behaviors or triggers.
DBT includes four modules commonly used in such therapy sessions — Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, and Interpersonal Effectiveness.
This type of therapy uses unconventional treatment processes in helping patients overcome any negative thinking that may trigger their addiction problems. It mostly involves outdoor recreational activities, role-playing, and other activities that can challenge their physical and mental capabilities.
Among common activities done during experiential therapy includes:
- Equine-assisted psychotherapy
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (used in treating PTSD)
- Gestalt therapy
- Sandtray/sandplay therapy
- Art/Music therapy
Holistic therapy focuses on the patient’s overall well-being. It mostly involves recovery methods without the use of medications. Likewise, it also treats the person’s withdrawal symptoms. These include:
- Massage therapy
- Art therapy
- Proper diet/nutrition
According to studies, people suffering from depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems use holistic therapy to help manage their symptoms. Holistic therapy also helps identify underlying causes of addiction, resisting the urge to use substance cravings, promote physical fitness and self-confidence. Some holistic therapies combine medical care and detox to ensure patient recovery.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy
Motivational enhancement therapy is commonly used to change any negative behaviors and thoughts associated with their addiction. This is also used to treat patients with co-occurring mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder and PTSD.
This therapy works by initially assessing the patient, and then followed by two to four, one-on-one treatment sessions with a designated medical personnel or therapist. During the session, the therapist or personnel will motivate the patient to discuss his or her struggle with substance abuse.
In return, the therapist will provide coping strategies for dealing with his or her addiction. The therapist will also monitor the patient and the progress of the strategies used and provide further motivation and encouragement.
After successfully undergoing and accomplishing an addiction treatment program, recovering addicts are strongly suggested to join support groups. These support groups can help recovering patients stay on the right track – for good. More so, engaging in these support groups will ensure post-rehab care as well as unwavering support among its members.
By joining support groups, you can find other people with similar struggles as yours. You can also help inspire and motivate each other on your road to recovery and sobriety. There are a lot of support groups dedicated to those who struggled with a specific substance.
You may have heard of the following groups who cater to different types of people struggling with different substances.
Common Types of Support Groups
The 12-Step Program was originally created by the Alcoholics Anonymous in order to establish a set of guidelines to help users overcome alcohol addiction. The said program proved to be a success and was soon adopted by other addiction support groups.
The program was strongly based on spiritual recovery. However, even non-religious individuals greatly benefited from the 12-Step Program. With that said, the program can work with different types of personalities and set of beliefs.
Following the program can help recovering addicts know where they are in their stage of addiction, and that it is the right decision to come clean once and for all.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
Alcoholics Anonymous or AA is an organization that is available worldwide. It was founded by Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson in 1935. AA aims to create rapport among former alcoholics and provide support to one another throughout their road to recovery.
The world-renowned organization provides meetings with groups of people that have similar struggles with alcohol addiction. During the meetings, these individuals share their daily struggles, especially with alcohol addiction, how it created an impact on their lives, and how they were able to overcome it.
Most of their meetings are held in a church or a facility within the community either daily or once a week. Most meetings are exclusive for recovering individuals. On the other hand, family members and loved ones of former alcoholics are encouraged to attend as well.
Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is another type of support group that is based on the principles of AA. It is a worldwide organization that caters to people recovering from drug abuse and addiction. NA holds more than 30,000 meetings weekly in more than 100 countries around the world.
Like AA, NA also applies the 12-step program to help recovering drug abusers overcome their addiction. The group also meets regularly to share their struggles with drug addiction and motivate each other to steer away from drugs for good.
Short for Self-Management and Recovery Training, SMART Recovery is an alternative to 12-step support groups. SMART Recovery aims to help individuals recover from alcoholism and other types of addictions. SMART also aims to help these struggling individuals, as well as their friends and loved ones, cope with their post-rehab lives.
Unlike AA and NA, the SMART Recovery program is based on scientific facts and research to help people make healthier choices in life.
Al-Anon is another type of support group that caters to the struggling addict’s loved ones, unlike the mentioned support groups above. This organization stresses addiction as an illness rooted in the family and provides ways to manage their family member’s addiction through effective communication and coping methods.
An addiction counselor is there to provide unwavering and unbiased support for recovering addicts currently in a treatment program. They are also responsible for creating a structured treatment plan, therapy session, and post-therapy care. They also provide emotional support to the patients to ensure their successful recovery.
Inpatient rehab centers are often recommended for drug abusers who are struggling with chronic addiction as well as those suffering from mental or behavioral disorders. Normally, in-patient rehab facilities provide structured treatment programs that address all aspects of a person’s addiction.
This involves mandatorily residing in a facility that is void of any substances and any triggers. At the same time, the said facility also provides medical care and support 24/7.
Patients under the program are advised to stay an average of 30 days. However, some inpatient drug rehab centers offer two, three, or more month-stay to ensure the patient’s recovery.
Outpatient rehabilitation facilities offer the same treatments as inpatient treatment centers. However, the difference with inpatient rehab is that outpatient rehab allows patients to recover in the comfort of their own homes. Patients can still do their usual daily tasks and attend treatment sessions as per schedule.
Such treatment facilities are often recommended for individuals with mild addiction symptoms and still have the ability to make sound decisions. On the downside, outpatient rehabs may put their patients at risk of encountering addiction triggers that may cause a relapse. With that said, patients struggling with mild addiction shouldalso have a strong resolve to come clean at the end of their rehab journey.
Sober Living Homes
Sober living homes are a type of temporary housing for patients recovering from addiction. These kinds of homes are private, business, or charity-owned establishments. More so, these temporary housing facilities are located in a peaceful and quiet area to provide a conducive environment to recover.
Sober living homes are different from rehab centers. The former allows residents or patients to come and go the property, given that they follow the establishment’s rules and regulations. For example, sober living home residents are required to undergo random drug tests and to be at the residence at a specified time. On the other hand, the latter provides less freedom for the patients and they are expected to strictly follow the facility’s rules and regulations.
Expectations are high for residents living in sober living homes. They should exercise responsibility for their daily lives as well as their promise to overcome addiction. Likewise, they should follow house rules and avoid breaking them. These are important steps to ensure addiction recovery.
Addiction Treatment Medications
As mentioned, some treatments require using certain medications to treat addiction. Such medications are used for different purposes such as managing withdrawal symptoms, reducing cravings, and treating other health disorders. These medications can work best when combined or complimented with a structured addiction treatment program.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), medications were used by treatment facilities in around 80 percent of detoxification processes. Among medications used to counter the effects of addiction are certain medications that counter the effects of opioids, nicotine, alcohol, and even alleviate symptoms of mental health conditions.