One of the hardest struggles for drug users is admitting that they are addicted. More often than not, drug abusers are in denial about their problems or are too embarrassed to admit their addictions. As a result, some individuals live in the grip of drug abuse for years, maybe even the rest of their lives.
Quitting drug abuse is challenging as well. When users stop using drugs, alcohol, or other addictive substances, they may experience withdrawal symptoms that may make quitting more difficult. Some of them may return to their old routines and substances abuse, which may destroy their lives.
Such scenarios are common. Statistics reveal that substance abuse is a problem in the United States and other parts of the world. Substance abuse is now considered a disease and disorder not just a habit.
What Are My Addiction Treatment Options?
It takes considerable courage to acknowledge a struggle with substance addiction. With the support of others, people may overcome many obstacles, including drug addiction.
Once people resolve to change their lives for the better, they may want to find treatment facilities to point them toward recovery. There are different options that people with addictions may consider.
Various therapies, detoxification (detox) programs, support groups, and inpatient/outpatient facilities offer treatment for recovering addicts. The choices may depend on the severity of the addiction, whether people have other health conditions, and other factors.
Recovering addicts may attend therapy sessions and participate in support groups. These practices are tools to assist in recovery. By highlighting people who have made positive strides in recovery, support groups and group therapy may also inspire others who are healing.
Various addiction treatments may help individuals fight the physical and mental aspects of addiction. The treatments may occur in different settings, use different methods and techniques, and last different amounts of time.
Entering a rehab facility for treatment is not a short-term treatment. Rather, recovery may take time to ensure that a person does not return to his or her old ways.
Drug and Alcohol Detox
Drug and alcohol detoxification (detox) involves the administration of medications to flush or detox the harmful substances out of people’s bodies. Detoxification is an early step to treat individuals with addictions who have moderate to severe symptoms.
Stopping substance use may produce withdrawal symptoms, which may make recovery more difficult. During withdrawal, detoxification procedures to remove drugs and alcoholic substances may be combined with medications and/or therapy to help clients manage their withdrawal symptoms. The detox process continues until individuals are better able to manage their addictions.
Detoxification alone may not help recovering addicts, but the process may be an important step in addiction treatment and recovery.
Different therapies and forms of assistance treat substance addiction. They include one-on-one or group therapy sessions that are often organized by addiction counselors. Other kinds of therapy include behavioral therapy, therapies that use medications, or a combination of these approaches and others. Results may vary, depending on individuals’ personal needs, the therapies they use, and the drugs they take.
Support groups are also used in treatment and recovery. Sobriety organizations and other groups provide support to recovering addicts. As always, the treatment methods are unique to each client, depending on his or her needs, desires, and recommendations.
Regardless of the treatment an individual chooses, a person should be determined to overcome his or her addiction problems. Treatments and assistance are extremely useful, but they may only do so much for struggling addicts. Ultimately, a successful recovery from addiction depends on the people themselves.
Common Types of Therapies
Faith-based treatment incorporates spirituality into the recovery process. This treatment may be good for individuals who consider themselves religious or spiritual and are having trouble with addictions.
People may feel stigmatized due to their addiction. They may think that others will think less of them if they admit their addictions. Or, they think that others may not believe that they have addictions because of their religious beliefs. But we are all at risk of addiction, including religious individuals.
Facilities that offer faith-based programs provide treatment that focuses on faith. The facilities may help individuals who prefer to use their religious beliefs to help and guide them. Their faith may help them stay strong while they pursue addiction recovery.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Also known as CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy aims to help people heal by allowing them to share their innermost thoughts and feelings that trigger their addiction. This kind of therapy is used to treat anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and many more.
Therapists who use CBT encourage clients to talk about the problems, thoughts, and feelings that trigger their addictions. The therapy breaks down the negative feelings and thoughts into smaller parts. Therapists and clients discuss ways to deal with the negative issues to make them more positive.
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is a type of therapy that was originally created to treat individuals on the verge of suicide or self-harm. It is a modified version of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and is also used to treat mental disorders such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and substance abuse.
This therapeutic method helps clients learn what triggers negative thoughts and behaviors. The thoughts and behaviors may include thinking suicidal thoughts and using drugs and alcohol. DBT helps struggling individuals learn and cope with undesirable behaviors or triggers.
The DBT approach includes four modules — mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness. The modules encourage people to accept or change conditions in order to improve their mental health.
This type of therapy uses unconventional treatment processes to help people overcome negative thinking that may trigger their addiction problems. It often involves outdoor recreation, role-playing, and other activities that may challenge their physical and mental capabilities.
Common activities used in experiential therapy include:
- Rock climbing
- Equine-assisted psychotherapy
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (used in treating PTSD)
- Gestalt therapy
- Sandtray/sandplay therapy
- Art/Music therapy
Holistic therapy focuses on a person’s overall well-being. It promotes recovery methods that do not use medications. It also treats withdrawal symptoms. Practices used in holistic therapy include:
- Tai chi
- Massage therapy
- Art therapy
- Proper diet/nutrition
People suffering from depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems use holistic therapy to help manage their symptoms. Holistic therapy also helps people identify the underlying causes of their addictions, resist the urge to use substances, fight cravings, promote physical fitness, and build self-confidence.
Some holistic therapies are used with medical care and detox. The effectiveness of holistic therapy, like other forms of therapy, depends on individuals’ needs, their willingness to engage in treatment, and other factors. Holistic therapy may be good for some people and less effective for others.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)
Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) is commonly used to change negative behaviors and thoughts associated with addiction. The approach is also used to treat people who have co-occurring mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder or PTSD.
People who participate in MET initially undergo assessments that evaluate their conditions. The clients then participate in one-on-one treatment sessions with designated health care providers or therapists. During the sessions, the therapists or medical providers encourage clients to discuss their struggles with substance abuse.
The medical providers or therapists give coping strategies to their clients to deal with their addictions. The professionals also monitor their clients and track the progress of their strategies while providing further motivation and encouragement.
After successfully undergoing and finishing addiction treatment programs, recovering addicts are often encouraged to join support groups. The support groups may help recovering people stay on the right track – for good. Engaging in support groups promotes post-rehab care and provides support for members.
By joining support groups, you may find other people who have had similar problems. You may and your fellow group members may help inspire and motivate each other in your recovery and sobriety. There are many support groups dedicated to people who have struggled with specific substances or behaviors.
There are many groups and forms of assistance for people who have struggled with addictive substances or behaviors.
Common Types of Support Groups
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) originally created the 12-step program to establish a set of guidelines to help people overcome alcohol addiction. The program was popular and was soon adopted by other addiction support groups.
The program encouraged recovery through spirituality. Even nonreligious participate in 12-step programs since they accommodate different personalities and 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 international organization. It was founded by Dr. Bob Smith and Bill Wilson in 1935. AA aims to create rapport among former alcoholics and provide support to promote recovery.
The organization features meetings with groups of people who have similar struggles with alcohol addiction. During the meetings, individuals share their lives. They discuss their thoughts about alcohol addiction, how addiction has impacted their lives, and how they are facing addiction.
Many AA meetings occur in churches or community facilities and people may attend them daily, weekly, or at other intervals. Most meetings are for recovering individuals. Family members and loved ones of alcoholics may participate in Al-Anon, an organization that is related to AA.
Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is another type of support group that is based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). It is a worldwide organization that assists 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. NA group members meet regularly to share their struggles with drug addiction and motivate each other to avoid drugs.
Short for Self-Management and Recovery Training, SMART Recovery is an alternative to 12-step support groups. SMART Recovery aims to help people recover from alcoholism and other types of addictions.
The organization strives to help individuals, friends, and loved ones create fulfilling post-rehab lives. Unlike AA and NA, the SMART Recovery organization uses scientific facts and research to help people make healthier choices in life.
Al-Anon and Nar-Anon
Unlike other groups on this list, Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are organizations that focus more on helping family members and friends of people with substance abuse problems. Al-Anon assists families affected by alcohol while Nar-Anon assists families and friends touched by drugs.
The organizations stress that addiction is an illness rooted in the family. They provide ways to manage family members’ addictions through communication and coping methods.
Addiction counselors provide nonjudgmental and unbiased support for recovering addicts in treatment programs. They create structured treatment plans, plan and conduct therapy sessions, and help arrange post-therapy care. They provide emotional support to clients to ensure their successful recovery.
Inpatient rehab centers are often recommended for people who abuse drugs and are struggling with chronic addiction as well as for people who have mental or behavioral disorders. Inpatient rehab facilities provide structured treatment programs that address all aspects of a person’s addiction.
Staying at the facilities may be beneficial because they do not have drugs or alcohol. They do not have people, things, situations, or other factors that may trigger addictions. Inpatient facilities also provide around-the-clock medical care and support.
People in inpatient programs are advised to stay at least thirty days. Some inpatient drug rehab centers offer stays of two months, three months, or even longer to encourage sobriety.
Outpatient rehabilitation facilities offer many of the same treatments as inpatient treatment centers. Unlike inpatient rehab facilities, outpatient rehab programs allow clients to recover in the comfort of their own homes. Clients may fulfill their usual tasks and attend treatment sessions.
Using an outpatient approach is recommended more for individuals with mild addiction symptoms. They may still have the ability to make sound decisions and may not have any major medical conditions.
But since outpatient rehab centers do not remove people from their old lives, they may put their clients at risk of encountering addiction triggers that may cause a relapse. As with all people with substance abuse, people with mild addictions should have strong resolves to address and solve their addiction-related problems.
Sober Living Homes
When people leave rehab centers, they sometimes move into sober living homes for a short time. Sober living homes serve as temporary housing for clients who are recovering from addiction. The homes are private, business, or charity-owned establishments. The housing facilities are often located in peaceful and quiet areas to provide conducive environments to recover.
Rehab centers and sober living homes are different. Sober living homes typically give people more freedom. They often allow residents to come and go and leave the property, given that they follow the establishment’s rules and regulations.
Residents at sober living homes are required to undergo random drug tests and to be at the residences at specified times. Meanwhile, rehab centers provide less freedom. People living at rehab centers are expected to follow the facilities’ rules and regulations.
Expectations are high for residents living in sober living homes. They should exercise responsibility for their daily lives and continue to work to overcome addiction. In addition, they should follow house rules and avoid breaking them. These are important steps to ensure addiction recovery.
Addiction Treatment Medications
Some treatments use certain medications to treat addiction. Such medications are used for different purposes, including managing withdrawal symptoms, reducing cravings, and treating other health disorders. These medications may work best when combined with structured addiction treatment programs.
According to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), treatment facilities used medications in around 80 percent of detoxification (detox) processes. Medications were used to fight addiction and counter the effects of opioids, nicotine, and alcohol. The medications also helped alleviate symptoms of mental health conditions.