Addiction is a chronic disease; it makes it hard or impossible for a person to resist a craving even though the person may know it has negative consequences. The addiction leads a person to continuing to intake drugs or alcohol because these substances make them feel good. The drugs or alcohol are used to relieve stress or depression, to make the person feel better, or simply to have a good time.
The problem is that substance abuse only temporarily helps with the negative feelings, and it can lead to more serious conditions down the line. Repeated drug use, for instance, can change the actual structure of the brain, affecting a person’s chemical makeup.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that around 20 million Americans aged 12 and older have used illicit drugs in the last 30 days. That’s around 8 percent of the total population in that age range. You’re not alone in your search for answers and sobriety.
Currently in the United States, nearly 1 in 5 people suffer from some sort of mental illness, such as bipolar disorder, depression, or schizophrenia. Of those, nearly 70% have some type of substance abuse disorder.Learn More
According to research conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, faith based treatment programs have reported to have nearly an 8% rise in the number of reported success, relative to other treatment programs.Learn More
One of the most common levels of care is inpatient treatment for addiction. An inpatient treatment center offers around the clock 24/7 care in helping someone overcome their addiction to drugs & alcohol.Learn More
There are special populations, like the LGBT community that require a specialized approach to treating addiction. LGBT addiction treatment centers offer the gay community a place to find recovery.Learn More
Sometimes if a person chronically relapsed, a long-term treatment program may be suggested. Most long-term treatment centers can last anywhere from 90 days to a year or more.Learn More
Gender-specific treatment is a highly praised type of treatment when it comes to addiction. For men addicted to drugs and alcohol, a men's treatment program may be the right fit when getting help.Learn More
Residential treatment programs are similar to inpatient treatment. It offers round the clock care and support to clients who are seeking help for a drug & alcohol problem.Learn More
The most standard method of addiction treatment is short-term treatment. Many times this can range from 30-90 days in a facility that can help address your addiction issues.Learn More
A women's treatment center offers gender-specific treatment to addicted women. A treatment center for women will tailor treatment plans to women's unique needs.Learn More
Addiction is a serious disease that can affect anyone. Treatment programs are designed to help a wide variety of people from many different backgrounds reach a mutual goal of sobriety.
Treatment programs for addiction are safe and supportive environments where therapies and services are provided to those who are struggling with substance abuse. Over time, the facility can help the individual step away from addiction and work toward a completely sober lifestyle.
There are a few kinds of treatment centers, and the term may refer to a residential treatment program or an outpatient program. Inpatient programs generally run from around 28 to 30 days through 180 days or longer. The programs may be part of a larger facility, like a hospital, or they may be run privately.
At a treatment program, on-site clinical psychologists are present for counseling services. These services may be provided on a one-on-one basis or in group sessions, where multiple people can talk about their addictions, feelings, and recoveries. There are many kinds of therapies that may be used during these sessions, which are listed below and explained in general.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that was originally designed to help treat depression. It’s now used to combat and treat many kinds of mental disorders, making it particularly helpful for those struggling with a dual diagnosis.
Known by behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy, and other terms, this kind of therapy focuses on the acknowledgement that some behaviors won’t be able to be controlled through rational thought. Those acts are triggered by the conditioning of an environment and other external or internal stimuli.
CBT is started to help with a specific problem. In this case, addiction. The therapist works with the patient to find specific strategies that can help eliminate addiction through healthier actions. For instance, if stress has a patient reaching for alcohol, the therapist may work with the patient to find an alternative action to relive stress. That might be singing, watching TV, or cleaning. The idea is just to make the reaction a safe and healthy outlet for expressing that anxiety without the use of drugs.
Art therapy uses art as a therapeutic technique. Patients may use painting to emote feelings and desires, or they may draw, sculpt or otherwise use the arts to their benefit. Art therapy originated in the art and psychotherapy fields, and its goal is to allow the patient to express concerns, feelings, and so on without necessarily having to speak about them.
Sometimes, art therapy can be used to help express trauma or life-changing events when they would otherwise overwhelm a patient who tries to talk about those experiences. Transference may be used; this is when the therapist interprets the patient’s art’s symbols to communicate with the patient’s needs.
The important thing to know about art therapy is that it’s not a diagnostic tool. The art itself is therapeutic in nature, but since art can be interpreted in many ways, there’s no real way to use are to diagnose a patient’s mental health or addiction treatment progress.
Art therapy is a good medium to address emotional concerns for patients of all ages. If the emotional issues could be confusing or even distressing to the patient, drawing, painting, or coloring are all tools that can be used to occupy the body and relax the mind. Art therapists are able to work with children, young adults, teens, adults, and the elderly, making it a good program to have in place with patients of all ages and backgrounds.
Adolescent therapies are specialized in that they treat young adults and children. This therapy is known as multisystemic therapy and addresses not only addiction or abuse concerns, but also family conduct, poor discipline, neighborhood concerns, and so on. The young person and his or her family must complete this program together; when this happens, the likelihood of relapse drops significantly for at least six months following treatment, studies have shown.
In 2008, there were 1.8 million admissions to facilities treating patients for drug or alcohol abuse.
23.5 million people aged 12 or older needed treatment for drug or alcohol abuse in 2009. Of those, only 2.6 million received treatment at a specialized facility.
The most treatment admissions are for the abuse of alcohol. The second most common addiction is alcohol and other drugs.
A struggle for some is the concern that their families don’t understand or support them. Family therapy can also be used to help a supportive family show they care through a therapy session with their loved one. A therapist is present and helps break down barriers in the family; they may discuss past problems at home or simply offer words of support.
It’s common for family counseling to encourage the family to take an active role in their loved one’s recovery. They may be educated in addiction and how to best approach their concerns with the individual who is still recovering.
Family counseling can also come in the form of family behavioral therapy. This, known as FBT, addresses substance abuse problems in the home as well as co-occurring problems like unemployment, abuse, conflicts, and so on. At least one family member along with the patient is involved in FBT, and the treatment focuses on changing the behaviors that make the home a toxic environment.
Treatment for addiction along with a mental health concern is known as a dual-diagnosis treatment. With a dual-diagnosis patient, there are two main issues. One is the underlying mental health condition that may be triggering negative or harmful behaviors, and the other is the tendency toward addiction.
Dual-diagnosis therapies integrate mental health services with addiction treatment. For instance, if you struggle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), you may have turned to alcohol or drugs to manage the anxiety, night terrors, and other factors that made life very difficult in the past. The therapist and doctors on staff would help treat the PTSD at its core; therapy sessions would be focused on discussing and moving past the traumatic event, and medications could be used to reduce or eliminate anxiety or depression, insomnia or other problems. At the same time, you’d be receiving help for your addiction and finding ways to better express yourself, your fears, or your anxieties without turning to drugs or alcohol.
In a treatment center, one of the most important things is showing patients how to avoid relapse. These programs are abstinence based, which means that patients will have no access to drugs or alcohol. If a patient is struggling initially with withdrawal, then harm-reduction treatments, which may include opiate replacement therapy or therapy with methadone, may be used to help the patient. That’s the only exception when it comes to abstinence during the program.
When you head to an addiction treatment program, you may feel apprehensive or unsure about what to expect. Fearing what you’re not sure of is common, but it’s normal for patients to quickly settle into the new routine and start to feel safe and cared for.
Many people look back on the time spent at addiction treatment as a positive time in their lives; time is spent making new friends, adjusting behaviors for more positive outcomes, and overcoming an addiction that may have been hindering their lives.
When you’re in the program, there are several steps that take place from the moment you walk through the door. Here’s a breakdown of what will happen, so you can be prepared.
The most common age to seek treatment is between 25 and 29. This age group makes up 14.8% of treatment admissions.
Illicit drug use in the United States is increasing, with around 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older estimated to be taking drugs in 2013.
The U.S. is #1 globally in illicit drug use. As a result, the NIDA reports there are over 14,500 specialized addiction treatment centers around the country.
The intake process is the first step in your treatment. During the intake process, you arrive at the clinic, are checked in, and get ready for an assessment. You may have an assessment at this point that discusses the type of room or roommate you’d like, your hobbies, or other information, so you can be matched with the right counselor, roommate, and so on. If you’re in a facility with your own room, you’ll still need to go through this process to be matched to a counselor and to start identifying a treatment plan that will work in your favor.
The next step of your intake process is to have a medical assessment. It’s likely that you’ve already gone through detoxification before the inpatient procedure, but if you haven’t, then that will be considered by a doctor, and you’ll receive a plan for how to move forward with the detoxification process. If you’ve already detoxed, then this time is spent learning about your physical and mental health, so the right counselor and medical team can be identified for your case. At this point, the services you need will be identified and you’ll be able to see how they can help you reach your goals during treatment.
During the next step of the intake process, you’ll be given your room assignment. In most cases, you’ll be able to wear your own clothing and have your own toiletries, like a preferred toothbrush, hairbrush, hair gel or shampoos, and so on. Sometimes, these items will need to be reviewed, but this is to protect yourself and other patients from the risk of drugs or alcohol coming into the facility. Many facilities are run like a home or dormitory, so you will be near others rooming down the same hall.
There are a few kinds of treatment centers including those that are basic or luxury facilities, so your room may vary depending on the location where you’ve sought addiction treatment.
The next step of your intake is planning your schedule. Residential treatment programs do follow schedules tightly, because routine is important to breaking a cycle of addiction. Little time is spent doing nothing in a rehabilitation clinic, so expect to have set meal times, times for group meetings, scheduled meetings with your counselors, time for exercise, and time set aside for other activities. By keeping the program highly structured, it’s possible to optimize the treatment program for the patient. It also helps keep chaos to a minimum, which can be beneficial for those coming from a tumultuous background.
The Phases of Treatment
There are generally two phases to your treatment program. The first phase of treatment is highly structured and supervised. This is because those coming into a program may need additional help and intensive scheduling to keep them on track. It helps eliminate problems with withdrawal or anxiety as well to continue keeping the person occupied.
The second phase of treatment is different because it has less structure and more time that is unsupervised. Those in this phase may participate in activities freely or choose to relax and do nothing in some cases. As long as they are taking part in the scheduled activities required of them and staying abstinent, they have more freedom to do as they please throughout the day.
This set up allows those under strict orders to work toward more freedoms. This can be a healthy goal that helps people through the first few weeks or months of intensive treatments, as they slowly gain more independence within the supportive community of the addiction treatment program.
Patients of inpatient addiction treatment programs have many choices when it comes to the programs they can be involved with. Each kind of inpatient facility is slightly different, so some programs will be available at one where another may not be. It’s important to talk to the facility you’re interested in going to about the programs that it offers. Knowing about this up front can help avoid issues of not liking the program or not wanting to be involved in a program that makes you uncomfortable. For instance, those who aren’t spiritual or religion and aren’t interested in religion may not want to go to a Christian-based program. Here are several popular programs that may be offered in your area.
12-step programs are most often known and used for alcoholics and alcoholism. The program, started by Alcoholics Anonymous, focuses on the fact that a recovered patient has the ability to help another person who is starting to fight addiction and dependency. As someone who has recovered, that one-time patient has the exceptional ability to know what the patient is going through and ways that can help overcome cravings, anxiety, tension, and other concerns.
The 12-step program is based in spirituality, and it’s well-known for being Christian-based in theory. Despite this, it can be used by anyone to reach a sober lifestyle.
The program begins by admitting that the addiction has become unmanageable and works through stages to get to a point of acceptance and personal love.
Holistic programs are being used more commonly in drug and alcohol treatment programs, because these therapies are not addictive and can be used side-by-side with other therapies. Holistic addiction treatment focuses on treating the whole body, considering addiction to be a spiritual disease that results in physical changes in the body. The balance of the mind, body, and spirit is the goal; this can be achieved through several kinds of treatments, like massage, acupuncture, or other holistic therapies.
Long-term inpatient programs can go from 30 to 180 days and focus on treating a patient’s withdrawal symptoms as well as addictive tendencies over time. The extended time period allows medical care to be completed in full while still providing a solid basis for future therapies. Patients may be better prepared to enter back into society by attending such a long program; it provides a long enough time for a patient to be immersed in the therapy and gives you the best chance of a recovery with a low risk of relapse.
Christian-based programs are just that; they focus on bringing the Christian religion into the treatment process. Through the process, patients may focus on their relationships with God, and they can work through Christian-centered teachings. The idea behind Christian-based therapies is to help you become closer to God and to accept the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. With this love and acceptance, patients work on forgiving themselves for their past behaviors.
All-male or all-female programs are ideal for individuals who don’t feel comfortable or safe around the opposite sex. These programs are focused on the individual needs of the gender and may have therapies more tailored to the general preferences of those individuals. Things like nutrition and hobbies can vary by gender, so a program made for one or the other can be highly specialized.
Teens or parents may struggle to feel comfortable with a child going to a traditional program setting. Inpatient facilities often house two inpatients together, and that can be troubling when one is very young. Teen programs take away this concern by only helping those who are young adults. This age group has its own struggles; addiction can combine with low self-confidence, bullying at school, or other concerns that can be addressed within the program.
Getting sober when you’re on your own can feel like an insurmountable task. It can feel like the odds are against you and that you’ll never be able to overcome your own demons.
Why is this, and what makes it so hard to get sober on your own? Part of the issue is the environment you live in. This is the same environment that triggered this addiction, so it has the potential to continue triggering addiction now and in the future. To overcome this, you need to change your environment to one that breaks that cycle.
Another issue that holds some patients back is the people that surround them. If a home environment is dangerous or has too much tension, that negativity can harm a person’s ability to stay sober. The same is true if the people around the patient encourage taking drugs or self-medicating with the use of alcohol.
People who haven’t been through a treatment program may lack the skills necessary to deal with daily life without the crutch of drugs or alcohol. Without a treatment program, that individual may never get the chance to identify the factors that contribute to addiction and won’t get a chance to have a good change at recovery.
An addiction treatment program solves these issues by providing a supportive and safe environment where you can take the time to heal away from an environment that could hold you back. Without seeing the same people or triggers, you can have a better chance of staying sober; you’ll get away from the temptation you’re used to and have the support you need to heal both your body and mind.
In a treatment program, you learn how to manage your condition. You’ll be taught skills and strategies that have been used by many who have passed through the same facility to become sober members of society. The skills you learn now can help you in all aspects of your life, not just with addiction and recovery.