Drug Addiction Treatment

There are many different terms used for drug addiction treatment: drug rehab, substance abuse treatment, and addiction treatment just to name a few. Treatment can address a very specific drug of abuse such as alcohol or it can encompass every type of drug addiction like cocaine, heroin, and meth.

Drug abuse is a term used when an individual has been negatively affected by their drug use and experimentation for a period of time. This period of time can range from just a few months to years on end. Drug abuse is often a precursor to drug addiction. When an individual has a problem with drug addiction it means that they crave and use drugs even though it has severe negative ramifications for them.

Drug addiction treatment is the process of rehabilitating an individual back to their former self as they were before they used drugs. Rehab provides individuals with the tools and information they need to get off drugs and stay off drugs once they have completed their program. In the United States, 22.5 million individuals over the age of 12 needed treatment for drug addiction in 2004.

Unfortunately, relapse is often a part of drug addiction recovery. Many drug rehabs have treatment methods to help prevent relapse. These methods might include medicating the recovering drug abuser while they are receiving treatment. Others use behavioral modification in both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs.

Drug addiction treatment is an important part of recovering from drug addiction. In addition to stopping drug use, the goal of drug addiction treatment is to return the individual to productive functioning in the family, workplace, and community. While in drug addiction treatment, recovering drug addicts learn about addiction, recovery and relapse while addressing misguided beliefs about self, others and their environment. Attending a drug addiction treatment program helps the recovering drug addict make lifestyle changes, manage feelings and develop coping tools and drug refusal skills. In addition, they learn to identify relapse warning signs and challenge thoughts that may lead to relapse.

Treatment for drug addiction is on the increase as more and more individuals are becoming dependent on various types of drugs. Years of research have shown that addiction to any drug can be effectively treated. However, there is no one form of drug addiction treatment that is appropriate for everyone. When getting help for drug addiction, one must take into account the type of drug used and the needs of the individual.

Drug addiction treatment should address the specific needs of each individual. There are varying degrees of addiction. Some individuals may have a history of many prior attempts to end their addiction patterns and failed. For those who fall into this category, inpatient residential treatment may prove fruitful. Research studies show that inpatient treatment is the most successful modality for individuals with multiple unsuccessful attempts at sobriety through outpatient treatment.

On the other hand, an individual may only have a recent history of drug addiction and wishes to correct the situation, but may encounter difficulty in doing so on their own. For such an individual outpatient drug addiction treatment or counseling would most likely be the appropriate initial approach in addressing their situation.

Individuals with years of heavy drug addiction may have a more difficult time when it comes to ending their addiction patterns. The difficulty may lie in fact that their lifestyle has consisted of drug or alcohol use for such an extended period of time that it may be difficult to imagine themselves living without using drugs. This type of individual may greatly benefit from attending a long term inpatient drug addiction treatment program. This type of treatment generally involves a period of three to six months so as to provide the individual with an extensive change of environment as well as care twenty-four hours a day. Research has proven that this may be the most successful type of treatment for those who have a history of heavy drug addiction spanning over many years.

Matching drug addiction treatment settings and services to each individual's particular problems and needs is critical to his or her ultimate success in returning to productive functioning in the family, workplace, and society.

How Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Works:

For most alcoholics and drug dependent individuals, residential alcohol and drug abuse treatment is recommended as the right, first step. Residential alcohol and drug abuse treatment (aka inpatient) is where the individual resides full time in a facility. Alcohol and drug abuse treatment (rehab) is a combination of education and behavioral therapy. A person needs to learn the facts about alcohol and drug abuse dependency and how to work a program of recovery. Therapy generally consists of both group and one on one counseling sessions. These sessions emphasize personal interaction, addressing a variety of personal and developmental issues. The length of stay in residential alcohol and drug addiction treatment will depend on a variety of factors.

Therapy as a part of the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Process:

Behavioral therapies can include counseling, psychotherapy, support groups, or family therapy. Treatment medications offer help in suppressing the withdrawal syndrome and drug or alcohol craving and in blocking the drug's effects. In general, the more treatment a person receives, the better the results. Patients who stay in treatment longer than 3 months have better outcomes than those who stay less time. Patients, who go through medically assisted withdrawal (detox) to minimize discomfort but do not receive any further treatment, perform about the same in terms of their drug use as those who were never treated. Over the last 25 years, studies have shown that treatment works to reduce drug intake and crimes committed by drug-dependent people. Researchers also have found that drug abusers who have been through treatment are more likely to have jobs.

If you or someone you care for is dependent on alcohol or drugs and needs treatment, it is important to know that no single treatment approach is appropriate for all individuals. Finding the right treatment program involves careful consideration of such things as the setting, length of care, philosophical approach and you or your loved one's needs.

Here are 12 questions to consider when selecting a drug addiction treatment program:

  1. Does the program accept your insurance? If not, will they work with you on a payment plan or find other means of support for you?
  2. Is the program run by state-accredited, licensed and/or trained professionals?
  3. Is the facility clean, organized and well-run?
  4. Does the program encompass the full range of needs of the individual (medical: including infectious diseases; psychological: including co-occurring mental illness; social; vocational; legal; etc.)?
  5. Does the treatment program also address sexual orientation and physical disabilities as well as provide age, gender and culturally appropriate treatment services?
  6. Is long-term aftercare support and/or guidance encouraged, provided and maintained?
  7. Is there ongoing assessment of an individual's treatment plan to ensure it meets changing needs?
  8. Does the program employ strategies to engage and keep individuals in longer-term treatment, increasing the likelihood of success?
  9. Does the program offer counseling (individual or group) and other behavioral therapies to enhance the individual's ability to function in the family/community?
  10. Does the program offer medication as part of the treatment regimen, if appropriate?
  11. Is there ongoing monitoring of possible relapse to help guide patients back to abstinence?
  12. Are services or referrals offered to family members to ensure they understand addiction and the recovery process to help them support the recovering individual?

23.2 million individuals aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem in 2007.

In 2007, 3,703 were older white individuals (ages 55 and up) were admitted to drug treatment centers.

The very successful effects of drug treatment centers are real, and these centers save lives every day!

In 2007, 59% of homeless individuals who received drug treatment were between the ages of 21 and 39.

71% percent of illegal drug users, who need drug treatment, are employed,

In 2007, 16,175 homeless males and 5,196 homeless females were admitted into drug treatment facilities.

In 2007, the criminal justice system was the largest single source of referrals to the drug treatment centers.

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