What is Drug Treatment?

Drug treatment is a term for the processes of medical and therapeutic treatment, for dependency on chemical substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs or illicit street drugs. The intent of drug treatment is to enable the addict to cease substance abuse, in order to avoid the psychological, legal social, financial and physical negative consequences that can be caused by drug addiction. Psychological dependency is addressed in many drug treatment programs by attempting to teach the patient new methods of social interacting in a drug-free environment. In particular, patients are generally encouraged or required in drug treatment, not to associate with friends who still use the addictive substance. Many drug treatment programs encourage addicts not only to stop using alcohol or other drugs, but to examine and change habits related to their addictions. When an individual succumbs to drug addiction they feel alone and isolated. These feelings of isolation serve only to push that individual further down into their drug dependence. Drug treatment offers a life-saving alternative to drug addiction. Individuals who enter drug treatment program receive support and professional care from people who know everything there is to know about their condition - and can provide strategies and treatment plans to achieve and maintain sobriety.

Various types of drug treatment programs offer help in drug rehabilitation, including: residential treatment (in-patient), out-patient, local support groups, extended care centers, and recovery or sober houses. Among behavioral therapies there are: Cognitive-behavioral therapy: a method that helps patients to recognize, avoid and cope with situations in which they are most likely to relapse. Traditional addiction treatment is based primarily on counseling. Drug treatment counselors help individuals identifying behaviors and problems related to their addiction. Drug treatment counseling can be done on an individual basis, but it's more common to find it in a group setting. Drug treatment counselors and group classes are designed to help addicts to reestablish healthy behaviors and provide coping strategies whenever a situation of risk happens. Drug treatment counselors should be able to recognize how addiction affects the whole person and those around him or her.

Drug treatment counseling can also be related to "Intervention"; a process in which the addict's family requests help from a professional in order to get this person into drug treatment. This process begins with one goal, which is breaking down denial of the person with the addiction. Denial implies lack of willingness from the addict or fear to confront the true nature of the addiction or to take any action to improve their lives. Once the addict admits they have a problem, a drug treatment professional coordinates with the addict's family to get this family member to alcohol or drug treatment immediately, with concern and care for this person. If the individual refuses drug treatment, they will be asked to leave and expect no support of any kind until they are willing to accept treatment at a drug rehab facility. The intervention process may sound harsh, but it has been shown to be highly effective in many cases of drug addiction.

Drug treatment is sometimes ordered as part of a criminal justice system. Individuals convicted of minor drug offenses may be sentenced to rehabilitation instead of prison, and those convicted of driving while intoxicated are sometimes required to attend a drug treatment program or alcoholic anonymous meetings. There are a number of ways to offer an alternative sentence in a drug possession or DUI case; increasingly, American courts are willing to explore outside-the-box methods for delivering this service. There have been lawsuits filed, and won, regarding the requirement of attending Alcoholics Anonymous and other twelve-step meetings as being inconsistent with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the U. S. Constitution, mandating separation of church and state.

There is no uniform treatment option that meets the needs of all addicts. Finding the right treatment program involves careful consideration of the setting, length of care, philosophical approach, and the patient's needs. While some patients succeed in outpatient facilities or day treatment, extensive research shows that long-term care at a residential treatment center statistically has been shown to offer much higher success rates.

Listed below are some of the most important things to look for in a Drug Treatment Facility:

Success rate: If you are going to select a treatment facility, you want to know that they are able to consistently produce the results you want. This is the most important thing to look for.  Don't be shy about asking for success rate statistics.

Types of treatment offered: The possibilities are endless, but take a look at the treatment programs and what is included. Many facilities have begun offering a wide range of programs in various beautiful locations.  The most important thing, however, is that your treatment facility offers the basic drug treatment that you are looking for.

Drug detox capabilities: For those that are heavily addicted to substances, a detox facility is necessary.  These facilities will have experienced professionals on staff to ensure the safety of the patient while withdrawing from drugs or alcohol.

Cost of treatment: Different facilities will charge different rates.  Based on the location of the facility, or the programs offered, there may be some that are more affordable to individuals that have to fit the bill on their own.

Insurance coverage or payment plan: Many major insurance carriers and employers will cover the cost of drug abuse treatment. 

Typical Length of stay: You will want to know how long you can expect to be in rehab, so look at the typical length of stay at your facility.  Keep in mind, however, that each patient is different, and it would be better to stay in a facility for a longer period of time and come out with the tools to remain sober, than rush through a program unsuccessfully.

There's no understating the value of drug treatment to the recovering addict. Not only does drug treatment offer professional, focused treatment for the individual addicted to drugs-but there is a staff of people who care and more importantly can relate to those individuals who are suffering from drug addiction. This is something that even the closest, most well-meaning family member will not be able to provide simply because they are unable to understand what is like to be addicted to drugs.

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

The best drug treatment centers are dedicated to the recovery of the addict and not just looking to "fill a bed".

In 2007, 31.4% of homeless individuals who were admitted to drug treatment reported past year opiates use.

0.8 million received treatment for the use of illicit drugs but not alcohol in 2008.

In 2007, 45% of homeless individuals who were admitted into drug treatment reported to injecting themselves with drugs prior to the drug treatment.

1.6 % of the population received drug or alcohol treatment in 2008.

Around 2001 people between the ages of 50 and 59 needed drug treatment within the last year.

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