Drug Addiction and Treatment

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The process of recovering from a drug addiction can be a long and winding road, but it is the path to freedom from the bondage and enslavement of drug dependency, not to mention the opportunity for personal growth and a second chance at life.

Drug addiction treatment programs will vary by geographical location and by their overall approach to addiction and recovery. If you are seeking a program for yourself or a loved one, it is important to research the facility’s treatment philosophy and methodology, success rate, and approach to aftercare. This helps to ensure a good fit between the facility and the resident.

While not all addicts will require a residential treatment program in order to recover from a drug addiction, the opportunity to step out of the normal rhythm of a drug-addicted life can help the addict not only to detox, but to also gain the distance needed to begin working through the deeper life issues that form the root cause of the addiction.

First Steps

If someone you know suffers from a drug addiction and is resistant to seek help on his own, it may be necessary to stage a drug intervention. This is a formal meeting set up for the purpose of confronting the addict about his or her addiction, helping the addict to understand the damage that the disease is causing, and to discuss treatment options. An intervention is conducted by a small group—often family, friends or other close connections who are willing to help support the addict in the next steps of recovery.

Families planning an intervention may opt to consult with a drug intervention specialist.  Also known as an interventionist, this trained professional will meet with the family in advance, help to determine what each person will say and what role they will play in supporting the addict, and assist the family in considering treatment options. The addiction intervention specialist will also help to conduct and direct the intervention; keeping group members focused on positive solutions, and can mediate as needed.

In Treatment

Residential treatment programs typically last between 28 and 90 days depending on the severity of the addiction and the amount of time that the addict’s health insurance provider will cover. Many addicts start with a one-month program.

While the prospect of a stint in treatment may actually come as a relief to the addict who is battling temptation daily, many have questions and fears about their upcoming time in rehab and wonder what to expect the first week of residential treatment—when the body and the mind come face-to-face with the prospect and practice of sobriety.  

While programs may vary slightly, the first week of treatment will include detoxification and stabilization procedures. Residents will also undergo both medical and psychiatric evaluations to help the treatment staff discern how to best approach the addict and his or her addiction. As soon as the addict has stabilized, he or she will begin to attend group and/or one-on-one therapy, as well as regular Twelve-Step Meetings.

After Treatment

Before being discharged, the addict will meet with various members of the rehab facility’s staff to develop a plan for aftercare. The purpose of this is to help the individual figure out how to most effectively transition back into regular life while maintaining sobriety. The addict’s time in rehab will finish with a concrete plan that includes follow up with the treatment center, attendance at Twelve-Step meetings, and any other actions deemed necessary for the addict’s ongoing recovery journey.

 

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