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 In Drug and Alcohol Treatment


The drug culture in America continues to keep the country on edge. Every day, there seems to be a new designer drug on the streets. Drug users clamor for these substances long before they know anything about the dangers of taking said drugs. This is also a time when the country is facing a serious opioid epidemic. From shore-to-shore, people are abusing substances like heroin, fentanyl, and even their prescription painkillers. Things have gotten to the point where the presidential administration has declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency.

Fortunately, the country also has a large number of quality drug and alcohol rehab centers. These centers represent the only reasonable salvation for people who get caught up in the cycle of addiction. Addiction is such a significant disorder that individuals are unable to help themselves. Even medical doctors struggle to properly treat substance addictions. That leaves rehab.

The discussion below is going to be directed at the addiction treatment process. It will take interested parties into the world of drug and alcohol rehab centers where the addicted individuals get an opportunity to break the chains that bind them to addiction.

The First Level of Treatment – Detox

Upon entering treatment, prospective patients go through an evaluation process. This evaluation is intended to give the rehab facility’s staff an idea of how to construct the individual patient’s actual treatment plan.

In most cases, especially with a deep-rooted addiction to benzos, opioids, and alcohol, the patient is going to be placed in a drug detox program. It’s worth noting that some rehab facilities have an in-house detox program while others may have to refer patients out for drug detox treatment.

Detox programs are necessary because sudden abstinence from drugs and alcohol leads to some rather dangerous withdrawal symptoms. For instance, the typical withdrawal symptoms one might experience from heroin addiction would include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe breathing problems and blood pressure issues
  • Tremors and convulsions
  • Hallucinations and nightmares
  • Sleep dysfunction
  • Loss of motor control and body function
  • Severe muscle cramping

The goal of a detox program is to help the patient get past these kinds of issues with a minimum of discomfort. During the detox process, the facility’s medical staff is monitoring the patient’s progress. Should the patient start having issues with pain or sleeping, the residing doctor always has the option to authorize the administration of relief medications. Once the detox process has been completed, the patient should have enough clarity to focus on therapy.

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment options are available for people with special circumstance. In some cases, a patient may not be able to afford inpatient care. If no other financial resources are available, outpatient treatment becomes the next best option. Outpatient addiction treatment is also a viable option for someone who is absolutely unable to leave behind the home, work, or school responsibilities.

Patients with manageable addictions or the ability to exhibit a great amount of responsibility and self-control are also candidates for outpatient treatment programs. Once a patient is placed in an outpatient program, they can stay there as long as they continue to make good progress towards recovery. If progress isn’t made, the patient could be remanded to an inpatient addiction treatment program with dismissal from the rehab center as a last resort.

Outpatient programs put a lot of emphasis on intensive individual counseling and participation in groups when possible. The patient is required to report to the outpatient facility at designated times. Meeting these obligations plays an important role in determining if outpatient treatment is the proper course of treatment.

Inpatient Treatment

Patients who have significant addiction issues are usually placed in a residential inpatient treatment program. Their day-to-day activities are monitored by staff members to make sure the patient is making progress and obeying the rules.

Again, intensive individual therapy plays a big role during inpatient treatment. A patient and their assigned counselors work towards finding the root causes of the patient’s addiction. This is important because herein lies the triggers that are prompting the patient to use dangerous substances. Once causation is identified, the patient can start working on the coping skills they will need to avoid relapses.

As part of the inpatient treatment process, the patient will also get an opportunity to interact with other patients. They will be doing this in group therapy where they will learn about the importance of building support groups. They will also get a chance for interaction while relaxing and enjoying some of the facility’s amenities.

When the time is right, treatment concludes, and the patient continues on the path toward recovery by enrolling in aftercare programs or sober living.

Aftercare Programs and Sober Living

Not all patients are 100% ready to go out alone and live life on life’s terms. They still feel a little unsure of themselves, fearing the possibility of a relapse. For these people, the rehab facility will offer some aftercare alternatives. These alternatives might include continuing outpatient counseling, access to 12-Step meetings, special events and group functions and access to sober living.

Sober living offers an interesting alternative. Instead of heading right home and facing an avalanche of personal responsibilities, the recovering addict has the option to take up residence is a sober living home. These homes are specifically designed to portion out responsibilities as the resident becomes better able to take on more.

In exchange for getting the opportunity to stay in the home, the recovering individual is required to participate in the program by assisting with house chores, attending 12-step meetings, and obeying the facility’s rules. Sober living homes aid in the recovery process by providing some structure and preventing relapse. While there, individuals can count on the support of the other residents and the house manager.

After completing the different levels of care, the recovering person is on their way home. From beginning to end, the addiction treatment process requires a lot of time, patience, and dedication. The payoff comes in the form of getting a chance to return to living a normal, healthy life free of addiction.

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