No matter what type of addiction you have, every day can feel like a struggle. Hence, it is important to find the right treatment program. Although you may feel that there is no way out, recovery is possible if you find the right program for you.
The first step is to realize that you have a problem and that things should be different. Once you can admit this, you are well on your way to recovering from ever entering a treatment center or counseling center.
Remember, everyone has different needs when it comes to recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. Hence, what worked for your friend may not necessarily work for you.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Authority’s National Helpline (SAMHSA) at 1-800-662-4357 Information about support and treatment facilities in your area.
Additional mental health resources can be found in our National Helpline Database.
Ideally, you’ll work with your health care provider, a trusted family member, and a substance abuse expert to explore your options and determine which treatment plan will work best for you.
In general, you want to avoid facilities, counselors, and treatment centers that guarantee success. It is just not possible to give guarantees when dealing with a person’s addiction. Controlling and guaranteeing another person’s actions is simply not a realistic expectation.
Types of addiction treatment
When it comes to treating addiction, there are a number of options. Learning the different types is the first step in determining what will work best for you.
Sometimes the best way to treat an addiction is to spend time outside of family, friends, work, and anything that causes you to abuse substances. The goal is to create a space where you can focus on getting better without the distractions of everyday life.
Additionally, inpatient treatment programs are often a place where you can feel safe and supported. There will usually be medical staff available to help treat the detox and manage withdrawal symptoms.
Typically, you will have a medical team to assist you in developing a treatment plan, which will typically include both counseling and group therapy sessions. You can even invite your family members for a family therapy session.
Overall, the psychologist you are working with will help you understand and deal with your addiction and treat any psychological problems you may have.
Unfortunately, addiction and mental health problems like depression or bipolar disorder often coexist with addiction problems. As a result, you want to be sure that you are addressing anything that may cause a relapse when you leave the facility.
Generally, people with addiction spend a few days, weeks, or months in an inpatient treatment facility. The key is that you develop healthy habits, learn coping skills, and commit to starting your life over, this time with a clean board before you leave.
For those who feel they have a solid support system in their spouse and family members, outpatient treatment could be the answer. This scenario allows you to live at home while you work on your program. This treatment option is also a great choice when you are unable to take long vacations from home or work.
With an outpatient treatment facility, you will be treated during the day or in the evening, but you will not stay around the clock. Instead, you meet with the facility team for two to three hours a day. These outpatient facilities offer the same treatment modalities as inpatient programs. However, since you don’t live there, it will be easier for you to keep going to work or school while you are still completing your treatment plan.
One thing to remember is that home life should be a safe place. If you are tempted to return to drugs or alcohol while working on your program and at home, an outpatient treatment center may not be as effective and you may need to find another option.
Day treatment / partial stay
This type of program is similar to an outpatient treatment program where you can live at home while working on your program, but is more time consuming overall. Similar to an inpatient treatment center, you will receive the same detox, withdrawal and counseling support for around seven to eight hours a day. You will also work with doctors, therapists and psychologists during the day.
In the evening you will either take part in a 12-stage meeting or take part in courses to develop life skills. Parents of young children or those with other home responsibilities may find this option most helpful.
People struggling with addiction often find it difficult to leave the safety of an inpatient treatment program and immediately return home and pick up where they left off. Sometimes it helps to switch back slowly, and sober relationships help people with that.
Even if you feel like you’ve changed, sometimes it’s easier in a sober environment to practice all of the new skills you’ve learned.
In this situation, you and your roommates will continue to focus on maintaining sobriety but on the safety of a sober environment where there are no drugs or alcohol to tempt you.
Another benefit of sober living communities is that you can continue to learn healthy living and coping skills while attending regular 12-step meetings and group therapy sessions. This type of structure is sometimes helpful in breaking free of toxic friends and in balancing your life as you learn to deal with demands in a healthy way.
What Makes Addiction Treatment Effective
According to the National Institute on Substance Abuse, addiction is a complex disorder that can affect virtually any aspect of a person’s life. Because addiction is both complex and ubiquitous, treatment is often diverse.
Some aspects of your treatment plan will focus directly on your drug or alcohol addiction, while others will focus on helping you become a productive member of society.
These aspects of the treatment plan could include occupational training and learning basic principles of self-care, including coping with stressful situations without turning to drugs or alcohol to cope.
Here are some basic principles of effective treatment that you should consider when choosing a treatment option.
- Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects both the brain and the person’s behavior. As a result, drugs and alcohol completely change an addicted person’s brain structure and function. As a result, these changes are often permanent and last long after the person has stopped abusing a substance. This could explain why people struggling with addiction are at risk of relapse.
- There is no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to treating addiction. Note that treatment will be different depending on the person and the type of substance the person is dependent on. Therefore, it is important that the treatment chosen matches the person’s needs and problems. This increases the likelihood that the person will succeed.
- Treatment for the addiction should be readily available. For treatment to be successful, the necessary services must be available as soon as a person struggling with addiction indicates they are ready for treatment. Delaying the help needed can cause an addict to change their mind about participating in a treatment program.
- An effective treatment program targets the whole person, not just the addiction. People struggling with addiction are more than just addicts. They are people with feelings, hopes, and needs. Finding a program that addresses more than just addiction is critical. People struggling with addiction often also need mental health services, counseling, legal assistance, professional training, and dietary guidelines.
- Treating addiction is not a quick fix. Consequently, it is important that people struggling with addiction receive treatment for an appropriate period of time. Of course, there isn’t a set amount of time that a person should spend on treatment, but most research shows that people with addiction need at least three months on treatment to significantly reduce or stop their substance abuse.
The best results are achieved if the treatment takes longer. Addiction is a complicated problem and recovery is often a long-term, lifelong process.
- Behavioral therapies are the most common treatment for addiction. These therapies can include individual, family, and group counseling. Overall, the focus of these therapies varies from person to person. For example, a person with an addiction might need the motivation to change and would therefore benefit from incentives to abstain. You might also benefit from building the skills needed to resist temptation and learning how to replace drug use activities with other rewarding activities.
- Medication is an important part of treatment. For many patients, medication combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies are an effective part of treatment. For example, methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are commonly used in people who are addicted to heroin or other opioids. These drugs often help them stabilize their lives so that they can change their behavior.
- Evaluating and changing the treatment plan is essential. A person who learns to manage their addiction and get their life back on track will have changing needs as they create their treatment plan. As a result, it is important to assess how things are going and make changes if necessary.
- Many people with addiction problems also have mental health problems. When it comes to addiction and mental health, these two diseases often coexist. Therefore, if a person is addicted, they should also be screened for a mental health problem. If they coexist, they should both be treated as separate topics.
- Remember, medically assisted detox is only the first step in treating addiction. In and of itself, little changes in long-term drug or alcohol abuse. Therefore, after completing the detox, substance addicts should follow a treatment plan to learn healthy coping mechanisms.
- Treatment doesn’t always have to be voluntary to be effective. In some cases, a person who is forced to seek treatment because of the judicial system, family needs, or because of their job will have more success than if you waited for them to get better. Some people just need that extra boost to get clean.
- Errors are common during treatment. It is always a good idea for the program to include an item that will monitor drug use. Knowing that they are being monitored can be a powerful incentive for addicts to avoid substance use. The surveillance also provides an early warning that the person has returned to drug or alcohol use. In this case, it is important that the treatment plan be modified to better meet the needs of the addict.
- Treatment programs should include routine tests for infectious diseases. Things to test for include HIV / AIDS, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and other diseases. For those who are not infected with anything, they can learn how to reduce their risk. Those who are already infected can learn to deal with their illness.
A word from Verywell
No matter what type of treatment you choose, the most important thing is that you make a commitment to stick with your program and get better. A treatment program is only as helpful as the work and dedication you put into it.
If you don’t follow your program’s guidelines, it doesn’t matter which treatment option you choose – it won’t work. Because of this, you need to choose a treatment option that fits into your life and is exactly what you need to get better.
It won’t be easy, but remember that all of your efforts are aimed at becoming a healthier you.