For clients suffering from alcoholism and drug addiction, the best option is to find treatment at a comprehensive drug rehabilitation center. There is a wide range of drug rehabs out there, and when it comes to finding help for chemical dependency, its best to get help as soon as possible.
Alcoholism and drug addiction can lead to death sentences, if left untreated. Think of substance addiction as a terminal cancer. While that analogy might sound gruesome, the truth is that like terminal cancer, substance abuse and addiction get worse, and never better.
People die from alcoholism and drug addiction.
So yes, it’s crucial to get proper help as soon as possible.
It’s also important to consider a drug rehab that provides detox, as withdrawing from drugs and/or alcohol without proper medical care can lead to dangerous consequences. By the time some alcoholics and/or addicts decide that they have had enough, their minds might be in the right place, but their bodies have reached certain levels of tolerance. If the chemical is immediately removed, what ensues are horrible symptoms of withdrawal, and some of those symptoms can be deadly.
There are different forms of detox including a social model, which includes comprehensive counseling, recovery group meetings and addiction education. The social model refrains from using medication-assisted treatment, unless absolutely necessary, and works well for people who suffer from multiple relapses.
In other forms of detox, medication-assisted treatment is provided to help clients who suffer from long-term chemical dependency. There are different types of drug rehab programs.
An inpatient drug rehab means that clients attend residential treatment. Short-term residential treatment is about 28 or 30 days, while long-term treatment is between 60 and 90 days. Some drug rehabs offer individualized treatment plans, and the length of stay is often determined by a client’s needs. Residential treatment is a wonderful option because it removes the addict or alcoholic out of their familiar environment, and places them in a safety zone while they undergo treatment.
The downside to inpatient care is that when a client leaves, they are often back in familiar territory. Sometimes it’s a good idea for residents leaving a drug rehab program to reside in transitional or sober living homes, prior to their re-entering society. Many drug rehabs have aftercare programs, which consist of weekly group and individual therapy.
Going to a rehabilitation center for the treatment of substance addiction can be a scary experience, but a good drug rehab is designed to help you deal with those feelings of anxiety. Many top of the line drug rehabs offer evidence-based, clinically proven modalities during treatment. Evidence-based practices like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectic behavioral therapy (DBT) help newly clean and sober alcoholics and addicts change their self-destructive thoughts and behaviors, and replace them with positive actions and thoughts. Behavioral counseling is often the key to successful treatment.
A successful program at a drug rehab not only treats the chemical addiction, but also target co-occurring disorders like depression and anxiety. These dark feelings surface in early sobriety, and that’s not surprising.
Many people drink to numb feelings of depression and anxiety. Once the chemical substance is removed, those feelings are still there, and sometimes surface like a sudden case of the measles.
A good drug rehab offers dual diagnosis support, which treats those issues.
Some clients are referred to a psychiatrist who prescribes psychotropic medications like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) including Prozac, Celexa, Zoloft, Paxil and Lexapro. SSRI’s are non-addictive, and often require several weeks to take effect. Drug rehabs usually do not prescribe benzodiazepines, (except during detox) because those medications are highly addictive.
Other people suffer from PTSD. These individuals have suffered traumatic events at some point in their lives. Or they might be first responders, who includes men and women who have seen or witnessed horrifying events that many normal people don’t experience. This includes US Veterans, doctors, paramedics, and firemen. First responders often suffer from trauma, and many resort to drinking or using to forget painful memories or numb horrible feelings. Top of the line drug rehabs offer specific programs that help first responders, as well as safety sensitive workers, or employees who work high-risk jobs and are responsible for maintaining public safety. The definition of a safety sensitive position includes doctors, crane operators, teachers, staff scientists who manage chemical waste sites, and firemen, to name a few.
An inpatient drug rehab program includes primary care, which involves group and individual therapy. Some high-end drug rehabilitation centers employ a holistic approach. This includes offering yoga, exercise, meditation, Tai Chi and other practices. These practices are designed to make clients become centered, and in touch with themselves, as well as with their surroundings. Other therapies include equine therapy, music therapy, art therapy and psychodrama. High-end rehabs also offer biosound therapy, a soothing technique, which aims to relieve clients from trauma.
Some drug rehabs employ a therapeutic community model (TC). These programs range between six and 12 months in duration. A TC model is where the entire community is responsible for each other’s recovery. Residents are assigned work duties, which include cooking, cleaning and other tasks. The TC Model employs the theme of “tough love” but for many people it is a highly effective protocol.
Besides inpatient care, there are outpatient programs available for those who can’t take time away to live in a residential treatment environment. Outpatient programs vary in terms of intensity and include partial hospitalization (PHP), intensive outpatient (IOP) and outpatient.
PHP usually includes 25 hours of weekly group and individual therapy, while an IOP is comprised of nine hours of weekly group therapy. For an IOP, individual therapy is often scheduled per client’s needs. An outpatient track is less time intensive, and the weekly program might include one group therapy and one individual session.
According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse, both inpatient and outpatient programs at a drug rehab can be equally effective. The key to successful treatment at a rehabilitation center includes detox, behavioral counseling including CBT, DBT and motivational interviewing, and evaluation and treatment for co-occurring disorders, as well as a strong aftercare plan.
Many drug rehabilitation centers also require that clients participate in recovery support groups. Most use the traditional 12-step approach, where clients attend 12-step meetings, acquire sponsors, and work their steps. Other drug rehabs go for a more faith-based protocol, and residents attend Church, work with a pastor, or go to Celebrate Recovery meetings.
And there are the non-12-step drug rehabs that promote SMART Recovery, a recovery support group that uses behavioral practices so that clients can achieve self-empowerment. Additionally, there are drug rehabs that allow clients to participate in Buddhist-based recovery groups, including Refuge Recovery.
In this day and age, we are lucky to have these options. While there are still stigmas surrounding drug addiction, as well as a high demand for more comprehensive drug rehabs, the truth is that back in the day, when AA co-founder Bill Wilson was caught in the throes of alcoholism, he was admitted to Charles B. Towns hospital on Central Park West where he basically dried out by being administered the Belladonna Cure. And what in God’s name was the Belladonna Cure? Well, belladonna is a plant that contains hallucinogenic properties. Another name for The Belladonna Cure was “puke and purge.” With that said, it is safe to surmise that while there is still much work to be done in the fields of substance abuse and addiction, the truth is that in the last 81 years, since the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935, great strides have been made. And for those seeking help for alcoholism and drug addiction, there are quite a few wonderful drug rehabilitation centers to choose from.