Learning how to Treat Substance Abuse Disorders
Learning how to treat substance abuse disorders is not a ‘one size fits all’ process. Effective treatment programs are contingent upon the substance, the length of abuse time, life circumstances and mental state. Life is difficult for a person in active addiction. Many people think that hardcore street drugs such as cocaine and heroin are the only drugs that people become addicted to. That is not true. Alcohol and prescription drug abuse numbers are constantly rising. There is also a false implication that only low-life people who live in bad neighborhoods fall ill to an addiction. That is also not true.
Anyone who uses drugs or alcohol with any regularity can run the risk of developing a chemical dependency to that specific substance. Living in active addiction can be scary, stressful, draining, depressing and upsetting. All of these negative feelings can force a person to feel helpless and hopeless. Not knowing where to turn, these people continue to live in a cycle of abuse and wake up every day sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Their friends and family do not understand why they cannot “just stop.” Because people close to them may not understand, it makes it even harder for these people to come forward for help. They may try to quit on their own, but most of them will not see success. They claim that every weekend is their “last time.” The truth is, any one of their last times can be their last time alive. Addiction shoots to kill whenever it is given the chance.
It might be hard to accept, but there are only three ways to address an addiction:
- You can complete a personalized rehab program and learn how to cope with your addiction. In rehab, you can learn techniques how to relieve stress without using drugs or alcohol.
- You can get arrested and put in prison where you will be forced to sober up via cold turkey methods. This is a dangerous way to taper off substances. And obviously not an ideal option.
- The only other way an addiction ends is death by overdose.
Completing a rehab stint is no easy feat by any means. But it is possible. Rehab is also the only logical and safe way to get your life back on track. Rehab is not a “cure” for an addiction by any means. Addiction is a physiological sickness that requires time, effort and focus on obtaining recovery goals.
Achieving sobriety is possible if you place yourself in a supportive environment with professional help. It is a process that will push you to the breaking point, but in the end, can equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to get your life back on tracks. The first mountain to climb over is to admit that you have a problem. Once that happens you can look into getting the help you need to learn how to fight back against the disease that is trying to kill you.
Explain what a detoxification cycle is to start it. Getting through the detoxification cycle is imperative. The detox step in recovery gets a bad reputation because of the withdrawal symptoms that occur. Thinking of how unpleasant withdrawal symptoms can be, some people refuse to seek treatment for their substance abuse problem. Fortunately, there are ways of staying content and comfortable during while detoxing.
For whatever reason, people tend to think that if they detox at home their withdrawal symptoms will not be as harsh. However, cold turkey methods usually do not work well and are dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms can cause very serious health side effects.
It is strongly recommended that anyone looking to finish a detox cycle enroll into an inpatient detox center. Inpatient centers offer around-the-clock medical attention to each client. When arriving at your selected detox center, make sure you’re honest and upfront about your substance abuse history. Do not be embarrassed, they have heard it all before. Keeping them informed about the length and estimated amount of each substance you abused can help them help you. The staff will then have an easier time assessing your detox program and progress.
The most common withdrawal symptoms for most drugs include vomiting, shaking, headaches, loss of appetite and trouble sleeping. Having a medical staff keep you comfortable during detox can allow you to avoid suffering more extreme symptoms from seizures and hallucinations. Not every client experiences the same withdrawal symptoms, and some may not even experience any. Most inpatient detox centers also provide special medication for clients so that the pain caused by withdrawal symptoms can be kept to a minimum.
Typically, detox lasts anywhere from 3 to 14 days. Since everyone abuses different substances for a different length of time, each person’s detox span will have a different length. It may be seen as the worst part of recovery, but some argue that it is the most important step as well. In detox, your body will try to break the physical dependency you established to your go-to substance.
Moving on to Drug Rehab
After detox is over, you should be ready to take on drug rehab. In rehab, you will undergo intense therapy sessions to get to the bottom of your addiction. Going back to every addiction being different, everyone will have a different interest of therapy fields when working through rehab. There are countless different therapy types ranging from cognitive-behavioral therapy to music therapy. The two types of therapies that are most used in rehab programs are individual therapy and group therapy.
Individual therapy involves a one-on-one setting with a licensed therapist who can help fully grasp the stem of your addiction. Learning what may have pushed you to use drugs or alcohol in the first place can be powerful knowledge moving forward. You will be more inclined to recognize triggers after working through issues with a therapist.
You can learn new ways to relieve stress and drama that presents itself in your life. Many people who develop a substance abuse problem start out using drugs and alcohol to get over a hard day or bad break up. No one starts out using liquor or pills purposing trying to get addicted.
One-on-one therapy sessions can also help you look at your substance abuse problem from the outside looking in. Taking a step back to review the way you acted while abusing substances can allow you to see how you treated those close to you. You can also see how living a life of feeding an addiction can be scary and dangerous.Group therapy is also a pivotal part of the rehab process. Getting used to a social setting is a great way to start thinking about how to rebuild your relationships with loved ones. Many times when people suffer from a substance abuse problem, they put their drug and liquor use before family and social obligations.
When rehab is over, it can be hard for these people to reach out to connect with friends and family who have pushed them aside for their substance abuse. In group therapy, you can once again learn how to talk and interact with other people.
In group therapy, you will also interact with people who know what you are going through because they are going through similar situations. The feeling of isolation is one of the addiction’s most powerful weapons.
If those abusing drugs and alcohol feel alone, then they are more likely to continue feeding their addiction so that lonely feeling goes away for a few hours. Knowing that you are not alone and that there are people who understand your issues can make it so much easier to realize that sobriety is an option.
Is an Inpatient Rehab Better than Intensive an Outpatient Treatment Program?
While outpatient treatment programs tend to be more affordable, inpatient programs usually see more success. Inpatient rehab centers give you constant medical attention, where professionals provide a more in-depth look at ways to help you. When choosing an inpatient facility, you will also be given sober living accommodations so that you can remain on the center’s campus for the entirety of your rehab stint.
This makes it less likely that you will be put into a situation where you will be pressured to use drugs or alcohol. Sure, your temptations to use will flare up in rehab, but you will not be around people or situations that encourage your substance abuse.
Know that any help one gets is good help. But also know that no one can go to rehab for you. It has to be a decision that you make for yourself. You need to be in a mindset to be ready to better yourself and your situation in life.
Why Traveling for Treatment Helps
Traveling for treatment can offer someone seeking recovery many advantages. When you go to rehab in another city or state, you are far away from your normal surroundings which are incorporated with bad habits. Bad habits are what fuels a substance abuse problem. Getting out of town will make it easier for you to break those. Skipping town for a while will get you away from the people and situations that trigger your addiction. Chances are, there are people in your life right now that encourage your drug and alcohol use. Create some separation from those people.
You can pick almost any place you want when you travel for rehab. You can put yourself in a relaxed, calm and supportive environment where your only focus will be on your recovery. Recovery is about starting over, essentially. You can start over and reinvent yourself if you go somewhere new. Traveling for rehab also gives you a better chance of finishing your rehab program. If you attend a rehab facility close to your home, leaving at any time is always an option in the back of your head. But if you are in another city or state, you will be less likely to leave on the spot. And asking a friend or family member to pick you up will be out of the question.
You are not traveling to limit your freedoms by any means. You are traveling for rehab so that you can stay focused and motivated with little to no interference from triggers for drugs and alcohol. It is probably hard for you to realize that living a sober life is possible. That is because you are so tightly wrapped in your addiction. Break away for a while and you will be able to see that sobriety and happiness are possible for you to achieve.
Prescription Drug Statistics
You should not think you are some awkward fool if you are having a hard time laying off prescription drugs. Millions of people abuse medication that is prescribed by a doctor. Prescription drugs are usually easily accessed by almost anyone in any given household. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported that 52 million people ages 12 and up have abused prescription drugs at some point in their life.
Using prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons can be just as dangerous as using cocaine and heroin. In fact, constant use of prescription pills without proper medical authorization can lead down the path of using hardcore street drugs like heroin. NIDA also released that the United States consumes about 75 percent of the world’s prescription drugs. This is a scary stat considering that the US only makes up about 5 percent of the world’s population.
This huge increase in prescription drug abuse has opened up many discussions in the medical fields. But the main discussion at hand is that people develop substance abuse problems to these drugs and not enough of them are getting the help they need.
Some take to prescription drugs because they think that there is no harm. Their mindset is that if a doctor gives someone the green light to use it then it should be safe for everyone. NIDA concluded that about 20,000 people die every year due to prescription drug abuse. That matches the annual estimation of those who die from illegal drug overdoses.
Prescription drugs are a growing threat in our country. Do not think that prescription drugs are harmless. And do not underestimate their power. Rehab might be needed for those who are having a hard time feeling “normal” without consuming pills every morning. Through rehab, you can get back to yourself.
Maybe the only other drug that surpasses prescription drugs is alcohol. Alcohol addiction ruins lives on a daily basis. Because alcohol is legal, many people use it without knowing or think of consequences. Peer pressure or social “norms” often trick people into getting drunk with regularity. But alcohol is the most abused drug in the US. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH) reported that 87.6 percent of people ages 18 and up have drunk alcohol at some point in their life.
With such high usage rates for alcohol, it can be easy to see how someone can fall in deep to an addiction with liquor. In that same study, NIH concluded that 24.7 percent of those people admitted to binge drinking in the last month. Taking to the bottle to relax and let loose might be fun to do on weekends. But again, you are running a risk of developing a chemical dependency.
On top of high consumption rates, NIH states that about 88,000 people die every year from alcohol-related causes. Of those 88,000 deaths, it is projected that about 62,000 of them are men and 26,000 women. In 2014, there were 9,996 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, making up 31 percent of driving fatalities.
Just because everyone does it, doesn’t mean it has the same effects on everyone. Alcoholism is a towering giant to overcome. For most people enrolling into rehab is the only way to change their ways. Sadly, many of these people will not seek the help they need. The death statistics due to alcohol are too high already. Seek help if you find yourself drinking on a daily basis.
It Is Never Too Late
Some people refuse to seek help with drug addiction or alcoholism because they think they are in too deep. Your addiction is not stronger than you. It simply has an advantage over you right now because of the situation and mindset you are in. You can change that and give yourself the advantage by admitting that enough is enough.
Getting back to living a happy and healthy life is possible through rehab. But the bottom line is that you have to listen to yourself for once, not your addiction. Everyone’s addiction stems from different reasons, so everyone will have a different path to recovery.
Sometimes, it takes more than one intervention to get across to a loved one. Other times, it takes more than one rehab stint to notice that it is possible to live without having to be under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Do not feel alone and hopeless. There are plenty of rehab centers throughout the country that can help you get your life out of your addiction’s hands and back into yours.