Drug addiction treatment is intended to help someone struggling with substance abuse make the necessary lifestyle changes needed to achieve recovery. Treatment can be delivered in a variety of settings and take many different forms, with individual programs lasting varying lengths of time.
This means that when someone has come to a point where they accept they need help, there is a wide range of options available to them. For many people, treatment can extend over the long term with regular monitoring and multiple interventions as they vacillate between committing to treatment and continuing to abuse substances.
Ultimately, the journey to recovery from addiction to drugs is rarely smooth-running and people seeking treatment need to be aware that they still have a lifetime of challenges to face after drug rehab. Nevertheless, rescuing someone from the intensely dark and lonely place addiction takes them to can bring about radical and extremely positive transformations in people who then go on to live happily and healthily in sobriety.
What Is the First Stage of Drug Addiction Treatment?
The initial focus of drug rehab is on detoxification, which is intended to eliminate any harmful chemical residues from substance abuse so that the individual is free of their influences.
Once someone has stopped using a drug they have become dependent on over a period of time, it is usual for withdrawal symptoms to emerge. This is because the body has become used to receiving stimulus from drugs which means that it begins to crave them as soon as the person stops using. Withdrawal symptoms can vary in severity depending on the nature of the person’s addiction but can include some of the following:
- Depression, anxiety and sometimes suicidal thoughts
- Restlessness or exhaustion depending on the drug involved
- Delirium tremens or DTs which causes someone to suffer hallucinations or delusions
- Increased heart rate and high blood pressure
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Chills or sweats
- Outbursts of aggressive and potentially violent behavior
- Fever and tremors
Although detox is an uncomfortable experience for many people with substance abuse disorder, going through the process in a specialist center ensures that symptoms can be treated by attending medical staff should it be necessary. Because of the complex nature of how drugs affect the body and mind, detoxing from them is not a straight-forward process and for that reason, it is ill-advised for people to attempt to quit on their own.
After Success Detox, Rehabilitation Begins
Once someone is no longer under the influences of drugs and has passed through detox successfully, they are not “cured” but they are ready to take the next vital steps towards recovery in rehab. The components of drug rehab include the following:
The majority of drug rehab centers offer medications that are specifically designed for the treatment of substance dependencies. These treatments are usually delivered in combination with other therapies such as CBT to help patients remain abstinent without the risk of replacing one drug dependency with another. A course of medication will be prescribed for each individual in rehab although there are some who may not require any medical intervention at all.
Education on substance abuse is fundamental to treating it. Having a good understanding of how someone became dependent on substances and continued to spiral into addiction provides patients with valuable insights on what changes are required to achieve recovery. Education is also important in getting patients to face up to the damage done as a result of their substance abuse and actively take ownership of the problem.
Counseling and Group Therapy
Individual counseling and group therapy are invaluable in drug rehab centers as it often represents the first opportunity a person has had to really communicate how they think and feel. Therapists use sessions to assess and evaluate each patient so that an accurate diagnosis can be made and a personalized treatment program devised. Group sessions encourage patients to explore their addiction issues by sharing their experiences with others attending a drug rehab center. The bonds and relationships formed in group sessions often prove vital as a support network in recovery.
It is widely accepted that when someone has substance use disorder, they don’t just damage themselves but also cause pain to others close to them. When someone becomes dependent on drugs, they often completely lose the facets of their personality others love them for. They can become secretive and withdrawn and attempts to reach them are futile. The frustration of dealing with someone with addiction illness can be very damaging to families and sometimes the bonds that are broken are never fixed.
Rehab centers generally offer family counseling so that those close to patients have an equal opportunity to find healing from the damage caused by addiction. It is also extremely beneficial for patients to have the full support and inclusion of their family in their treatment and has been shown to significantly improve recovery outcomes.
The Importance of an Aftercare Program
Leaving a residential drug addiction treatment facility and returning home after completing a program can be a very daunting prospect for patients. Despite the weeks and sometimes months of preparation for life in recovery, patients know that they will have to physically implement many of the changes in their lives that might be challenging. When returning home, someone in recovery from addiction will have to ensure they stay away from the people and places they associate with their previous substance abuse and rebuild a new lifestyle for themselves.
Although patients leaving rehab can be highly motivated to maintain sobriety, the reality can present them with more challenges than they feel ready for which is why aftercare is essential. Drug dependence and addiction stake a very big claim on a person’s mental and physical health and so it’s natural to expect that it will take time for them to heal.
Aftercare is usually delivered at an outpatient facility and will generally consist of many of the same components as residential rehab but on a less intensive basis. Patients are able to attend sessions as frequently as they feel the need to and at times that are arranged around their daily lives. Ultimately, aftercare makes the sometimes difficult transition from rehab to “normal life” much easier for recovering addicts to cope with.