Drug Rehab Guide
Drug addiction is a deadly condition that leads to some of the most devastating consequences an individual or their families could ever even imagine. Financially, socially, economically, emotionally, spiritually and legally, everyone involved in drug addiction suffers. Many people who are addicted to drugs do not even realize that they are addicted and those who do have not idea where to begin to find help. Even when an addict does decide to seek treatment, they are often faced with the inability to cover the cost of rehab or they can’t find a treatment facility that has an opening for them which leads them to continued drug abuse.
Drug addiction can lead to permanent changes in the chemical makeup of the brain and may cause long term physical and psychological consequences for the user. In some cases, the addiction can be treated rather quickly with detox and some simple counseling while in other cases, the long term effects of the addiction can take many months or even years to treat. The experiences, consequences and negative aspects of drug addiction can be absolutely crushing to the individual and this can lead to depression, anxiety and a world of psychotic issues.
Fortunately, there are many methods of overcoming drug addiction and stopping this physical fight in its tracks. Drug rehab provides the steps and support that addicts need to make a lasting recovery from a range of addictions including addiction to heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and prescription medications.
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and needs help, call 800-895-1695 (Who Answers?) now to find safe, reliable rehab centers that will cater to your needs.
Who Needs Drug Rehab?
Anyone can become addicted to drugs, but some individuals have certain risk factors that make them more susceptible to addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “The more risk factors a person has, the greater the chance that taking drugs can lead to addiction.” Some of the common risk factors include
- Biology: People who have a family history of substance abuse are more likely to become addicted. In addition, gender, ethnicity, and other biological factors can also affect one’s likelihood of becoming addicted.
- Environment: If a person is around drugs all the time, especially at a young age, they will be more likely to abuse them. Also, if they are dealing with peer pressure, stress, and other outside issues, they may be more likely to try to cope with these problems with extensive substance abuse.
- Development: When a person starts using drugs at an early age, their brain is still developing. This can cause their substance abuse to start making much faster changes to the way their brain works, leading to addiction.
A person’s mental health and life experiences can also factor into their likelihood of becoming an addict. But because anyone can struggle with this disorder after abusing drugs, it is important to look for the signs of uncontrolled use. A person who is addicted, and therefore, in need of treatment, will not be able to control their substance abuse and will continue to abuse drugs, even if their use has severe consequences.
Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse
When a person begins abusing drugs, they put themselves in a dangerous position that can, eventually, lead to uncontrolled use and drug-seeking behavior. According to the National Library of Medicine, some of the common signs and symptoms of substance abuse include:
- Sudden outbursts of violence
- Hostility, especially when others confront them about their substance abuse
- Exhibiting a decreased performance in school and work, possibly leading to a reprimand
- Neglecting to take care of personal needs including hygiene and the need to eat, sleep, etc.
- Becoming suddenly apathetic toward things, people, activities they used to love
- Acting secretive or strange, not wanting to tell others where they’ve been, etc.
- Mood swings
- Having trouble concentrating or remembering things that just happened
The more a person uses drugs and the more risk factors they have, the more likely they will be to become addicted and the quicker this will occur. When addiction actually sets in, the individual will likely exhibit other signs and symptoms as well, including
- Continuing to use even when other aspects of the individual’s life are being harmed
- Using all the time, even when they are alone
- Making excuses for themselves to use
- Craving their drug of choice above all else
- Exhibiting a serious lack of control over their substance abuse
When a person begins to exhibit these behaviors, they will often need intensive, professional treatment in a rehab center in order to recover.
Fundamental Principles of Drug Rehab
Although there are many different types of drug rehab, most of the time there are some major similarities in each type or method of drug rehab. For instance, most drug rehab programs use counseling and therapy as the foundation for their recovery models. However, the methods in which this counseling and therapy is provided can differ from one facility to the next. Here’s what you can expect in most drug rehab programs regardless of the type of drug addiction being treated:
- Various methods of therapy. This may include cognitive behavioral therapy, cognitive therapies, behavioral therapies or relationship therapy.
- Specialized tailored programs. No two addicts will respond to the same methods of treatment and therefore, drug rehab programs are tailored to meet the individual needs of the patient on a case by case basis. The ensures the most effective means of treatment is made available.
- Extended therapy and aftercare. All effective drug rehab programs recognize that therapy does not end just because the patient has finished an inpatient program. Aftercare programs are offered to ensure continued success and support is made available to the recovering addict to ensure that they remain sober.
- Drug monitoring. Because drug rehab is all about helping an individual to stop using drugs, most drug rehab programs will monitor drug use through random drug tests or other methods of making sure that the patient is abstaining from drug abuse.
- Medical intervention for other health conditions. Drug rehab programs offer a number of medical interventions and services to assist patients in the treatment of other health conditions such as disease, mental illness or physical ailments.
Dual Diagnosis in Drug Rehab
It is not uncommon for those who use drugs to suffer from an underlying mental health condition. In fact, many drug addicts use drugs as a method of self-medicating some other mental illness such as anxiety, depression or a similar condition. In other cases, drug abuse can lead to mental illness or escalated mental illness. Dual diagnosis is a common problem in drug rehab and it’s a problem that must be addressed in order to ensure that the patient recovers from their addiction.
Counseling and in some cases, medication, is provided for those who suffer from co-occurring mental health conditions in addition to their drug addiction. Drug rehab centers and counselors will provide treatment for the mental illness as well as the addiction in an effort to help prevent future drug use, prevent the risk of relapse and ensure that the recovering addict has a good chance at staying sober. Some of the ways that counseling can help dual diagnosis include:
- gaining a greater understanding of mental illness
- understanding how the mental illness plays a role in addiction
- learning what ways mental illness can be treated without drug abuse
- learning how to cope with mental illness flare-ups or triggers
- learning how to take medication responsibly in order to prevent future drug relapse or addiction
Treatments for Drug Abuse and Addiction
Treatment options for substance abuse and addiction have come a long way over the last few decades. According to the NIDA, “Successful treatment” commonly follows several specific steps:
- Detox: Detoxification is the process of using medications to safely allow a patient to withdraw from a drug. Because many drugs cause painful and, in some cases, even life-threatening withdrawal effects when an addicted individual suddenly stops using them, this part of the treatment process usually must occur first.
- However, this does not mean that, once a person goes through detox, they are cured of their addiction. “Detox alone with no follow-up is not treatment” (NIDA).
- Behavioral counseling: Behavioral therapies are the most commonly used treatment options for addiction recovery. This is because several different therapies can be used together to create an individualized and well-rounded treatment program for the patient and because many therapies can be used for different types of substance use disorders. Some of the most commonly utilized behavioral therapies for addiction treatment include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Contingency management
- 12-step facilitation therapy
- Group therapy
- Family or couples therapy
- Community reinforcement approach
- Motivational enhancement therapy
- The Matrix Model
- Medications: Medications can be used with behavioral therapies to treat certain types of addiction syndromes. These pharmacological approaches are often used to reduce withdrawal symptoms, minimize cravings, and prevent relapse. The most commonly used medications for addiction recovery include:
- Opioids: Methadone and buprenorphine can both be taken in the long-term to treat opioid addiction, and the former is usually a better option for those with more severe addictions. Naltrexone is sometimes beneficial as well, especially for those who are highly motivated to quit their substance abuse.
- Alcohol: Naltrexone is often used to treat alcoholics because it can block the receptors in the brain that are associated with alcohol’s effects. Acamprosate can be used to treat symptoms of long-lasting withdrawal, and disulfiram actually affects the user’s ability to breakdown alcohol. When a person drinks while taking disulfiram, they will experience severe physical side effects.
- Tobacco: There are many different nicotine replacement therapies like gums, patches, and lozenges. In addition, bupropion and varenicline are two different medications used to prevent relapse
- Treatment for comorbid disorders: Any co-occurring disorders the person may be suffering from in addition to their addiction also need to be treated as part of addiction rehab. According to the NIDA, people with addictions are roughly twice as likely to suffer from a mental disorder as the general population, with the reverse also true. Because of this issue, patients must be treated for all disorders (such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.).
- Aftercare: Aftercare is often set up by rehab centers so patients can continue to practice beneficial life skills and avoid relapse after rehab is over. Some of the common options for aftercare include
- Booster sessions
- Halfway houses
- Sober living homes
- Support group meetings
The evidence-based practices associated with addiction rehab are usually necessary for a safe, effective recovery. In addition, certain patients may benefit from additional options such as holistic methods like yoga and meditation or support group meetings. These options can be beneficial supplements to treatment and can help fill out a well-rounded rehab program.
What Types of Drug Rehab Programs Are There?
While there are many different types of treatment options for addiction, there are only a few rehab centers or programs that provide this type of care.
- Inpatient centers: Inpatient care provides patients with 24-hour treatment in a controlled environment. Patients also receive round-the-clock access to health care professionals. These facilities are usually hospital-based and most effective for those who have severe addictions and serious comorbid disorders.
- Residential centers: Residential rehab programs also provide 24-hour care but are usually not in a hospital setting. However, this option can be beneficial for patients who need to be in a controlled environment to overcome their addictions, especially early on in recovery.
- Outpatient centers: Outpatient programs often provide patients with a schedule for when they are to attend treatment. In some cases, this can be as often as once a day or two or three times a week. Patients are able to continue to live their lives around their treatment schedules.
These are the most common rehab programs available for addiction recovery. In some cases, a patient may choose to see a therapist on an individual basis or attend support group meetings, but traditional rehab will usually occur in one of these three facility types.
How Do I Choose the Right Drug Rehab Program?
You can choose the right drug rehab program only after you’ve considered your needs for treatment. This means
- Determining what you need to be safe in treatment
- Determining what you need for an effective recovery in treatment
- Determining the treatment options/methods you will require from your program
- Determining whether any other needs you may have will affect your requirements for treatment, including
For example, if you have a severe addiction, you may want to choose either inpatient or residential care, especially if you may be likely to relapse. You may also want to choose a more intensive option if you are suffering from a comorbid disorder or have a lack of social support at home.
How Can I Find Drug Rehab Centers?
We want to help you find the drug rehab center that will best be able to treat your addiction safely and effectively. Call 800-895-1695 (Who Answers?) now to be matched with a program.