Addiction Treatment Programs
The first step to addressing any problem is recognizing that there is actually a problem. Seeking treatment for an addiction can feel like a scary or difficult process with the many types of addiction treatment and addiction therapies. However, if you have recognized the need to take action, you have already done the hardest part.
Fortunately, there are lots of options when it comes to addiction treatment. Finding the right addiction treatment program is simply a matter of knowing what is available. In this article, you will learn about the many types of addiction treatment so that you can make an educated choice for your recovery.
Drug Addiction Treatment
Drug addiction treatment programs vary in the types of therapies that they offer, but most follow a similar treatment progression. Patients who enter treatment dependent on drugs typically start their recovery in detox. During this stage, patients are medically stabilized and supervised. Withdrawal symptoms are managed using medications and resultant medical problems are attended to.
After detox, patients move to a residential treatment program. At most drug rehabs, residential treatment is performed at the same location as detox. Residential treatment is an inpatient level of care, so patients are supervised around the clock.
After residential treatment, many patients find it helpful to continue their addiction treatment at a outpatient level of care. Outpatient programs range widely in their schedules and requirements. Partial hospitalization programs (PHP) have therapy and groups almost every day. Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are typically a few days per week of group therapy and more limited one-on-one support.
Less intensive outpatient programs may have weekly groups for patients who have already completed lower levels or addiction treatment.
Alcohol Addiction Treatment
Alcohol addiction in particular, takes a very heavy toll on the body. For this reason, alcohol addiction treatment typically begins in a detox or residential setting. Because of the high risk of seizure, medical attention is very important in treating those with alcohol use disorder. After stabilization at an alcohol detox center, alcohol addiction treatment involves a combination of individual and group therapy.
You can read more about the most effect addiction treatment methods below.
Types of Treatment For Addiction
Detox is a medical procedure whereby a patient who is dependent on drugs or alcohol is treated to reduce the effects of withdrawal while the body adjusts to being sober. The first step in detox is to evaluate the patient. This allows medical personnel to prescribe appropriate detox medications. During this stage, doctors also devise a treatment plan for any other medical problems a patient may have. Psychiatrists will also inquire about psychiatric history.
The next step in detox is stabilization. While a patient is being stabilized, they are tapered off of the detox medications. They may also have their psychiatric medications adjusted, or be prescribed new medications for short or long-term use.
Lastly, patients are prepared for a step-down in level of care. Usually this involves meeting with therapists and case managers to make sure the client is set up to be successful in the upcoming stages of their treatment.
Inpatient addiction treatment is especially effective because of the influence of environmental factors on people with an addiction. When patients are confined to a treatment center, they are removed from the stressors and triggers of life outside. This allows them to focus on their recovery.
People in early recovery are especially vulnerable to temptation. Completing an inpatient rehab program gives patients a foundation in recovery so that when they return home and encounter people and places they associate with using, they can resist the urge to pick up a drink or drug.
In addition, patients benefit from constant contact with peers. Many patients report that some of the most valuable experiences they have during inpatient treatment are related to the comradery of their fellow patients. Having the opportunity to see your own struggles in another person can provide a unique opportunity for reflection.
Lastly, inpatient treatment gives patients the opportunity to receive daily therapy. Because patients are not working and reside at the rehab center, they have time to interact with therapists every day. If something comes up and they feel they need help, they can receive immediate in-person attention from a qualified professional.
Outpatient addiction treatment programs offer the same kind of therapies that are offered during inpatient treatment. The major difference, however, is that patients typically live at home or in a sober-living house and continue to live normal lives outside of treatment. Because they are part of the “real world” they are likely to encounter risky situations where their addiction can resurface. As with any type of treatment for addiction, this method has pros and cons.
The risk of relapse is therefore much higher during outpatient treatment than during inpatient treatment. For this reason, outpatient care is most effective when it is used as a “step-down” from an inpatient program. This helps patients reacclimate to real-life after completing inpatient.
Addiction counselors are licensed therapists who specialize in treating patients with an addiction. As with any counselor, patients schedule sessions at the counselor’s office. During these sessions, patients receive one-on-one therapy with the counselor. Different addiction counselors use different therapy techniques, so it is important to do your research before picking a practitioner.
Alcoholics anonymous is the largest and most popular addiction support group. Other groups include Cocaine Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, SMART Recovery, and more. In 12 step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, members go to meetings, fellowship with others in recovery, and help one another stay accountable. Their program for recovery is based on the 12 steps outlined in the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous.
AA has helped millions of people stop drinking over the years. A sister program, called Al-Anon, is based on principles similar to AA, but is meant to help the family members of those who drink alcohol and abuse drugs.
Sober living homes, also known as recovery residences and “halfway houses”, are communities of people in recovery from addiction. Living together provides fellowship and accountability. Typically, sober living homes will test residents regularly for alcohol or drug use.
Sober living homes typically will not accept residents who have not been sober for at least some period of time. This rule helps to protect vulnerable members of their community. Sober living is most effective when combined with outpatient treatment programs or some other recovery program.
Suboxone doctors have become very popular with the rise of opioid addiction. Suboxone is prescribed to reduce the acuity of opioid withdrawal, or as an opioid replacement therapy. Patients will visit their suboxone doctor once every few weeks to submit to a drug test and refill their prescription.
While suboxone will block patients from receiving a high from opiates, it is not effective against other kinds of drugs. Suboxone is most effective in treating addiction when used for a short detox period or under the supervision of a structured medication-assisted treatment program.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy based on the assumption that psychological problems are based on faulty thinking and learned patterns of counter-productive behavior. CBT aims to relieve psychological symptoms by replacing these patterns with healthier coping mechanisms. CBT has been scientifically proven to be effective for many psychological conditions, including addiction.
Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) is a type of CBT that uniquely blends the seemingly opposite behaviors of acceptance and change. Therapists work to reassure patients by bringing them to accept their problems in order that they may change them. DBT, like CBT, is used to treat a host of behavioral disorders including addiction.
Biofeedback is a form of therapy that involves using sensors to bring awareness to physiological states in the body, allowing the patient to control their responses. In some settings, patients may use ECG and pulse oximetry to visualize their heart rate and respiratory patterns while they focus on controlling their breathing. By learning how to control physiological responses, patients with addictions can limit their emotional response to stressors and triggers.
Holistic therapy is a form of addiction treatment that works by bringing all parts of the mind and body into alignment for optimal mental health and wellness. Techniques include acupuncture, massage, yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, and more.
Psychodynamic therapy, like traditional psychoanalysis, uses the relationship between patient and therapist as a window into problematic relationship patterns in a patient’s life. To treat addiction, therapists employing this technique focus on the psychological roots of addiction by guiding a patient through deep self-examination.
Experiential therapy is a form of treatment that tends to help those who have difficulty verbalizing the sources of their problems. It typically involves participation in creative or expressive activities. Role playing, art therapy, and music therapy are common forms of experiential therapy that allow patients to explore harmful emotions related to addiction in an unintimidating way. Adventure therapy and equine therapy are other common experiential therapies used to help treat addiction.