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Treating Drug Addiction

Every year, treating drug addiction costs the US government $740 billion. Addiction is a complex brain condition that leads to compulsive use of drugs or alcohol. Breaking the chains of addiction requires tried-and-true comprehensive treatment programs.

Because people have different neurological makeup, addiction treatments are usually designed to meet an individual’s specific needs. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for substance abuse disorders.

People struggling with addiction are often unable to quit even if they want to. Treating addiction starts with articulating the root cause of the problem.

Therapeutic measures used in rehab centers involve breaking the addiction cycle by using various interventions that enable individuals to unlearn conditions that drive compulsive alcohol or drug abuse.

Whether a therapist is considering pharmacological or behavioral approaches, treatment techniques differ depending on addiction and an individual’s biology. Most treatment programs consist of more than one intervention in therapeutic strategies.

Levels Of Care: Learn About The Types Of Care Addiction Treatment Centers Offer.

Allie’s goal is to help educate and heal America. Featured on Viceland’s hit series “Dopesick Nation” & also "American Relapse" Allie offers a unique , inside perspective on the addiction problems facing our country and the addiction treatment industry tasked with healing it.

This video is about Levels of Care available in addiction treatment. We go over the differences between detox, inpatient, residential treatment, therapeutic community, partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient programs and outpatient programs.

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The first step towards addiction treatment is detoxification, and it involves eliminating the addictive substance from the body. The process encompasses medical and therapeutic measures to limit withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, stress, nausea, and anxiety during the recovery process.

Detoxification is critical as it enables patients to withdraw from the addicting substances safely. Since substance abuse causes physical dependence, detox programs are designed to treat immediate physical effects resulting from sudden withdrawal. These programs often offer physical as well as mental health services.

Rehab and medical centers offer inpatient and outpatient detoxification programs. Patients can choose whichever programs that suit their needs.

Inpatient Treatment

Patients that require emergency or critical care can benefit from drug abuse inpatient treatments. Inpatient services are standard during detox processes and other substance use disorder conditions that require urgent attention.

Something as concerning as addiction requires individual and family immediate attention. Inpatient programs allow doctors to monitor the patient carefully and administer drugs that manage withdrawal symptoms.

Going ‘cold turkey’ isn’t easy. During the initial phase of treatment, you will find yourself engulfed in multiple physiological and physical symptoms. Through inpatient programs, you will be able to get the specialized care that allows you to overcome bodily reactions associated with withdrawal. With such a program, chances of success increase drastically as doctors examine particular drug and alcohol use triggers.

Inpatient programs for treating alcohol and drug addiction are crucial because physicians can support patients as they learn to live a drug-free life. It also offers the opportunity for cushioning the patient against unforeseen medical conditions that can arise due to sudden withdrawal.

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Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient services are ideal for patients that are in their mid or late stages of recovery. Also, if your condition is not critical, doctors can provide you with health services and medication services outside the treatment facility.

Outpatient treatment for managing substance abuse disorders is essential for those who want treatment options that do not disrupt their daily routines. The recovery process is less intensive and focuses on providing treatment around your routine.

You can continue going to work and participate in other social activities. In most cases, outpatient programs follow inpatient programs. It happens when doctors consider a patient stable enough to manage the recovery process independently or with little help from physicians and family members.

From a cost perspective, outpatient services are cheaper than inpatient programs because you are not paying for a room or medication. However, the success rate can be minimal if the patient does not adhere to the doctor’s recommendations. Outpatient treatment is typically recommended for individuals with a mild addiction.

Residential Treatment

We can consider residential treatment as an improved version of the inpatient service. With this drug addiction treatment, people live in a facility (similar to nursing homes) with access to medical and psychiatric care.

Residential treatment involves providing long-term care to patients in a safe environment. Length of stay depends on the speed of recovery, patient’s budget, and family decision to offer family therapy. We recommend residential that exceed 90 days of recovery management.

Treating addiction through residential service is helpful as it focuses on the provision of care around the clock. It is the most successful method among all other treatment options because physicians focus more on therapies that rewire a patient’s neurological system.

Treatment involves using various behavioral therapies and interventions to cultivate new ideas into the patient’s mind. Often, a physician’s objective is re-socializing the affected individuals into the community. Treatments are highly structured and individualized.

It is not odd to find rehab centers offering residential services that include confrontational activities in their schedules. Usually, activities are designed to examine and evaluate self-concepts, innate beliefs, and destructive patterns that can lead to relapse.

Other Treatment Programs

People can also seek help from sober living homes, support groups, and partial hospitalization programs (PHPs). For patients that do not require inpatient service or 24-hour care in residential centers but still need intensive care, PHPs are perfect go-to programs.

Also, for people who want structured treatments but do not want to stay in residential centers, they can consider intensive outpatient programs. These are people who wish to combine intensive treatments with their daily routines - it’s only advisable if you can manage the intense day-to-day schedules.

Before returning to your home after inpatient or residential treatment, residing in sober living homes (halfway houses) can help you develop resilience towards temptations to resume drugs or alcohol use. In these programs, people will often become involved in peer support groups like alcoholics anonymous and SMART recovery.

Gender and Age-Specific Programs

Some rehab centers are designed to provide support to a particular group of people. Such centers recognize that women and men and teens and adults need specialized support services. While some rehabilitation programs are designed specifically for a particular group, some are holistic, providing help to both men and women and people of all ages.

Behavioral Therapy

The next phase in treating addiction includes behavioral therapies and counseling. Therapy modes differ depending on the needs of the patient. Individuals, groups, or families can undertake therapy sessions.

Initially, behavioral therapy tends to be intensive but gradually paces down as symptoms improve. This kind of treatment takes various forms.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a therapeutic journey that allows individuals to recognize their addiction problems. The technique involves modifying the brain functioning to learn new behaviors that would make it easy to eradicate addictive behaviors.

For teens, family therapy is fundamental in creating an environment that promotes fast recovery. Motivational incentives are often used to modify behaviors and encourage patients to embrace a new beginning.

Getting Assistance

If you think that you or someone you know is addicted to alcohol or drugs, it is time to find help. Start your recovery journey by visiting your local health services administration, rehabilitation institution or by signing up with a community self-help group.

Rehab Programs

Rehabilitation programs provide long-term treatment solutions to addiction. Rehab centers not only address addiction problems but focus on full recovery.

These programs allow therapists to monitor patients through their recovery journey to ensure that they lead a drug-free life. Rehab centers have specialists who provide that recovering individuals resume family, social, and professional setups.

Most rehabilitation centers have in-house and residential service offering care programs around the clock. Recovery communities play a pivotal role in connecting patients with others who share similar addiction issues.

Self-Help Groups

People who do not want the rehabilitation process to affect their daily family and work routines can join community self-help groups. Sometimes you can feel isolated and alone.

Meeting and sharing stories with other people suffering from substance abuse disorders can help relieve anxiety and boost self-esteem. These groups are invaluable sources of information, community resources, and education.

Narcotics Anonymous (AA) is an example of a functioning social group that enables people suffering or recovering from narcotics addiction to recover with ease. Google or ask your doctor about available self-Help groups in your community.


Physicians use a mix of behavioral and medical interventions to help patients recover quickly. Medications are usually taken in the detoxification phase of treating addiction.

Nonetheless, addiction to most opioids can be treated continuously using the recommended medication. For instance, naltrexone and disulfiram are effective drugs used in treating alcoholism.

Addiction requires intensive and persistent treatment to prevent relapse and minimize withdrawal symptoms. There is no standard for treating alcoholism or drug addiction. Instead, specialists tailor programs and medications to suit an individual.

Symptoms of Addiction

How do you know when you or someone else is addicted? Some of the common symptoms of addiction include:

  • Dependency on drugs or alcohol as a way of forgetting problems
  • Withdrawal from social life
  • Problems with adhering to daily routines
  • Anxiety, stress and depression
  • Failed attempts to stop using drugs
  • Changes in dietary habits
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Feeling sick when not using the addictive drug 

Other symptoms include dedicating more money to drugs than essential things. Some people also may steal or borrow money to acquire more of the addicting substances.

Treating addiction requires the use of evidence-based treatments. These are proven methods of treating substance abuse disorders. Other long-term treatments that involve behavior modification include cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational incentives therapy.

Often, mental health issues and addiction are concurrent. Professional psychiatrists can perform a dual diagnosis to determine if the patient is suffering from mental health and addiction. Physicians structure treatment plans for a patient that reshapes how the patient thinks and reacts to substance abuse triggers.

If you or your loved one suffers from addiction, you can hit on our helplines for immediate assistance. We have a team working around the clock to ensure that you get professional and quality support anytime.

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