Drug addiction is a widespread problem that has no end in sight. Those who struggle with addiction face psychological, legal, financial, social and physical consequences that are directly related to the abuse.
Those in the throes of severe addiction often feel powerless to change their situation, as their body constantly demands the substance just to get by. They spiral deeper into trouble as they try to keep up with this demand. Addiction is a serious problem that requires serious help and support to overcome.
Healing from addiction
Healing from addiction is difficult, but there is hope for those who suffer. Ongoing research seeks to establish the most effective ways to help the individual to overcome the devastating effects of addiction. Drug rehabilitation programs are available to assist individuals who seek to overcome their addiction.
The philosophies and approaches are diverse, but the goal of most drug rehab programs is to help the individual cease substance abuse in order to avoid the negative consequences of such abuse.
In the U.S., there are four main levels of substance abuse treatment:
The level of treatment an individual needs is determined by several factors.Standardized tools are used by substance abuse professionals to determine the severity of the addiction, and the specific needs of the addict as they seek recovery.Factors that are considered in deciding level of treatment include history, drug of choice, method of administration, level of current functioning, withdrawal risk factors, etc.
Outpatient treatment generally requires the individual to attend outpatient group and individual sessions with addiction professionals and clinicians, usually totaling fewer than nine hours per week. Additionally, the individual is usually required to associate with an informal self help group outside the formal treatment setting, such as AA or NA.
Intensive Outpatient treatment is a service in which addiction professionals and clinicians provide individual and group sessions to the individual at a minimum of nine hours per week. Individuals generally attend this level of treatment three to five days per week, but continue to live at home during the process.
Medically monitored intensive inpatient can be described as an organized service directed by addiction professionals and clinicians. The individual in this type of rehab receives around-the-clock, professionally directed evaluation, care and treatment in an inpatient setting. A multidisciplinary staff functions under medical supervision.
Medically managed intensive inpatient treatment is a service that provides the individual with around-the-clock primary medical and nursing services. This level of treatment is generally needed by those who have severe withdrawal or medical, emotional or behavioral problems that require acute medical care. This level of treatment is typically utilized during the detox stage of rehab when the physical risks of withdrawal are the most severe.
As previously mentioned, there is a diversity of philosophies and approaches to the treatment of drug addiction. Most treatment programs utilize a multidimensional method, treating the biological, psychological and social (i.e. biopsychosocial) underlying causes of the addiction.
The variations in programs are primarily due to the emphasis they choose to put on each of those areas. Some of the common interventions used in treatment are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), life skills training, stress management skill building, social skill training, psycho education, accountability through drug testing and trigger management. Medically supervised treatment often implements the use of prescription drugs to help manage withdrawal effects and manage abstinence on a long term basis.
Defining success with drug rehab
The goal of drug rehab is to help the individual achieve abstinence and improved health, wellness and quality of life. Success can be measured through overall functioning, ongoing abstinence, overall health, quality of relationships, level of insight and ability to identify and manage thinking errors.
These measures of success can be assessed through multiple tools utilized by professionals. An important aspect of treatment is also the education of the individual to recognize their triggers and current risk of relapse, and to develop a plan that if followed will assist the individual in future relapse prevention.