Addiction Treatment Programs
A 23 year-old man has been drinking and using marijuana
daily for at least five years. He just found out that he isn’t going to be
drafted by major league baseball so his dreams of one day playing professional
baseball are dead. His parents are both alcoholic, they are divorced and spend
most of their time angry at the world and at him. What type of addiction
treatment program will help him to put his life on track?
A woman with three kids had knee surgery and was given pain
pills to recover. She starting taking more than she was prescribed and soon
found that she liked taking them every day. She had a friend who started
getting pills for her but soon couldn’t afford everything she “needed.” She
started doing things she thought she would never do, such as stealing money at
her job and using heroin instead. She knew she need help but what addiction
treatment program would work best for her?
Keep in mind that treatment should be sought
immediately, regardless of the specific details relating to the addicted
person’s situation. There are plenty of excellent treatment centers out there,
and they can generally handle a wide variety of different cases. Failing to
seek treatment is almost always worse than making the choice to accept
it. A simple phone call can literally be the difference between life and death
in severe cases. If you or someone you know is hooked on prescription drugs,
here to learn more about a prescription
drug addiction treatment program as soon as possible.
Each person and story
Choosing the best addiction treatment program for any person
can be challenging. Addiction is a
disease of the brain, and everyone is different. We are all unique and because of that, how
the drugs act in our brain is different. One person can use drugs for a long
time and never become addicted, while another has one experience and
immediately gets into trouble. Just like
treatment programs for other mental health diseases, what works for each person
is more of trail and error and not
necessarily a clear cut formula for what to do.
The old adage “if first you don’t succeed try, try again”
certainly applies to addiction. Getting
the addict to admit they need treatment is a critical first step. Getting them
into the right addiction treatment program is also critical. Remember, relapse
is part of the disease, so when the addict relapses, don’t condemn them, no
matter how frustrated you are. Get them back into treatment ASAP and encourage
them to get back on the wagon and to keep moving forward. Eventually, if they
stick with it, treatment WILL work.
Factors to consider
when selecting addiction treatment programs
There are as many factors to consider in addiction treatment
as there are people being treated for addiction. There is no cure for addiction
and no magic pill or treatment to stop the addict from wanting to use.
Below is a list of factors you may want to consider as you
choose a program. This list is certainly
not exhaustive but it is a good place to start as you decide on your best
course of action. Remember addiction is a disease of the brain for which there
is NO CURE; left untreated addiction’s usual outcome is death.
1. Inpatient or
outpatient for addiction treatment programs
There are a board range of options in this decision. Many
addicts choose a combination of inpatient and outpatient programs. The start
the process with a medically supervised detoxification, which can take as
little as four days or as much as two weeks, often in a hospital setting. After
that they transfer to an inpatient treatment program or begin a n outpatient
program that should be quite intensive for the best results.
Inpatient programs have a much higher success rate because
the addict is much less likely to drop out and start using again. Intensive
outpatient programs can work, but ONLY if the addict is completely committed to
Often addicts start with a daily group program and escalate
to full inpatient programs if relapse keeps occurring. But there is no set
pattern, sometimes addicts begin with a full inpatient and then switch to group
outpatient with more success. Trail and error is necessary because until the
addict tries the program no one can predict a successful outcome.
2. Local or Out of
State addiction treatment programs
There is much debate in the addiction recovery community
whether an addict is better off going to a local or out of state program. Much
of the answer to this question depends on the addict themselves.
An addict who is in their early 30’s, has been opiate
addicted since their early teens and has relapsed multiple times probably needs
an out of state program if possible. On the other hand an addict who
desperately wants to quit and has been addicted less than five years is
probably a better candidate for a local program.
Often the work status of the addict also plays into the
decision, an addict who has been able to maintain good steady employment may
choose a local program, which enables them to continue to work.
3. 12-Step or
non-12-step for addiction treatment programs
There are few things true in addiction treatment, but one
thing is clear, the 12-step process works and must be an ESSENTIAL part of any
effective addiction treatment program. The research is and it shows that the
12-steps programs not only work but they actually CHANGE brain chemistry and
help the addict get the control back in their lives.
We are all body mind and spirit and often addiction starts
in the body moves to the mind and ends up in the soul. By getting in touch with
their higher power an addict actually gets back in touch with themselves. Often
addictions strip a person of their soul and their dignity. The program works if
you work it, and the 12 steps help addicts regain their true identity, no
matter how bad their addiction was.
People do recover, no matter how many bad things they did as a result of
their disease, or how many years they struggled.
It’s recommended that all addicts and their families
participate in a good 12-step program to get back on healthy spiritual footing.
4. Faith based or
secular addiction treatment programs
There are many
faith-based programs available in the United States. Teen Challenge,
Celebrate Recovery and the Salvation Army Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation
program are ALL excellent choices.
Faith-based programs can be more successful because they
allow the addict time and resources to address some of the underlying causes of
their addiction. They also support the addict having a spiritual transformation
allowing them to move into a new world not based on their past. But understand that the important goal is for
the addict to get into recovery and regain his/her life. Therefore, whether secular or spiritual, the
program that helps get them back on their feet is what is needed.
5. Drug supported or
Drug free addiction treatment programs
Often people struggle with deciding whether they should use
drugs to treat at drug addiction. Are they simply replacing one addiction with
another or are the drugs going to truly help them to stay clean and sober?
Depending on the addiction drugs can be useful for treating
particularly an opiate addiction. Suboxone and Subutex are a new set of opiate
drugs that have been helpful in weaning addicts off of OxyContin and heroin.
They need to be managed by a doctor and not self-medicated but they have been
shown to allow the opiate addict time to transition without many of the very
negative side effects of withdrawal.
It is common for addicts who go to a Suboxone treatment
program to continue their daily routine while they are detoxing from heroin.
But because Suboxone is an opiate if the addict is not very careful they will
end up addicted to Suboxone, making the treatment as bad as the disease.
Although drugs can be helpful to help an addict to stay
sober they are not a magic bullet. Drug free programs can be very beneficial
and should certainly be considered.
6. Paid or Free
addiction treatment programs
There are two schools of thought about this issue. One says
that no one will value something they don’t pay for and the paid programs are
the only way to get the addict to take the program SERIOUSLY.
Another school of thought says that treatment centers are
money making organizations and don’t really care about anything else.
Again each person is unique and so is their addiction. The
best course of action may be to try a free program first and if it’s
unsuccessful then move to a paid program. Most people will go in to treatment
multiple times before actually stopping their addiction so trail-and-error is
the only approach we have right now.
Recovery Programs are
a Long-Term process
Finally, addiction recovery is a long-term proposition. Most
people took years to become addicted and will take years of work to stop being
addicted. Generally if a person has been clearly “in-recovery” for more than 12 months they are likely to be able to
maintain it. They still can relapse but they’re likely to get back into
recovery quickly on their own and understand that they need to keep fighting
People think of treatment as being the most important aspect
of a person kicking the habit of addiction, but recovery is essential. People have to rebuild their lives and that
first year or so after treatment is such an important time in the life of an
addict. They need the support of family and friends, and their most important
goal is to not use anymore. That usually includes not using themselves and
being candid with the addict if they see any issues that need to be addressed.
Question: Niece hooked on heroin?
Why can’t I find a drug rehab that insurance will pay for long-term residential treatment in Massachusetts?
niece is in detox but we can’t find a place to get treatment for her,
she needs dual diagnosis. Any got any ideas. She has tried out patient
many times and has failed.
by: Ned Wicker
Let your fingers do the walking. We do not give
recommendations on treatment centers, but we can offer a couple of
places to call for your first exploration. Go to Google and start
searching. There is likely somewhere that will take your insurance and allow in-patient treatment.
Even though your niece has failed many times, it is not because the
treatment program did not work. Addiction starts out as a disease of
the brain, but understand that the damage that is done goes beyond the
neuro-connections and physical workings of the brain.
progresses and becomes a disease of the soul, as it robs us of our
ability to choose, our ability to think outside of ourselves and
corrupts our capacity for forming meaningful relationships. That is why
we believe that a 12-Step program is essential to bringing back the
entire person. It borrows from all of the psycho-therapeutic theories,
but at the same time addresses the spirituality of the person. We are
all spiritual beings, whether atheist or ardent believer, so the
spiritual is important. People fail at rehab because they shut down the
process and refuse to take an inner look at themselves. Maybe her next
try will be a success. It isn’t easy.
Please read these inspiring stories of addiction recovery!