Updated on March 13th, 2019
Drug addiction is often misunderstood and sufferers sometimes find it difficult to accept they need help. However, society’s understanding of addiction has improved enormously along with the scope of treatment approaches available.
These days, thousands of people are helped in a drug abuse treatment center to overcome addiction, going on to live a happy life in recovery.
No matter what substance an individual is addicted to, there is a treatment program designed to treat them. Holistic therapies are particularly effective in treating drug addiction as they focus on healing the person as a whole, addressing the underlying issues driving an individual’s compulsion to use.
Although taking the first step towards treatment is undeniably the hardest part of getting better, the challenges faced in drug abuse rehab can be reduced significantly by choosing the most appropriate program.
The Complexities of Dual Diagnosis
Addiction is complex to treat for a number of reasons, in particular when an individual is suffering from a concurrent mental illness.
These patients are known as dual diagnosis and they require specialized attention in a drug abuse treatment center to ensure the best chances of successful recovery.
There are two main reasons people may also have a mental illness while suffering from addiction illness:
- The mental illness existed before substances were abused, initially using to self-medicate the symptoms
- The symptoms of mental illness develop as a direct consequence of addiction, particularly to mind-altering drugs
It is essential to correctly identify the co-existing mental illness when entering drug abuse rehab in order to deliver the most effective treatment.
When someone is suffering from two mental health conditions, both need to be treated individually while at the same time.
This is mainly because addiction can heighten symptoms of depression or anxiety leading to the individual using progressively more drugs to lessen them.
How Is Drug Addiction Treated?
Drug addiction causes serious problems to a person’s mental, physical and psychological health. It also has a more widespread effect on close friends and family that can seriously damage relationships, sometimes beyond repair.
The first stage after entering a drug abuse treatment center is detoxification, which involves ridding the body of all the toxins that have accumulated through substance abuse.
Depending on the substance used, withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe and so it is always advisable to be in medically supervised detox conducted at drug and alcohol treatment centers.
At Elevate, we believe that a slow, natural detox process is more effective and serves to continue healing without strong chemical medications.
Holistic treatments such as massage therapy are used to reduce the symptoms of withdrawal and relax patients while their bodies are recovering from the ravages of addiction.
Deep breathing and meditation practices also help to reduce cravings, also serving as coping mechanisms for stress in recovery.
Counseling and therapy sessions are also introduced to delve deeper into the emotional and psychological issues underlying addiction.
Intensive assessment is usually the first step in drug abuse rehabilitation and allows practitioners and clinicians to formulate the most appropriate program of treatment.
Group therapy sessions also allow patients to discuss their issues with others in similar situations, often forming close trust-based relationships they hold on to for years after drug abuse rehab.
The Importance of Aftercare
Treatment for addiction doesn’t stop when a program is completed and the best drug abuse rehab centers offer a solid aftercare program for as long as patients require it.
Aftercare is essential during the transition from a drug abuse rehab center to recovery at home and acts as solid relapse protection by providing real-time support in real-life situations.
Everyone is an individual and this also applies to patients in drug abuse rehabilitation. Some may need to rely on the extra support offered by aftercare for many years, whereas others may feel confident to continue their recovery journey independently much sooner.
The best thing about aftercare is that it is available for as long as each individual patient needs it, even if they return to the program after a period of absence.
Drug abuse rehabilitation centers introduce a new community to people struggling with addiction, allowing them to form healthier relationships that can provide active support in recovery.
An important element of aftercare is continued counseling and therapy sessions which are arranged at the convenience of the individual. This allows them to continue in their daily lives without drawing attention to their addiction issues.
Healing Families of Addicts
Marriages and partnerships can be shattered by drug abuse and where there are children involved, there are additional dangers.
When an individual is ready to accept they have a problem, they also need to start taking responsibility for the damage done to those around them. This is not to say they should feel “guilt” about their addiction, however.
It is important for all parties to know that addiction is a treatable illness and the person their loved one became, is not the person they know and love.
Family therapy can be enormously helpful in rebuilding relationships that have been damaged by addictive behaviors.
Guided counseling sessions in which a therapist guides the discussion so that everyone has their say in a controlled environment is extremely effective in opening lines of communication between loved ones.
Although addiction illness can have devastating and distressing effects, there is a path to recovery for every individual fighting it.
Taking the first step may be the hardest but the potential for a much happier life is huge when an individual commits to treatment.
With the help of addiction specialists, it is eminently possible for addicts and their loved ones to get the healing they need to enjoy their lives together without drugs.