Current State of Addiction in the U.S.
Currently, there are an estimated 21.5 million people struggling with a substance use disorder in the United States, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. In the wake of the opioid epidemic, the numbers associated with opioid overdose deaths is increasing. The current estimation is approximately 115 people die each day as a result of an opioid overdose.
Addiction is a serious public health issue in this country and around the world. In prior years, there was little to no understanding regarding substance and alcohol use disorders. This coupled with the social stigma attached to those struggling with addiction had left most addicts and alcoholics without access to the medical care that they needed.
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Today, the field of addiction has grown with more people studying the phenomenon and developing effective ways to treat the condition. While there is no cure currently available, the advent of modern addiction treatment practices has offered hope to many people in their fight against substance abuse.
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GET IN TOUCH WITH ONE OF OUR TREATMENT SPECIALISTS NOW.
What Is Addiction Treatment?
Addiction treatment is an important facet of recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. Countless people seek proper drug rehab each year to help them overcome these and other disorders. Understanding what addiction treatment is and how it works is essential if you are seeking to obtain proper addiction care for yourself or a loved one. Read on to learn more about addiction treatment and how it can help you.
The overall goal of proper addiction treatment is to assist those struggling with substance abuse disorders to understand, address, and learn how to stop and prevent their obsessive and compulsive drug-seeking behavior. Addiction treatment is also effective in preventing future relapses following the completion of the recovery program.
Treatment for substance abuse and alcohol use disorders have the same underlying goal. Each addiction treatment program features its own unique amenities and curriculum but follows a similar course of treatment by beginning with medical detox and finishing with outpatient programs and maintenance programs such as 12-step programs or alumni services.
These sequential levels of care are known as the full continuum of care. Completing these different aspects of treatment in a “stepped” format allows for treatment to naturally progress with the patient.
As the patient becomes more stable in their recovery and treatment program, they will receive less intensive hands-on clinical and medical intervention.
Medical detox is the important first stage of treatment. During this stage, you’ll undergo a full medical assessment and evaluation, which takes a look at the severity of your substance use disorder and overall physical health. Since physical dependence is often a key symptom associated with substance abuse, attempting to stop using drugs and alcohol getting medically stabilized is important.
A team of medical professionals consisting of doctors, nurses, and medical support staff tend to your needs directly. They craft a customized detox plan of different detox medications intended to treat any potential detox side effects. Your health and progress are under 24-7 surveillance by the medical team to ensure your safety and comfort during the detox process.
Detox, like other levels of addiction treatment, may be conducted on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Depending on your personal needs and the severity of your addiction, it will be determined which course of action is best suited for you.
Your ongoing care may be completed at a live-in facility or by attending an outpatient clinic. This phase of treatment involves multiple therapy techniques designed to assist you in managing your emotional, mental, and spiritual health. The majority of recovery programs will implement a combination of different addiction therapy methods which may include the following:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Individualized Counselling
- Group Therapy
- 12-Step Therapy
- Addiction Education workshops
- family therapy
- relapse preventing planning
- holistic therapy
The amount of time spent in your recovery program will vary on a case-by-case basis. The amount of time will depend on the level of severity of your substance/alcohol use disorder and if you are struggling with other mental health issues. Having a substance use disorder and other mental health disorder simultaneously is known as co-occurring/comorbid disorders or a dual diagnosis.
After successfully completing an addiction treatment recovery program, clients are often encouraged to continue working on their recovery through aftercare programs. This may include attending support meetings, alumni programs, or any type of outpatient therapy program. Continuing to engage in aftercare post-addiction treatment programs can help increase the likelihood of maintaining long-term sobriety.
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What Kinds of Addiction Treatment Programs are There?
There are many types of addiction treatment programs available, but the person’s individual needs determine the type of addiction treatment method will be most effective. Addiction treatment is not considered one-size-fits-all and will differ person to person.
If your substance abuse has not been particularly severe in nature, and/or has only been ongoing for a relatively short amount of time, then higher levels of care may not be required to help you. Residential and inpatient treatment programs are typically reserved for more severe substance use disorders and may prove to be ineffective for you. Finding an outpatient program may serve and meet your needs better, as it requires a lower level of care than the inpatient alternatives.
Outpatient treatment programs require its patients to find alternative housing. This means as opposed to living at the treatment facility, you may stay in your home or you may choose to reside in a sober living facility/halfway house. Regardless of your living arrangements, you will commute to your outpatient clinic for your therapy sessions. Typically, this occurs for multiple days out of the week and maybe for an hour or longer.
The regular attendance of these sessions is required to stay enrolled in an outpatient program, and self-monitoring is expected. This means that on your off time you cannot engage in drug and/or alcohol use, but still can continue meeting your regular responsibilities such as maintaining employment or family obligations. This type of personal responsibility may be overwhelming to some at the beginning of recovery, but for others who may require less intensive care, this may be the best form of treatment.
There are multiple different types of outpatient programs as well, such as:
This is a “middle ground” between regular outpatient treatment and inpatient treatment. IOP programs typically require patients to attend therapy sessions at an addiction treatment facility multiple times a week for anywhere between two and four hours at a time. IOP combines the higher levels of care’s intense therapy methods with outpatient program flexibility and freedom.
This is the best option for clients who may need more medical intervention and care. They are also best suited for patients battling co-occurring disorder. While still being able to return to an outside environment, whether home or halfway, clients have access to intensive medical care. They will require substantial support systems and must attend these sessions more frequently than IOP, and for a longer period of time. Typically, PHP is anywhere from three to five days per week with four to six hours spent in each session.
However, if you or your loved one has been battling a more severe substance use disorder, and for a longer period of time, or experienced multiple relapses, perhaps higher levels of care are more appropriate for you.
Inpatient addiction treatment will involve living onsite at the facility full time. This means that you will not return home at the end of your therapy sessions, but rather to the living quarters provided by the recovery program. This may be helpful in avoiding outside stressors and temptations that can lead individuals in recovery to become distracted from their addiction treatment or even relapse.
There are different types of inpatient treatment program options, too. The following is a breakdown of inpatient addiction treatment levels of care:
This type of treatment is utilized in treating the physical and psychological aspects of substance use disorder. Residential treatment is typically long-term drug rehab that features amenities reminiscent of dormitory living. You will usually have your own room and share common areas like a kitchen and living room with other clients. Residential treatment facilities will provide 24-7 clinical and medical services if/when needed, and residential will do full-time clinical treatment, spending around five hours in therapy per day.
This type of inpatient treatment is for advanced cases of substance use disorder that require round-the-clock medical care for the patient. Supervision cannot be limited such as in residential treatment. These patients will need medical stabilization. Usually, intensive inpatient treatment provides intensive therapy sessions and support groups but engaged in a hospital-like setting.
Will I Be Given Medication?
Throughout your experience in medical detox, there are different prescription medications that will ease the severity and frequency of uncomfortable and sometimes even dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Certain drugs and alcohol may require medications due to the nature of the withdrawal process, as they may be life-threatening. Withdrawals are the physical and emotional manifestation of symptoms whenever drug and alcohol use is stopped.
During opioid withdrawal, patients will normally receive medical maintenance therapy drugs like Suboxone, buprenorphine, and/or naltrexone. These drugs can ease the symptoms of opioid withdrawal and when monitored correctly by medical professionals can be safe to use.
Medication is typically only administered during the detox portion of addiction treatment, however. There may be exceptions in certain cases. For example, with a dual diagnosis, you may be prescribed certain medications for the underlying mental health disorders such as SSRIs for depression.
How Are Co-Occurring Disorders Treated?
According to the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), nearly half of all Americans that seek out substance abuse treatment have also been diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder. This means that addicts and alcoholics are more likely to struggle with a co-occurring mental health disorder than non-addicted people. Many people with mental health conditions may turn to substances to help alleviate their mental health symptoms.
People struggling with a dual diagnosis require a specific approach to addiction treatment. Since it is nearly impossible for dual diagnosis patients to successfully treat one disorder without addressing the other, it becomes a cycle of each condition flaring up. Unless both conditions are treated in tandem, recovery is unlikely for dual diagnosis patients.
Dual diagnosis treatment requires medical administration and different forms of behavioral therapy that work together to address the substance use disorder and their mental health disorder. It is important to be seen by dual diagnosis professionals who understand how each condition impacts and influences the other. By engaging in integrated treatment, an individual with a dual diagnosis can find success in addiction treatment and recovery.
How Long Does Addiction Treatment Last?
This is a common concern among addiction treatment patients. Knowing just how long completing addiction treatment may take is a difficult question to answer, considering the variable nature of addiction treatment as a whole.
There are typical lengths of time spent in addiction treatment. Inpatient treatment programs may last from 28 to 90 days, depending largely on the unique and individual needs of a client, as well as their progress throughout treatment. Without engaging in treatment for at least a month, it is unlikely that a patient will be successful in their addiction treatment program. People struggling with the more severe substance use disorder will generally require longer stays in treatment in order to be successful.
Some residential programs can last for a few months, six months, or even a year! A large part of what determines your length of stay in addiction treatment programs is also your health insurance coverage. Unfortunately, sometimes insurance only covers a portion or a short stay in treatment, regardless of the needs of the client. Insurance plans vary person to person, and it’s important to understand your benefits prior to attending addiction treatment.
The median amount of time spent by patients in addiction treatment programs is 45 days. While on the surface this may seem like a long time, it generally progresses quickly due to the amount of time spent actively working in therapy sessions and groups. It’s important to spend as much time as possible learning new life skills, coping mechanisms, and relapse prevention techniques in order to improve the likelihood of maintaining long-term recovery even after addiction treatment ends.
How Much Does Addiction Treatment Cost?
Many addicts and alcoholics are worried about how much proper addiction treatment care may end up costing. Once again, the answer is different for everyone, depending on a variety of factors like what an individual’s insurance company is, what they will cover, whether the treatment facility accepts that particular insurance, and the level of care that the patient will require.
All of these different factors will create a wide range of what the cost of addiction treatment may be. Many addiction treatment centers will accept major insurance providers, but getting your insurance verified by the facility is important prior to enrolling in the program.
Another substantial factor is the length of time you may require in treatment. Different insurance companies and policies may not cover the entire cost associated with addiction treatment. If you do not have private health insurance or your policy will not cover treatment, most facilities have other payment options available as well. Different payment plans can help ease the toll out-of-pocket costs may take on your or your loved ones financially, but receiving proper addiction treatment is vital.
How Do I find the Addiction Treatment Program that’s Right for Me?
Finding the right addiction treatment program can prove to be challenging.
Luckily, there are certain aspects of treatment you can look for to help you separate the best programs from the others. By isolating the correct treatment options to suit your individual needs, you can rest assured you’ll receive the best and most effective addiction treatment program for you or your loved one.
By asking certain questions, and looking for certain criteria, you can find the right program. Some things to keep in mind while searching drug rehab and alcohol rehab are:
- Is this a licensed and accredited facility with a proven track record of results?
- Do they offer medication or medical maintenance therapy?
- Do they also provide treatment for co-occurring mental and physical disorders?
- Do they keep a doctor on staff who is available for consultations?
- Do they offer continuing care such as an alumni program, relapse monitoring or post-treatment outpatient therapy?
- Do they offer any specialized therapies?
How Effective is Addiction Treatment?
Another concern many people have when considering addiction treatment is the effectiveness of the program. There are many discrepancies surrounding the statistics of success correlated to completing an addiction treatment program. So, does it work?
The short answer to the questions is yes. While many people can find success after completing just one round of addiction treatment, others may not be so fortunate. The success of recovery depends largely on both the quality of the program and the willingness of the patient to put their full effort into their addiction treatment program and continuing on in recovery after rehab ends.
Relapse is not the hallmark of failure. It does not mean that you have failed or that the addiction treatment program has failed either. Relapsing is a fairly common occurrence in recovery and should be considered a normal aspect of the recovery process.
Suffering from a relapse may indicate that your relapse prevention plan needs alterations, or it can be an indicator that unhealthy behaviors have returned into your life through lack of engagement in the recovery process.
The important thing to remember about a relapse is that it is not a permanent state of being. Getting help immediately following a relapse is recommended and relapses can serve as learning experiences to prevent relapse in the future.
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