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Substance Abuse: Treatment Options (2/3)

Substance Abuse is very difficult, and it can be hard to know where to start on your road to recovery. There are many options for treatment, which can be overwhelming, so this post will focus on some known treatment methods and what they look like, as well as general tips if you can’t access a provider right away.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are several key principles that should form the basis of any effective treatment. These principles are:

  • Addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior.

  • No single treatment is right for everyone.

  • People need to have quick access to treatment.

  • Effective treatment addresses all of the patient’s needs, not just his or her drug use.

  • Staying in treatment long enough is critical.

  • Counseling and other behavioral therapies are the most commonly used forms of treatment.

  • Medications are often an important part of treatment, especially when combined with behavioral therapies.

  • Treatment plans must be reviewed often and modified to fit the patient’s changing needs.

  • Treatment should address other possible mental disorders.

  • Medically assisted detoxification is only the first stage of treatment.

  • Treatment doesn't need to be voluntary to be effective.

  • Drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously.

  • Treatment programs should test patients for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases as well as teach them about steps they can take to reduce their risk of these illnesses.

Kinds of Treatment-

  1. Inpatient/outpatient rehab and sober living homes

Inpatient rehab programs are designed to address each part of an individual’s addiction, in a substance-free facility where one can receive therapeutic support and medical care whenever they need it. Such programs work well for individuals who struggle with Substance Abuse Disorder or chronic addiction. Outpatient rehab programs are very similar to inpatient, with the exception that it allows patients to live at home. Since outpatient programs do not take place in a substance-free facility, patients do have a higher risk of coming into contact with triggers that challenge their sobriety, so such programs are more recommended for individuals who struggle with mild forms of addiction and are very committed to recovery. Sober living homes are usually used as a bridge between inpatient treatment and returning to normal life, as they can help people in recovery strengthen their new healthy habits while still residing in the comfort of a structured environment.

2. Detoxification

Detoxification assists individuals by helping them go through the withdrawal process safely until the substance or substances are no longer in their system. Detoxification is often the first step in the recovery process for individuals recovering from moderate to severe Substance Abuse and is rarely a stand-alone form of treatment.

3. Medication

Medication is typically used to help with the recovery process during detoxification and throughout treatment, and are most effective when taken along with participation in a comprehensive treatment plan. They can be used for reducing cravings, managing withdrawal symptoms, or treating co-occurring disorders. Make sure to consult a doctor to learn more about which medications will help you the most.

Styles of Therapy

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is useful for many different mental health issues, and with Substance Abuse Disorder, it is used to help recovering individuals expose thoughts or feelings that may be problematic. These areas of concern are brought up to inform the individual about issues that may contribute to relapse or compromise their sobriety. This form of therapy is also useful for treating co-occurring conditions, common among those struggling with substance abuse, and is the most recommended form of treatment by Dan Cooke, a clinician at Telebehavioral Health.US that specializes in Substance Abuse and Addiction.

2. Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing is a short-term counseling method that is designed to help individuals find internal motivation to change their behavior through a conversation with the interviewer about change and commitment. It does so by helping resolve insecurities and feelings of ambivalence that may be holding them back so that they are less resistant to change and can begin more specific types of therapy. This type of therapy is also highly recommended by Dan Cooke.

3. Biofeedback therapy

Biofeedback is a form of therapy that uses electronic sensors to monitor brain activity. Therapists review the brain wave patterns and then recommend a variety of psychological techniques that help individuals understand their body’s involuntary processes, and can be used to overcome addictions.

4. Experiential therapy

Experiential therapy uses expressive tools and activities like acting, music, animal care, or rock climbing as non-traditional treatment methods. The goal of this type of therapy is to identify emotions tied to disappointment, success, responsibility, and self-esteem, in order to overcome repressed feelings or memories that may have to do with addiction.

There are many options available for working against Substance Abuse Disorder, and it may take some time to figure out which kind is best for you or a loved one. To talk to Dan Cooke or one of our other clinicians about care, click here to set up an appointment.

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