What is Addiction Treatment?

In 2000 only, more than 300,000 Americans checked into addiction treatment programs in New York. Other reports show that hundreds of thousands are enrolled in such programs on any given day. This goes to show the importance of recovery services for substance use disorders, or addiction.

Understanding Chemical Dependence

Chemical dependence is one of the main reasons why you might want to seek addiction treatment services. However, these services continue evolving as a result of new advances and research in the treatment of substance use disorders.

According to recent scientific studies, for instance chemical dependence is now considered to be a disease of the brain. This is because chronic exposure to drugs and alcohol can lead to changes in the brain that are as fundamental as they are long lasting.

Other studies have also shown that chemical dependence is a relapsing and chronic disease. It can cause changes in your behavior. As such, it is now classified alongside other similar conditions like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.

That said, addiction treatment is effective in reducing and eventually eliminating all the symptoms of substance abuse. As long as you comply with treatment, you should be able to overcome your addiction in the long term. However, this will also require that you continue making permanent behavioral changes to ensure that you do not relapse.

Although abstinence from all intoxicating and mind altering substances is the primary goal of addiction treatment, the success of your treatment can also be seen in various outcomes. These include but are not limited to decreased criminal activity and increased productivity.

Evaluation of treatment outcomes has also demonstrated the fact that some treatment techniques tend to bring out more durable and sustainable changes. They can, for instance, help you establish and maintain the gains that you made through addiction treatment.

For instance, NIDA - the National Institute of Drug Abuse - reports that effective addiction treatment can reduce drug use and addiction by as much as anything between 40 and 60 percent. The same institute found that activity in the criminal justice system can decrease significantly both during and after you receive treatment.

Further, effective treatment can improve employment possibilities and opportunities - with gains of more than 40 percent for most people. This means that dealing with addiction is something that you should serious consider if you are to turn your life around.

The Evolving Field of Addiction Treatment

The services provided by most drug rehabs have been evolving for many years now. In particular, this evolution has been seen both in the organization and in the design of recovery services.

Some years ago, for instance, most states had separate types of care for people with drug abuse and alcohol abuse problems. These types of care often used different ways to describe the disorders that they were treating, as well as the services that they would provide.

For several years now, however, both alcohol use and substance use disorders are treated in similar ways. As a result, it is now possible for you to find facilities that offer both forms of treatment within the same program.

Additionally, the language used in the field of addiction treatment has been evolving. For instance, terms like substance abuse, drug abuse, alcoholism, and alcohol abuse are being replaced by other terms such as chemical dependence, chemical abuse, and addiction.

In the same way, the services offered in addiction treatment have started reflecting these changes in the models of recovery. As a result, it is now possible to find specialized treatment programs focusing on women with children, high risk teens, and people dealing with both addiction and mental health disorders.

Dealing with Chemical Dependence

You might start using drugs and drinking alcohol without suffering any problems. However, this might also turn out to be difficult for you. As a result, your first time experimenting with these intoxicating and mind altering substances could lead to the slippery slope of addiction.

In the field of addiction treatment, you might get to a point where you can be referred to as a chemical abuser. At some point in your substance abuse, you might be able to quit these drugs and turn your life around. This could allow you to deal with all the negative effects of your drug taking.

If you are unable to modify your behavior effectively, or if your substance use continues being problematic, it is recommended that you enroll in a formal addiction treatment program. This way, you will be able to receive the formal treatment interventions that could help you overcome your substance use disorder.

Even so, you should keep in mind that chemical dependence can be complex. In many cases, it will be characterized by uncontrollable and compulsive drug seeking, use, and cravings. These issues will continue persisting even when you start experiencing negative consequences as a result.

In effect, addiction is a chronic disorder that comes with a high risk of relapse. It can also lead to a wide variety of mental and physical health side effects. Further, there is a high risk that your addiction could have negative effects on your interpersonal relationships and productivity. This is because the condition often results in both behavioral and physical manifestations.

Treatment for Addictive Disorders

Since addiction is such a complex disorder, it is essential that you seek professional addiction treatment. Effective treatment will often be comprised of interventions designed to address your interpersonal relationships, mental health, and physical health.

To this end, it is essential that you choose a treatment process that is comprehensive. This effectively means that the process should be able to address the various complex and multiple needs that you display over the course of your substance abuse and addiction.

There are some components that should be essential in any addiction treatment program for it to be deemed effective. Some of these components of treatment might be recommended for you while others will not. They include but are not limited to:

  • Comprehensive evaluation and assessment to check the nature of your substance use as well as determine your needs and strengths so that a proper diagnosis can be made
  • Detoxification, designed to provide medical management for your withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings
  • Highly individualized treatment plans developed with you and modified according to the progress you make in your addiction treatment
  • Pharmacological therapy
  • Monitoring your continued abstinence from all intoxicating and mind altering substances
  • Behavioral therapy
  • Clinical case management
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Continuing care
  • Educational assistance
  • Peer group support to complement the professional treatment services that you received
  • Self-help support
  • Vocational assistance

Addiction Evaluation

When you check into an addiction treatment facility, you will undergo thorough evaluation to diagnose your substance use disorder. Diagnosis will also try to check if you have any other co-occurring mental health and medical disorders.

The goal of assessment is to ensure that the addiction treatment program can help you create an appropriate treatment plan. This is why it is performed by highly qualified and experienced professionals. The plan, on the other hand, would be developed in such a way that it can address all the various aspects of your substance abuse and addiction.

Although the addiction treatment program might not provide you with all the services that you require, they can ensure that you have a proper treatment plan. This could involve referrals to other providers of the services that you might need in your recovery.

Detoxification Services

After the evaluation stage, you will be required to undergo medically managed detoxification programs. The goal of detoxification is to help you overcome your chemical and physical dependence.

It can also provide you with ongoing supervision and monitoring. This way, you will be able to get the help that you need when you develop adverse symptoms of withdrawal and drug cravings.

By the end of the detoxification period, you should no longer be physically dependent on your favorite intoxicating and mind altering substances. This way, you can continue with the rest of your addiction treatment.

Therapy and Counseling

Often, you need to deal with more than just your physical dependence on drugs and alcohol. To this end, most addiction treatment will offer a wide variety of services to address all the other aspects of your substance abuse.

Through counseling and therapy, the treatment center can ensure that you are able to deal with your psychological, behavioral, and emotional dependence on drugs and alcohol.

Additionally, these rehabilitation services can address other issues linked to your substance abuse and addiction. These issues include but are not always limited to the following:

  • Child care advice
  • Educational services
  • Financial assistance
  • Housing provision
  • Legal help
  • Mental health
  • Parenting skills
  • Physical health
  • Prevocational services
  • Strengthening the family
  • Transportation services
  • Work readiness

Quality addiction treatment can also address all the other health concerns that you might have developed over the course of your substance abuse. For instance, the facility could help you deal with tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and any other conditions that you may have.

Overall, the goal of addiction treatment is to ensure that you have dealt with your substance abuse and dependence. However, it can also address every other aspect of your life that might have been touched by addiction. By so doing, the program can effectively reduce your risk of relapse and increase your ability to achieve long lasting recovery and abstinence.









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