People struggling with addiction don’t fully understand what an addiction treatment center can do to help them get off drugs or alcohol.
They know the basics—that treatment facilities are places to go to get help. But that doesn’t explain how they do it, and it almost gives the impression that if they go to an addiction center and get treatment, at the end they’ll walk away clean with no desire to ever use again.
However, this is not the case. Although it is entirely possible to get off drugs or alcohol, it can be a struggle.
What an addiction treatment center can do
All addiction treatment centers have the same goal in mind – to get addicts off drugs or alcohol. They just offer different options to achieve this.
To help explain, we will look at the main options offered by addiction treatment centers. Some only offer one, while others have a mixture.
Medical detox for severe alcoholics
Some alcoholics (who have been drinking heavily for weeks, months or years) go through what is called withdrawal syndrome when they stop their alcohol consumption. It is a potentially life-threatening condition, so they need medical attention.
Symptoms can start even two hours after the last drink and can range from shakiness and mild anxiety to severe problems, such as seizures and delirium tremens (DTs). DTs are characterized by a rapid heartbeat, fever and confusion.
Alcoholics who experience any of these symptoms require a medical detox treatment center.
Residential inpatient addiction treatment
This type of treatment is when a patient lives at a center for a set time – from 30 days to 1 year. This treatment is best suited to alcoholics and drug addicts with a long history of abuse. These facilities usually also offer detox for non-severe withdrawals – irritability, depression, fatigue, etc.
Intensive outpatient addiction treatment programs
With this type of treatment program, recovering addicts and alcoholics carry on with their daily lives, but regularly attend meetings—usually at least 3 days a week for 2 to 4 hours each time. It is best suited to addicts and alcoholics who can’t take time off work, or have other responsibilities that prevent them from going away for months at a time for treatment.
Sober living homes
After attending residential treatment, recovering addicts can move into a sober living home to help them integrate into their addiction free lifestyle. These treatment facilities are best suited to addicts who are easily influenced by others and need extra help dealing with daily challenges.
All treatment centers use counseling as part of their treatment program, but on different levels.
As we mentioned at the beginning, treatment doesn’t make everything all better. All patients getting treatment at addiction centers need counselling during all stages of recovery, but most importantly after treatment.
Counseling is more effective when it is combined with treatment programs and aftercare, rather than just on its own. A psychologist or therapist helps recovering individuals seek out and find the main root of their addiction. This can help them understand how to deal with these issues. Counseling sessions can be one-on-one, in groups, or family-oriented, depending on the treatment center.
Medication for treatment
Some facilities use medication as part of treatment to re-establish normal brain function. For example, FDA approved alcohol dependency medications are naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram.
Drug and alcohol treatment
As part of the treatment and recovery process, treatment centers deal with and teach the following:
• Get the patient to admit he or she has a problem that he or she can’t control in his or her current state,
• Figure out why the addiction started,
• Take a moral inventory and examine past errors,
• Make amends to those hurt by those errors ,
• Work on building confidence,
• Techniques to make healthy decisions and learn to live a new life with a new code of behavior,
• Provide the opportunity to share their struggles with, and help other addicts,
• Talk about their problems to resolve them, and
• Keep them from using
Understanding addiction treatment centers can do to help you take the appropriate steps to taking control of your life.