Drug Addiction Treatment Explained

Getting help for drug addiction is often such an intimidating idea that many addicts continue to use rather than expose themselves to the embarrassment or pain that they have associated with reaching out to someone for help. This is in large part due to the fact that television, books and movies have portrayed drug rehab centers in such a negative light that the reality is actually quite incomprehensibly different than these depictions. Millions of people have gotten help for addiction and gone on to lead productive and fulfilling lives free from the bonds of substance abuse. However, there are plenty still who delayed treatment for one reason or another and suffered severe consequences by doing so. Because addiction is a progressive and often fatal disease, understanding how simple and effective addiction treatment is can provide the motivation needed to get help right now.

The first step as part of any drug addiction treatment plan is detox. Detox refers to a process where the body goes through physical changes as it purges its system of illicit substances. Because people who are physically dependent on drugs cannot function normally without them, detox must be done in a professional medical facility in order to manage and treat the sometimes dangerous symptoms that can develop as the body attempts to normalize itself. Detox usually lasts between 7 to 14 days and includes medication to treat symptoms and professional addiction counseling to initiate the emotional and mental part of the treatment process.

There are three general types of addiction treatment that a person will undergo after they complete detox:

1.) Residential Inpatient Substance Abuse Treatment – The most intense type of treatment, residential inpatient centers focus on reality-based therapies to provide critical life skills that a recovering addict will need to maintain a lifetime of sobriety. Patients live and receive treatment in the same supervised facility, generally for about 28 days before returning to their homes or transferring to a step-down program.

2.) Partial Hospitalization Program or Day/Night Treatment – An intermediary step, PHP or Day/Night programs provide intensive therapies during the day and supervised clean and sober living arrangements in the evening. These programs vary greatly in length and can be as long as 90 days or whatever the patient needs.

3.) Outpatient Treatment – This is a transitional type of drug addiction treatment that provides professional therapies several times a week, sometimes coupled with independent or semi-supervised substance-free living arrangements.

In order to be successful these programs will need to focus on two primary areas of treatment: Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome and Denial Management, both of which are critical to a long-term recovery plan. PAWS and Denial Management are primarily addressed with family, group and individual therapy programs. These therapies are also essential to building skills and support networks as a further sobriety safety net.

If you’ve been suffering with addiction but are hesitant to take the first step for whatever reason, you should know that you are not alone. You can reach out right now and place a confidential phone call to get more information. Why wait?