Addiction Treatment – How The Process Works

Addiction treatment process

When an exceptional rehab program treats addiction as a disease, patients don’t just recover. They heal. Evidence-based addiction treatment starts working the moment a substance abuser asks for help. Drug rehabilitation professionals answer the cry by first appreciating the underlying motives that led to and fueled each patients’ addiction. They create an ideal treatment plan for that patient taking into account the substances they abused, how often they used them and for how long, their pre-existing medical conditions and their support system. Then from detox to aftercare, a successful recovery plan embraces several well-orchestrated therapeutic approaches.

Inpatient Addiction Treatment

Inpatient addiction treatment offers the most extensive care. The inpatient setting provides the medical, physical and emotional collaboration from a professional staff in a secure and healthy residential facility. In a group atmosphere, patient share housing, dining areas, amenities and many activities. Usually, patients with severe, long-lasting addictions are the best fit for this residential treatment with around-the-clock care. Residential inpatient stays usually range from 30 to 90 days. However, for patients with histories of multiple relapses or those with relentless addictions, their time as an inpatient may last longer. Inpatient rehab programs are an excellent choice for patients who lack the support from family and friends who will support and encourage a sober life. Patients can focus on recovery without in an environment that filters out many of the enticements of the world they are trying to leave behind.

After patients are admitted and evaluated, it’s time to start the difficult yet cleansing drug detox process. When people have perpetually used one or more addictive substances, their body develops a dependence. The start of the detox process is rather bland because it consists of merely abstaining. But a few hours into detox, a patient’s body start to miss the chemicals. Then they yearn for the drugs. The skirmish comes to life as the body purges itself, and the brain struggles to make radical adjustments. In some cases, it may be unsafe to abruptly discontinue certain drugs without administering medications such as Suboxone or methadone to ease the withdrawal symptoms. Now is the difficult stretch of time when patients battle with anxiety, insomnia, nausea, muscle aches, abdominal cramps, vomiting and diarrhea and nausea.

After a few trying days, patients pass through the acute detoxification phase. While their bodies will continue to detox, they will begin the transition to therapeutic recuperation which includes addiction therapy, counseling and group activities. With tools such as cognitive-behavioral therapy residents learn to identify triggers that make them crave their addictive substances. They figure out how to fend off their temptations and avoid falling back into their detrimental habits.
Over the next days and weeks, patients participate in the community with other people recuperating from their addiction. They engage in some activities to free their mind from their vices. Each residential facility offers its own unique mix of activities. Fortunately, the community recreation environment minimizes patients’ triggers as well as their urge to use. Inpatient addiction treatment often offers family programs wherein residents’ spouse, parents, or siblings participate. They attend counseling to address household challenges and participate in recreation to restore family ties.

Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Patients with mild to moderate addictions to drugs and alcohol may thrive in an outpatient rehab program. Especially if their initial evaluation indicates they are sincerely motivated to quit, recover, and heal. Outpatient addiction treatment programs are tailor-made to address the level of the participant’s addiction and the substances they abuse. But unlike inpatients, outpatient convalescents maintain the healthy aspects of their lives outside of rehab. Many participants still work, spend time with their families, and engage in their constructive hobbies.

Some of the most popular outpatient treatment modalities are day programs. Also called intensive outpatient programs (IOP), participants must commit to attending for five to seven days per week. They take part in ample counseling and other related therapies. Because patients visit their day programs so frequently, it’s easy for them to check in with doctors and therapists. IOPs require patients to engage in group counseling and individual therapy several times a week. They concentrate on challenges, and their counselors expect them to meet different milestones prior to each session. As they consistently hit milestones, gain strength, and buoy their confidence, patients prove themselves. Independence is their reward. The independence process also progressively reduces the number of therapy sessions the participant attends each week.

Among the two types of treatment, patients prefer outpatient treatment. They like the affordability and relative flexibility. Outpatient treatment also helps participants maintain their presence in their social and work worlds. They can still enjoy the company of supportive family and friends while benefitting from a medical process. The best of both worlds.

Evaluating a Rehab Program

How do potential patients and their loved ones size up an addiction treatment rehab program? Find out about the therapies the program offers. Make sure they have ample experience treating the addiction you’re confronting. If you have medical conditions, find out how much they can support your situation. Ask the team how they would transfer your care if your medical condition escalated beyond the level of the facility’s capabilities. You should also inquire about their aftercare therapy and services. How often will you return to participate in group or individual therapy? Will you have easy access to a specialist if you have a crisis or a trigger you cannot manage?

Find out about the care team and staff. Which doctors, physician assistants, or nurse practitioners will prescribe medications and manage the medical aspects of care? Who are the therapists and what is their training? Who are the nursing assistants, technicians, or unlicensed personnel who will work with the patient? Who is there at night?

The cost of an addiction treatment program is an important consideration. Is the care facility in your health plan’s network? If not, will your insurance pay for some of the treatment? Will there be any bills from outside services such as a consulting psychiatrist or laboratory? When do you pay your portion of the bill—the deductible or co-insurance? Are there financing options and payment plans?

It’s wise to validate potential addiction treatment programs by checking with outside sources. Find out if the center retains a license in good standing with your state. Ask other medical professionals about the facility’s reputation. As you look at online reviews, look beyond the number of stars. Listen to the words, experiences and feelings within the comments. If previous patients acknowledge that the staff seemed inflexible at times, that’s a great sign. Addiction treatment is arduous. And, patients and their families need a compassionate team that can flex to tough love when the recovering addict needs it the most.


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