There are several ways to combat addiction, and the treatments are never one-size-fits-all. As each person suffering from dependence is different, so too are the treatments. It is important to find the right treatment for your condition along with one that will have lasting results.
Some individuals need more structure such as an intensive inpatient program, while others do well on a self-guided journey to recovery with minimal help from an outpatient program.
Below are 7 solutions and treatments for addiction that everyone should know before choosing a program or path for themselves.
1. Treatment Availability
Because many individuals are reluctant to get assistance, there needs to be help available when they are ready. If you know someone who needs support while dealing with a substance or drug dependence, you can research options for them. This way, when they are ready for help, you will have a list ready for them to take advantage of and get better faster.
If at first, the family member is reluctant to enter an inpatient facility, you may suggest an outpatient program. Although not as rigid as an inpatient stay, the outpatient programs are daily and long. It is like a job they go to, but they are not getting paid and they are working on their drug or alcohol issues. And it is work, there is no doubt about that.
2. Treat the Entire Person
Many times, a person addicted to drugs or alcohol also suffers from depression or another mental illness. It is important to find a health care program that will treat all of the person’s ailments, not only the addiction. This can only happen if there is a strategy for separating each of their problems and then addressing the issues individually.
A treatment program must address not only the individual’s addiction but any physical, psychological, legal and vocational issues. This means the facility will help the person with any of their legal problems by recommending a lawyer or helping them enter the legal aid system. They will also help them learn a new skill for work purposes or help them in job hunting with the skills they already possess.
The patient needs to allow evaluation on a continuous basis during their stay as well as their ongoing care after their release. This will allow the doctors and those helping the individual adjust to different levels of sobriety.
The way an individual feels on the first day of their sobriety is not going to be the same as they feel a few months into a program. As their body changes, so too does circumstances. They may not have a job or home to go to after a stay in a rehabilitation center. These types of stresses can trigger cravings for their drug of choice as a coping mechanism. This is where their training to be a sober person comes into play.
4. Help with the Changes
An individual going through rehabilitation will need supervision and support the entire length of their stay as an inpatient or during their outpatient classes. The patient would be assigned a sponsor and/or a therapist to help them deal with the many changes going on in their lives as well as with their bodies.
5. Add Medications
In addition to intense therapy, many doctors will prescribe medications to help an individual suffering from withdrawal symptoms. There are many different medications for whatever addition the person is suffering from. Naltrexone, Methadone, and Buprenorphine are examples of effective medication for those who are addicted to Opioids, heroin or other hard drugs.
For those suffering from alcohol abuse, Naltrexone, Acamprosate and Disulfiram can be helpful with their specific symptoms of withdrawal.
No matter the addiction, medication is only one component of treatment. Comprehensive behavioral therapy is another method that works well with medications and surrounding the patient with love and understanding.
6. Address the Guilt
Many persons with addiction will blame themselves, and this will only compound their suffering. It is important that the individual suffering from addiction know that they have a disease. Addiction is a disease and therefore can be cured.
The person entering a drug rehab program will need to know they will have to work hard, every day, and for the rest of their life, to overcome their addiction. They also need to know it is possible to overcome addiction, and there may be a time or two, or even more where they will relapse.
Learning about relapses is an important component of the recovery process. No one is perfect, everyone can and most likely will revert back to their old habits. There is no shame in slipping up, there is no shame in being human.
The most important thing when dealing with relapses is to move on and don’t dwell on the slip-up. Each new day is a new chance to overcome addiction and become a better person. Starting over can be daunting, but it’s the only option for those who want to be a recovered addict.
7. Including the Entire Family
Addiction causes pain to everyone, not simply the person with the problem. It is important to locate a facility that helps the entire family while helping the individual.
A teenager with an addiction issue is going to have a different family structure and dynamic than an older person in charge of their family. Family therapy groups address each of the family members concerns and how they can aid their loved one in recovery and making a meaningful reentry into their family.
Addiction is a complex yet treatable disease if the patient is willing to help him or herself. However, the patient need not be so willing in the beginning. Many treatment facilities will accept a patient that has been brought in by family members who have stepped in to save their lives.
If an individual cannot sustain their detoxification level on their own with an outpatient program, they will need to become an inpatient for the best results.