Psychoactive drugs have been consumed since the earliest human civilizations, and there is proof that shows these early societies having a taste for addictive substances. Historically, these substances have been used by priests in religious ceremonies, healers for medicinal purposes, or the general population in a socially approved fashion. Those who preceded us today refined more potent drugs and learned faster methods of administration, which continued to help the abuse of some substances blossom.
Loss of control of a substance was already being discussed in the 17th century, and the complexities of addiction have been well-documented for quite some time. Is treatment moral or medical? Does the substance cause it, or is it caused by someone’s vulnerability and psychology, or social factors? Should drugs be legal or regulated?
In 2015, an estimated 27.1 million people aged 12 or older were current illicit drug users, which represents 10.1 percent of the population. When said in another way, it means that one in 10 individuals aged 12 or older used illicit drugs in the past month in the United States. According to the same study, approximately 2.2 million adolescents aged 12 to 17 were current users of illegal drugs, representing 8.8 percent of this age group.
While the world has a long history of drug use, the country has seen a significant rise in the use and abuse of opioid drugs. The country is currently experiencing a drug crisis unlike we’ve ever seen, and nearly 130 people die each day from opioid overdoses around the country. While the outcome may seem bleak, the science behind addiction treatment continues to evolve.
There are at least 14,500 addiction treatment centers scattered throughout the United States that offer specialized services for addiction recovery. Some of these include behavioral therapy, medication, and case management among many others. With the vast choices, it often makes it difficult to determine which program will be the most effective for you.
To answer this question, there is no definitive answer because addiction treatment is a tailored and customized program. To find the best plan for you, clinicians need to thoroughly assess your case and make the determination what will fit your most pressing needs. It will not be the same for everyone.
The best program will be one that meets the needs of your situation. You may be asking yourself, “well, what is that?” It all depends on your age, drug of choice, how long you’ve been using, your support system, legal problems, among many other issues. To ensure you receive the help you need, all of these factors must be addressed. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective programs in treatment.
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As you look for treatment programs that best suit your needs, consider programs that offer the following:
Recovering from addiction includes understanding the root cause and how it works. The courses you take will cover the effects that addiction can have on your physical and mental health, as well as relationships.
Addiction is a chronic, lifelong disease that must be managed to ensure long-term sobriety. Learning strategies to avoid returning to drug and alcohol use is crucial. Achieving and maintaining sobriety is always the goal, but the reality is relapse is a part of the process. Unfortunately, 40 to 60 percent of those in recovery will relapse, but going through this does not mean treatment has failed. It allows the client and clinicians to readjust the treatment plan to fulfill the current needs.
It’s common for individuals to think they have a drug or alcohol problem alone, but they fail to understand that their mental health disorder that’s never been adequately diagnosed is fueling their drug use. Depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorders along with drug use are called co-occuring disorders, comorbidity, or dual-diagnosis. Treatment is designed to address and treat both of these at the same time. They will speak about the complications that arise from both, which is essential because failing to address both concurrently can diminish the effectiveness of treatment.
Altering addiction patterns begins with changing the thoughts and behaviors that feed the addiction. Behavioral therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), helps clients find now and empowering thoughts to replace the ones that accompany addiction.
Starting a new life requires us to look within ourselves and begin the healing process. Individual therapy promotes personal accountability and helps clients get to the root of their issues that contribute to their drug and alcohol use.
Addiction is often referred to as a family disease, and no one goes through it alone. It is essential to Include the client’s family in treatment in overcoming substance abuse. It allows the family to voice their feelings about how they’ve been affected and begin healing for everyone involved.
Group therapy sessions place individuals all on the same path to sobriety in a common area to share their experiences. These sessions can also allow the clients not to feel isolated or that they’re alone in their treatment. The meetings provide outlets and opportunities for growth and support during the treatment process and when it ends.
Entering into reality after treatment is a new beginning that can be overwhelming. The client is starting over from scratch as they regain their status in society. Life skills training allows the client to improve their job, social, and communication skills. Anger management, stress management, goal setting, and money management may all be offered in a life skills training program.
It’s imperative to receive support post-treatment. At this stage of recovery, joining an alumni group or 12-step groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. These programs allow individuals to stay focused on abstinence and avoid triggers that can lead to relapse.
As we discussed earlier, it will be at the discretion of the clinician to determine which course of treatment is the best for you; however, when considering treatment, searching for a facility that includes the above-listed options will typically offer the most effective treatment.
Here at California Highlands Addiction Treatment, we know how damaging substance addiction can be, both for the drug user and those who care about the individual that is using. To adequately treat your addiction or anyone’s addiction, early detection is critical.
If you or someone you know is suffering from alcohol or drug addiction, waiting before seeking treatment can be dangerous as addiction left untreated only gets worse. Call us at (866) 991-1676 or contact us online and let us help you find treatment the right way—the client-first California Highlands way.
Mayo Clinic. (2019, March 16). Cognitive behavioral therapy. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cognitive-behavioral-therapy/about/pac-20384610
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). Principles of Effective Treatment. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/principles-effective-treatment
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, January 22). Opioid Overdose Crisis. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids/opioid-overdose-crisis
Center for Behavioral Health Statistics. (n.d.). Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States:Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FFR1-2015/NSDUH-FFR1-2015/NSDUH-FFR1-2015.htm#illicit01
NCBI. (2007, December). Historical and cultural aspects of man's relationship with addictive drugs. Crocq, M. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3202501/