If you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms and cravings for a substance you have been using for the past several months, then you probably have substance use disorder, otherwise known as an addiction. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers work with people struggling with substance addiction to help them return to a stable life without a dependence on drugs or alcohol. These addiction centers use scientifically based approaches to determine the severity of your addiction and apply the appropriate treatments that will most benefit you.
The main goals of treatment are to help you move past the withdrawal symptoms, learn skills to avoid relapse, and restore any social or familial relationships that may have been broken through your past drug use behaviors. Multiple types of therapies are used in combination because addiction is complex and is overcome in gradual steps, not overnight. Understanding the steps of this treatment process helps you prepare for what is to come if you decide to enter drug rehabilitation.
Many suffering with an addiction may seek help from their general doctor first to see if there is any medicine to fight off the withdrawal symptoms. The person may explain around their addiction and try to make their symptoms seem like something else to avoid trouble or social stigma. Anxiety, depression, and muscle pains may be the first symptoms they describe. However, doctors are trained to recognize various disorders and if your doctor suspects that you have been abusing drugs, they may order a urine test to see if you have recently used any addictive substances.
Your doctor will most likely refer you to a mental health professional for further assessment because diagnosing substance use disorder is considered the job of someone trained in psychology, not medicine.
The mental health professional you are referred to will interview you to collect information about your basic history, background, and current mental state. They may have you take a paper or computer assessment to determine more about your mental health. If they conclude that you have an addiction, they will ask you questions about how long you have been using the substance, what withdrawal symptoms you have been experiencing, how many times you have relapsed, and other questions to determine the severity of your addiction. This is key for determining what level of treatment in drug rehabilitation you will need.
Medically Supervised Detox
After your mental health professional refers you to a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, you will either be accepted as an outpatient who goes home after treatment, or an inpatient, who stays overnight at the hospital. Either way, the first step you will need to go through is to detox your body of the substance you have been using. This is necessary to help your body start healing. Medically supervised detox is the technique of managing the withdrawal symptoms you will experience while your body heals.
You will be given different medications like Methadone, benzodiazepines, anticonvulsants, or other drugs, depending on what substance you are addicted to and how severe your withdrawal is. Some of these medications will serve as a safe substitute drug with a longer high to help you gradually ween off the drug while others will induce unpleasant feelings if you use a substance like alcohol again, to discourage you from drinking in the future. Other medications are solely used to decrease certain withdrawal effects like seizures.
After going through detox, you will start going to different therapy sessions, that are usually one-on-one meetings with a therapist. Different therapists may used different techniques to help you move on from your addiction, avoid relapse, and build up your social life again. Behavioral therapists will use motivational interviewing, contingency management, and relapse prevention training.
Motivational interviewing works to increase a patient’s motivation to continue treatment by helping the person feel less ambivalent about whether they need help for their addiction. Contingency management rewards patients when they remain drug-free to increase that behavior and any other healthy behaviors. Relapse prevention training guides the person to figure out exactly what environmental cues trigger a relapse and then teaches coping skills to avoid urges to relapse when those cues pop up again in the future.
During or after much of the one-on-one sessions with a therapist, many drug rehabilitation centers offer group therapies like group counseling sessions, 12-step programs, and family therapy. Group counseling provides people the opportunity to hear other people’s experiences while battling addiction, which may help someone feel less alone and more motivated to maintain abstinence.
12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NC) work in a similar way but they include 12 steps to accomplish, which revolve around the idea that only a higher spiritual power can help you overcome addiction. This takes pressure off the person, emphasizes honesty, and strengthens morality by having clients makes amends to those they have harmed through their addiction.
Family Therapy is for those whose family has been negatively affected and fractured by a loved one’s drug abuse. This approach helps the loved one avoid relapse by restoring strong family relationships with members who are taught how to keep their loved one in check.
Aftercare programs are offered to people after they have been discharged from treatment and serve to help them adjust back to the real world. Part of this involves finding a job, a place to live, and moving out from the place they once abused drugs because being reminded of your drug use increases chances of relapse.
Where to Find an Effective Treatment Program
At the Recover, we understand the pains of addiction and how this can significantly disrupt your life. Others around you may not understand what you are dealing with and how strong the temptations to continue using are. You do not have to face these struggles alone because there are several types of psychological approaches that are designed to help you break free.
The Recover is an unbiased substance abuse and mental health news provider that offers people helpful information on substance addiction. We also provide information about West Virginia centers for addiction recovery. If you suspect that you have a substance addiction, then contact us today at (888) 510-3898 to talk with a treatment specialist who can help you find a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center that fits your needs.