Addiction Takes Place in Various Forms
There are many different forms of treatment and recovery programs available today for anyone suffering from addiction. It doesn't matter what form of addiction a person is living with in their life, the mental and physical effects that a person goes through are debilitating.
Unless a person can begin to understand their addiction and develop the skills they need to maintain abstinence, heal and recover their chance of relapse is high and their chance of long term recovery is diminished.
Yes, some people are just occasional problem drinkers, occasional substance users or just smoke pot once in a while and they're able to stop on their own with great success when they're ready but this isn't true for most people suffering from dependence or chronic addiction. It doesn't matter if the addiction is to illegal street drugs, prescription drugs, over the counter medications, alcohol, gambling, eating disorders, shopping addiction or any other form of addiction. In order to really get a grip on your own unique addiction, education and changes in the way we think, behave, and react to stress and daily challenges needs to be addressed.
Mental Health Issues and Addiction (Co-occurring Disorders)
We also have to take into consideration that a lot of people suffer from mental illness which can play a big role in addiction. It's not an excuse for a person using drugs, drinking alcohol, abusing any other substance, overeating, compulsive gambling behavior or any other addiction but mental health disorders are common among people suffering from addiction. It's imperative that major depression, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or any other mental health illness be taken into consideration during a person's recovery from addiction and substance abuse.
First Phase of Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction
To make sure your recovery from any form of addiction is successful most people need to have a healthy support system in their life to help them overcome their addictive behaviors. Besides a positive support system if the individual is dependent on drugs or alcohol, they need to detox in order to begin their road to recovery. The first phase of treatment for anyone stopping their use of drugs or alcohol is detoxification if they suffer from alcoholism or drug addiction. The body needs to be cleansed of the chemicals it has become dependent on before they can begin to recover, focus on healing, and maintain their abstinence.
It depends on a person's level of addiction, their drug or drugs of choice and most especially their health as to what form of detox is best. Some people need to be hospitalized if their health is an issue while others can successfully detox at a professional detoxification center, outpatient detox and treatment program or residential inpatient detox, treatment and recovery facility. Many treatment programs specialize in detoxification keeping their clients safe and comfortable during this time and the patient is taken care of by a professional medical staff during this process.
Some detoxification programs provide medications to help their clients detox comfortably during this process. Medications are provided by medical professionals to help with cravings and withdrawal symptoms that are experienced during detoxification. Many detox and recovery treatment programs perform full mental and physical evaluations to ensure their patients emotional and physical safety as they go through the process of ridding their bodies of the toxins, chemicals and drugs.
Full assessments (evaluations) also help to determine whether or not a person is suffering with a mental health illness as well. It's important that if an individual is suffering from addiction as well as a mental health issue, both illnesses be treated at the same time. If not, you're only treating half of the individual's illness and it can be next to impossible to fully recover and maintain sobriety for any length of time.
Medications for Withdrawal Symptoms
Medications can be administered to the patient during the detoxification process and there are many different detox centers and treatment programs available today that administer medications to help with depression, anxiety, tremors and other symptoms experienced during this time. No two people are alike nor or their withdrawal symptoms exactly the same, detox treatment needs to be individualized to make sure the clients own personal needs are addressed and their emotional and physical safety is considered at all times.
Medications (FDA Approved) to Manage Cravings and Withdrawal Symptoms During Detoxification and Treatment
Many detox and substance abuse treatment centers provide medications for their clients to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms experienced from opioid and alcohol addiction. Medications like methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone are very effective when treating opiate addiction. These medications relieve cravings and reduce withdrawal symptoms during detox and are many times continued during treatment (phase 2) so the client can focus on their healing and recovery more successfully.
Medications that are also FDA approved for treating alcohol dependence include naltrexone, Acamprosate and Disulfiram. Not all detox centers and treatment and recovery facilities provide their clients with these medications to manage their symptoms from opiate or alcohol addiction but there are many available that do.
There are 3 phases of treatment that are effective for treating substance abuse dependence and chronic addiction. Phase 1 is detoxification, phase 2 is education and recovery treatment, and phase 3 is managing long term recovery. Many recovery programs provide their clients with aftercare when their substance abuse treatment program is completed to help ensure their long term recovery success.
Next week we will talk about Phase 2 which consists of addiction education, dual diagnosis (co-occurring disorder), and the changes that need to take place in a person's life in order to successfully maintain sobriety and have long term recovery success.