Drug Rehab and Treatment

The 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), has some alarming facts about drug use in the United States. About 53.2 million people aged 12 or older—or 1 out of 5 people within that demographic—had used illicit drugs in the past year.
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Drug addiction continues to be a serious health problem in the United States. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics (NCDAS), approximately 20.3 million Americans above the age of 12 suffered from substance use disorders in 2018. Of this demographic. 8.1 million struggled with an addiction to an illegal drug, and 2 million struggled with opioid disorders (including those involving prescription pain relievers).

Addiction takes a severe toll on American families and communities, as well as the nation’s federal health and justice systems. Up to 750,000 deaths from drug overdose have been recorded in the US since 1999. Drug and alcohol addiction combined exact more than $740 billion each year in US healthcare costs, crime costs, and lost productivity. Drug use is also becoming more familiar among American youths. In 2018, 47% of American students had tried an illegal drug before even graduating from high school.

As of 2018, almost 19 million Americans older than 12 required some form of treatment from a substance use disorder. However, few among those who had a problem were able to seek and receive proper treatment. For example, for 15.1 million American adults aged 26 years old and up who needed treatment, only 3 million of them actually received it. Some find it difficult to attend to treatment because of financial difficulties or lack of access to a nearby treatment facility. Others fear going to rehab or enrolling a loved one in a rehab because of the misconceptions they have about the concept of drug rehabilitation.

If you have a loved one who is coming to terms with their addiction and needs help, the best time to act is now. A drug rehabilitation program will support their recovery from substance use disorder, as well as related physical ailments or mental illnesses coexisting with the disorder. With a combination of drug detoxification, medication-assisted treatment, behavioral therapies, and other modalities, your loved one can prepare themselves for a second shot at life.

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Through the Better Addiction Care network, you can find out which type of rehab suits your loved one best and what goes on during rehab. We also have extensive listings for local treatment centers and support groups you can contact. Turn the numbers around, and give your loved one a fighting chance against their substance use disorder by learning more about drug rehabilitation and treatment.

Staging an Intervention

Before drug rehabilitation and treatment begins in earnest, however, you, your family members, your friends, or other parties directly affected by the disorder must stage an intervention. Interventions can be quite difficult because it can engender a lot of anger, resentment, frustration, or disappointment. It may not be easy to stage an intervention when these feelings are mixed in. The person who needs help the most may feel backed into a corner and ultimately refuse to get treatment at all.

That said, there are proper steps to holding an intervention for a loved one suffering from substance use disorder. Those participating in the intervention must be both mentally and emotionally prepared to bring up the problem. They must also remember to emphasize getting help and avoiding blame or accusation.

You can either take charge of the intervention with your family or hire a professional interventionist, who can guide you through the process. Essentially, the process will look like this:

  • Enlist the support of the other people mentioned above and plan a location and time for the intervention.
  • Find and share resources about the nature of drug addiction and what happens in drug rehab and treatment programs. It’s good for everyone involved to have a working understanding of these before the intervention.
  • Rehearse what you will be saying to your loved one. Think of any questions or apprehensions they may have to you proposing rehab, and prepare to address them compassionately, but truthfully.
  • Encourage those involved to talk about the negative impact the person’s substance use disorder has had on them. The goal is for the person to realize the damage that the addiction has wrought and to want to repair their broken relationships with others. The other parties must remember that this is an opportunity to share points of improvement, not to throw personal attacks.
  • Propose an action plan detailing the type of rehab program that would be best. It would help to have the tentative location and treatment plan already available. Gently, but firmly inform the person that there will be consequences to their relationships if they do not seek help.

Not all interventions are guaranteed to succeed 100%. It may even take some time for the person to accept the gravity of the problem and to willingly go to treatment. However, you musn’t  give up. Follow up on the need for treatment, and don’t lose hope that they could eventually heal from substance use disorder. Once everyone’s on the same level about the good that drug rehab and treatment could do for the person, that will be a considerable victory against addiction.

Rehab Facilities for People with Substance Use Disorder

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to drug rehabilitation and treatment. The best type of program really depends on the person’s situation. But all types of drug rehab programs can be classified into one of two categories: inpatient rehabilitation and outpatient rehabilitation.

Here’s a briefer on the two kinds of drug rehab. Knowing more about them will make it easier for you to choose the appropriate treatment plan for your loved one.

Inpatient Rehabilitation

Inpatient rehabilitation is likely what you picture in your head when you hear the word “rehab.” This type of arrangement involves being checked into a treatment facility 24/7, just like for a hospital stay. What distinguishes inpatient rehabilitation from outpatient rehabilitation is the presence of round-the-clock medical care and a highly structured treatment regimen. The patient at a facility like this must stay on premises for the entire duration of their program. Intensive inpatient programs usually last between 28 days and 6 months.

Once enrolled in an inpatient rehab treatment program, the patient will typically undergo the following:

  • Exhaustive medical and psychiatric assessment towards the formulation of a customized treatment plan
  • Medically supervised detoxification
  • Additional medical treatment as needed
  • Individual therapies
  • Group therapies
  • Counseling activities
  • Other activities to supplement their health and wellbeing, such as exercise and education about substance use disorder

This type of drug rehab is often the best course of action for moderate to severe drug addictions. It should also be considered if the person has undergone less intensive treatment before, but is experiencing a relapse. Inpatient rehab is also the recommended type of rehab for patients who are struggling with co-occurring medical conditions, like a mental health disorder. With this kind of arrangement, they will receive commensurate medical care both for these conditions and for their addiction.

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Outpatient Rehabilitation

The other option for those struggling with substance use disorder is outpatient drug rehabilitation and treatment. If inpatient rehabilitation is like being confined in a hospital for treatment, outpatient rehabilitation is like visiting a clinic for routine treatments. Unlike inpatient rehab, outpatient rehab can be done on a live-out basis. The patient can freely move from the treatment center to their home and come for their appointments on an as-needed basis. Outpatient rehab is usually spread out longer than inpatient rehab and takes between 3 months and a year to complete.

While enrolled in an outpatient program, the patient is likely to go through this process:

  • Medical and psychiatric assessment to determine enrollment for one of the following:
    • a standard outpatient program, which requires attendance for an hour or two each day and individual therapy for at least one hour a week
    • an intensive outpatient program, which requires more hours of engagement and therapy a week
    • a partial hospitalization plan, which requires the patient to spend between 6 and 8 hours each day at the center and attend therapy for at least one hour a week
  • Medically supervised detoxification
  • Individual therapies
  • Group therapies
  • Counseling activities
  • Referrals to other care providers outside of the outpatient treatment facility

This type of arrangement is ideal for those whose condition is still mild. It allows for patients to be more mobile and attend to work, school, and family duties while receiving treatment. It’s also less expensive than inpatient treatment, which demands a higher cost because of lodging and extent of 24/7 medical care.

Drug Detoxification and Addiction Withdrawal Management

One of the biggest hurdles for the patient to clear, whether they’re in an inpatient or outpatient drug rehab program, is withdrawal. Common withdrawal symptoms that they will have to prepare for are nausea, anxiety, changes in appetite, irritability, sweating, insomnia, and tremors among others. Severe symptoms include hallucinations or seizures.

Withdrawal shouldn’t be managed alone, and it is best addressed in a medical environment with expert supervision. At rehab, a patient will undergo two processes to weather out their withdrawal symptoms: drug detoxification, or detox, and addiction withdrawal management.

What is Drug Detox?

Drug detox is the popularly coined term for when a person’s body eases a regularly consumed drug out of their system. Most Americans assume that rehab only involves detoxing, but the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) has since distinguished detoxification from withdrawal management.

According to ASAM, detoxification is when the liver naturally cleanses toxins from the body. In the context of drug addiction, the liver will react to the sudden reduction of a drug intake and throw the body out of balance. This is what results in the physically and emotionally taxing symptoms that characterize withdrawal.

While this is happening in the patient’s body, it’s recommended for medical professionals like doctors and nurses to initiate a proper response to their discomfort. This response, in turn, is called addiction withdrawal management.

What Is Addiction Withdrawal Management?

Addiction withdrawal management pertains to the assistance of medical personnel in properly treating withdrawal symptoms. Among the symptoms that may require medical intervention while the patient undergoes detoxification are dehydration, seizures, rapid heart rate, and severe cramps.

It’s crucial to have medical staff around in these instances to further safeguard the patient from injury or a sudden deterioration of their health condition. But once the worst is over and the withdrawal process has been effectively managed, the patient may move on to the next treatment steps in their rehabilitation plan.

Drug Addiction Treatment Medications

During the course of drug rehab and treatment, medications may be used both during the earliest stages of the treatment program and later on as part of a long-term approach to the treatment of a substance use disorder. Drugs may be employed in order to help the patient manage the withdrawal symptoms they are experiencing, and also to help them regain normal brain function while diminishing cravings— processes that are very important in order to prevent relapse and achieve long-term recovery

Pharmacotherapy or the use of drug addiction treatment medications is just part of a long list of evidence-based approaches to treating substance use disorders, a repertoire that includes behavioral therapy, counseling, the use of medical devices, substance use monitoring, case management, treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders, and other modalities. Especially when combined with behavioral therapy, medications become a very important part of the entire treatment program.

There are also many different types of medications used in drug addiction rehab and treatment depending on the substance being abused and at what stage of the treatment program the patient is currently at. While certain medications are crucial for successful pharmacotherapy, a treatment regimen extending to just a few days is often not enough. Addiction is a chronic condition that typically requires continuing care in order to ensure the complete recovery of an affected individual.

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In this section, you’ll find a quick list of these common medications used in the treatment of substance use disorders.

Medications for Opioid Use Disorders

 The opioid crisis in the United States was declared a nationwide public health emergency on October 27, 2017. According to the Centers for Diseases Control and prevention, more than 750,000 people have died in the country since 1999 due to a drug overdose. Of these cases, 2 out of 3 involved an opioid, which include widely used easily accessed drugs like heroin, prescription opioids, and synthetic opioids like fentanyl. In 2018, in particular, some 47,000 people in the country died due to opioid overdose.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT), as overseen by medical and rehab facilities, plays an important role in attenuating the opioid epidemic in the United States. It involves the use of medications in combination with behavioral therapies and counseling, which, together, are very effective in treating opioid use disorders and in helping affected individuals achieve continuing recovery.

  • Methadone Methadone is a synthetic opioid agonist that is used in the early and long-term treatment of a range of opioid use disorders. It reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings in an individual receiving treatment for opioid addiction without causing the “high” or euphoria experienced by the patient when using the drug originally abused. This is because methadone affects the same opioid receptors in the brain that other opioids activate. These include illicit drugs like heroin and opioid prescription pain relievers, which are some of the most-abused drugs in the United States. However, methadone activates the brain’s opioid receptors more gently and more slowly, and the therapeutic doses used in pharmacotherapy do not get the individual high. In this manner, it benignly “replaces” the drug originally abused. Methadone is one of the most relied-upon drugs in the treatment and management of opioid use disorders, having been in use in drug rehab facilities since the 1960s.
  • Buprenorphine – A partial opioid agonist or mixed opioid agonist-antagonist, buprenorphine is also used to treat addiction or dependence to opioids. The medicine binds to the same opioid receptors as methadone, but it doesn’t activate them as much. Nevertheless, research has shown that buprenorphine can be just as effective as methadone in treating opioid use disorders as long as appropriate dosing is observed. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002, it became the first drug to be permitted to be prescribed by doctors under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000. Suboxone, a formulation that combines buprenorphine and naloxone, is usually prescribed to patients undergoing medication-assisted therapy (MAT) for opiate addiction.
  • Naltrexone – Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist drug, specifically a competitive antagonist that binds better to the opioid receptors in the brain compared to opioid agonists like methadone. However, it does not activate these opioid receptors, instead blocking the sedative and euphoric effects of opioid drugs like heroin, codeine, and morphine. Naltrexone possesses no abuse potential because it is not an opioid itself, but it has been shown to just as effectively suppress opioid cravings. This makes the drug helpful in reducing the risk of relapse and fatal overdose, in addition to helping individuals stay on track with their addiction treatment program, which could last months. Naltrexone is also beneficial for patients undergoing treatment for alcohol use disorder, as the drug likewise reduces cravings for alcohol, and consequently, the amount of alcohol being consumed.
  • Naloxone – Classified as a selective and competitive opioid antagonist, Naloxone is a fast-acting drug that is formulated to quickly block the effects of opioids and to reverse opioid overdose. Naloxone counters the diminished breathing associated with opioid overdose, rapidly bringing respiration back to normal to avoid a fatal outcome. The effects of naloxone are not long-lasting, which makes it essential for the patient to receive further medical treatment after administration of the medicine. On top of being used as a medicine for the reversal of acute opioid overdose and respiratory distress due to opioid use, naloxone is also administered to patients—typically in combination with an opioid like buprenorphine—as medication for the management of opioid use disorders.

Medications for Nicotine Addiction

 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is the primary cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. Over 480,000 Americans die prematurely each year as a result of smoking and being exposed to second-hand smoke, while 16 million continue to live with a serious ailment due to tobacco use. Cigarette smoking also costs the United States some $170 billion annually on direct medical care, as well as $156 in lost productivity. Despite this, almost 40 million people in the country continue to smoke.

Thankfully, there are many effective treatments that support tobacco smoking cessation. These include FDA-approved pharmacotherapies like medicines and a variety of nicotine-replacement therapies.

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 Bupropion – Discovered in 1966 and originally used in medicine as an antidepressant, bupropion is a nicotinic antagonist that has also since been used to help people stop smoking. In 1997, it became the first medicine to be approved by the FDA for this purpose. Although this drug doesn’t contain nicotine as do medicines used in nicotine replacement therapy, it has been shown to effectively reduce cravings for tobacco and to attenuate the negative effects of nicotine withdrawal. Bupropion is reported to mainly exert its effects through the inhibition of dopamine reuptake in the brain.

  • Varenicline – A partial agonist of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), varenicline works by interfering with the receptors in the brain that nicotine stimulates. It is similar to the alkaloid substance cytisine, which occurs naturally in plants from the genus Cytisus, which, in turn, were used by military personnel during the Second World War as smoking substitutes. In 2006, varenicline was approved by the FDA for the treatment of nicotine addiction. Although its mechanism of action in the brain is different from bupropion and nicotine replacement therapies, this drug has also been shown to effectively diminish cravings for tobacco, in addition to attenuating its pleasurable effects. As a matter of fact, research has shown that taking it makes a person twice or thrice as likely to quit smoking.
  • Nicotine Replacement Therapies – As the name suggests, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is a medically approved modality that helps people stop smoking by providing them with a way to take nicotine other than by smoking tobacco. NRT products come in many different forms, and these include skin patches, lozenges, gums, inhalers and nasal sprays. These products contain only small doses of nicotine, and they do not release the same chemicals produced by burning tobacco. As such, nicotine replacement therapy can not only help prevent a person’s exposure to harmful substances, it can also help reduce many of the negative effects of nicotine withdrawal, all while helping the individual focus on their goal to quit smoking.

Medications for Other Substance Use Disorders

There are many types of substance use disorders for which the FDA has not approved any medications. These include marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, and MDMA (ecstasy) use disorders. Although researchers are currently investigating possible pharmacological approaches to addictions involving some these substances, the most effective treatment for addiction to these drugs at this point are behavioral therapies.

Behavioral therapies include cognitive behavioral therapies, which teach individuals strategies that will help them identify and rectify problematic behaviors; contingency management, which is based on monitoring the behavior of patients and reinforcing or rewarding positive behavioral change; and

motivational enhancement therapy, which aims to steer an individual into action by helping them muster their own internal resources.

Drug Addiction Therapies, Counseling, and Training Sessions

Proper medication is a keystone of any drug rehabilitation and treatment program, but so are therapy, counseling, and training for the enrolled patients. After all, treating addiction is not just a matter of treating the body. It’s also about improving the patient’s mental and emotional health, which are their greatest protection against relapse.

Rehab programs in the United States—both inpatient and outpatient-based—will administer therapies, counseling initiatives, and training sessions that achieve the following:

  • Mentally equip patients to become more aware of the habits and circumstances that relate to their drug use.
  • Help the patient address the psychosocial factors, as well as the physiological factors, that are involved in their addiction. These include their environment, their relationships, or causes of stress and anxiety in their lives.
  • Guide the patients to verbalize their own motivations for getting clean and adopting drug-free lifestyles.
  • Help the patient gain the physical strength—as well as the mental and emotional fortitude—to refuse drugs on their own.
  • Facilitate the healing of broken relationships that may have been caused in large part by the patient’s drug use.
  • Encourage the patient to seek a better life for themselves without using drugs.

There’s no cut-and-dry approach when it comes to assigning therapies, counseling sessions, or trainings for individual patients. It really depends on what the patient needs the most and will benefit the most from. But what’s important is the patient’s regular attendance to these in line with their customized treatment program. It’s not unheard of for rehab patients to cut the therapy, counseling, or training regimen of their program short. The goal should be to spur complete attendance to these for the months that the patient will receive inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment.

Here’s some more information about the most common types of therapy, counseling, and training involved in local drug rehabilitation programs.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy, which was founded by American psychiatrist Aaron Temkin Beck in the 1960s, is an important type of therapy in addiction treatment. This type of therapy educates patients about the thought patterns, moods, or particular situations that may trigger their drug use. After recognizing triggers for drug use, the patient will then learn some skills to avoid them and manage any drug cravings in a healthy way.

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Some techniques involved in cognitive behavioral therapy include:

  • Recording the “automatic thoughts,” or thoughts based on impulses driven by fear or self-doubt, that may trigger drug use.
  • Conducting behavioral experiments, or seeing which behavioral exercises work best for the patient in instigating positive change in themselves.
  • Designing pleasant activity schedules, or routines that are healthy, fun, and relaxing enough to keep the patient’s mind off drug use.

There are several more activities that the patient may partake in during their cognitive behavioral therapy sessions. But all will be based on the threefold principles of Recognize, Avoid, and Cope. The patient must identify for themselves what their substance use triggers are, then avoid these triggers and cope using newly-learned cognitive behavioral therapy techniques.

Group and Individual Counseling

Aside from cognitive behavioral therapy, the patient is likely to attend individual counseling, group counseling, or a mix of both. Individual counseling involves one-on-one conversation with a psychotherapist or counselor about issues related to the drug use. This type of arrangement is ideal for more sensitive and private issues that the patient is not ready to share with their peers.

Group counseling may involve a similar range of subjects, but is held with at least 5 other participants. Most rehab programs emphasize the value of group counseling because peers in the group can bring fresh perspective to fellow patients’ experiences. The presence of peers can also challenge patients and impart them with a healthy sense of accountability to stay clean.

Lastly, given that drug addiction is often a lonely and isolating experience, group counseling demonstrates to patients that they’re not alone. There are others who can empathize with them directly and who are one with them in their journey towards recovery.

Couples or Family Therapy

The rehab center may also invite the patient’s romantic partner or family members to couples or family therapy. Though drug addiction is a disease that one person may experience, several lives may be damaged in its wake. That’s why it’s important for the person’s immediate family unit to work through underlying issues together and strengthen their support system against relapses.

The studies done on the effect of couples and family therapy on patients, their partners, and their family members demonstrate positive results. Family therapy is particularly helpful to the younger family members, like children, as it imparts them with skills to navigate through this exceptionally difficult situation.

Health and Nutrition Training

Part of the negative impact of drug addiction is its toll on the body. Drug use is often tied to poor nutritional habits, like overeating or not eating enough at all. Deficiencies in macronutrient or micronutrient intake also results in low energy levels and unpredictable moods. These conditions make the person especially vulnerable to abusing drugs again.

On top of poor diet, drug use is also connected to poor sleeping habits. The patient may have used drugs in a way that interrupted their sleep cycle, resulting in unnatural sleep patterns, fatigue, or insomnia. This may have kicked off a slippery slope kind of effect on their body and made them susceptible to further drug use. They may view drugs as necessary either to rest or to stay awake.

Lastly, drug abuse is often associated to poor personal hygiene. The person’s addiction may have caused them to neglect their skin, teeth, or other facets of their physical appearance. At rehab, they may be dealing with health conditions that are a consequence of these, the psychological impact on their self-esteem, or both.

Health and nutrition training are thus a crucial part of the rehabilitation process. These training sessions are needed in order to restore the patient’s physical and mental health, which are in turn necessary to sustain a full recovery. The patient’s individualized drug rehab and treatment program will definitely involve a proper diet, exercise, and encouragement of proper hygiene. These will go a long way in helping the patient resist drug cravings, stay healthy, and keep their self-confidence up.

Paying for Drug Addiction Rehab and Treatment

In many cases, a person with substance use disorder is willing to seek treatment for themselves. Unfortunately, paying for drug abuse rehab and treatment may be a huge financial burden on them and their families. Thankfully, there are many payment options available for both inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment that aren’t as costly as paying for private care. Your loved one may be eligible for either free or low-cost addiction treatment via a health insurance program. It may also be possible for them to enroll in an accredited non-profit treatment center or to find sponsors for their treatment.

Below is a list of your options for financing drug addiction rehab and treatment. Hopefully, you will be able to find a financial solution for your loved one’s complete and exhaustive addiction care.

Medicare

Medicare is the federal health insurance program for senior citizens, certain younger US citizens with disabilities, and patients suffering from end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The program charges its monthly premiums based on each recipient’s income. Medicare can cover the follow aspects of either inpatient or outpatient drug rehabilitation:

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  • Up to 60 days of inpatient rehab through its Medicare Part A: Hospital Insurance service
  • Up to 80 percent of outpatient rehab, therapy, and medicines administered in clinics for addiction through its Medicare Part B: Medical Insurance service
  • Additional benefits for rehab through its Medicare Part C: Medicare-Approved Private Insurance service
  • Prescription addiction medicines through its Medicare Part D: Prescription Insurance service

Medicaid

The other well-known public health insurance program is Medicaid, which is tailored towards low-income families. One may be eligible for Medicaid if they’re over 65 years old, under 19 years old, currently pregnant, or a parent. The person must also fall under a specified income bracket to be qualified for Medicaid. In some states, recipients of Supplemental Security Income are also automatically eligible for the program.

Under the directive of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, Medicaid is required to cover all of the basic aspects of drug addiction recovery. These include the following:

  • Screenings for admission
  • Interventions
  • Medically supervised detoxification
  • Inpatient and outpatient care
  • Counseling
  • Additional mental health services

To know whether your local addiction treatment center accepts Medicaid, check with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration or SAMHSA.

Managed Health Care and Insurance Providers

What if the person who needs treatment isn’t enrolled in either Medicare or Medicaid? There’s still a chance that they can get at least a portion of their treatment covered by their private insurance plan or managed care provider. Examples of well-known private insurance companies with addiction treatment plans are Blue Cross, Blue Shield, United Healthcare, Cigna, and Aetna. Plans may also be available through the patient’s health management organization (HMO).

To know for sure, remember to check the insurance coverage for addiction treatment and see which services your loved one is eligible for. You can either contact the carrier themselves or ask your local treatment center if they’re enrolled in the carrier’s network.

Non-Profit Treatment Centers

There may also be non-profit organizations in your locality who include healing from drug addiction as part of their core ministry or advocacy. These include NGOs, youth centers, or faith-based groups who partner with medical professionals to administer rehabilitative services. Aside from offering drug addiction rehab and treatment for disadvantaged groups, they may also lobby for greater awareness and education on addiction and lead various community-based drug-free living programs.

Getting addiction treatment from one of these non-profit centers is usually free or available at low cost. However, those who enroll in their programs are also expected to subscribe to the center’s faith or values during treatment. If you are seriously considering these options for your loved one, it would be good if their core faith or values align with the provider’s. For example, if they’re looking to enroll in a free faith-based rehab program, it would help if they were of the same religion.

Private Financing, Crowdfunding, and Fundraising

Lastly, there’s the option of privately raising funds or crowdsourcing for drug addiction rehab and treatment. This involves soliciting funds or collecting them on free fundraising platforms like GoFundMe. This option is helpful if your loved one has a network of people willing to contribute small amounts for their recovery, i.e. family and friends.

Once other people have begun donating, the patient can immediately withdraw the funds and pool them towards their addiction recovery. If this is their chosen route, it would be good to personally thank each donor and provide updates about treatment, which donors have helped fund.

Continuing Recovery after Drug Addiction Rehab

 Substance use disorders, similar to many other chronic medical conditions, can be treated and managed successfully. Although the primary aim of addiction treatment is to cease drug abuse itself, it is also the goal of treatment programs to turn affected individuals back into productive and fully functioning members of their families and communities. Treatment is necessary because it empowers individuals to counter the substantial negative physical, mental, and emotional effects of drug abuse, allowing them to take the reins back on their lives.

Adequate Lengths of Treatment Result in Positive Treatment Outcomes

While drug abuse rehab and treatment is indeed helpful, the National Institute on Drug abuse warns that good outcomes are always  contingent on adequate treatment lengths. Because addiction is a chronic disease, the chances of an individual relapsing to drug abuse is not only a possibility, but also very likely. The agency notes that the symptom recurrence rates of drug addiction (40 to 60%) are comparable to those of other chronic medical conditions that also have physiological and behavioral aspects. These include type I diabetes (30 to 50%), asthma (50 to 70%), and hypertension (50 to 70%), among others.

Because each person responds to addiction treatment differently, there’s really no recommended universal length of treatment for everyone. However, the emphasis should always be on the provision of care and treatment at adequate lengths of time. The National Institute of Drug Abuse notes that for residential or outpatient treatment, participation of less than 90 days engenders limited effectiveness, and significantly longer lengths of treatment is often necessary for producing good outcomes. For medication-assisted treatment of opioid use disorders using methadone, for example, a treatment period of 1 year is considered the lower limit. After all, many patients benefit substantially from methadone maintenance for far longer than this.

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Continuing Patient Evaluation and Treatment Modification Is Necessary

For addiction treatment to be successful, recurrent monitoring and evaluation of the individual is a must, as is modification of the treatment plan whenever necessary. It is important for the patients and the people around them to realize that the occurrence of a relapse episode does not indicate a failure of treatment. Instead, it should be seen as a sign that new treatment may be necessary, or simply that adjustment is needed to match the individual’s current circumstances, which may have already changed during the course of the treatment.

Narcotics Anonymous and Other Drug Addiction Self-Help Groups

Self-help groups such as Narcotics Anonymous is designed to complement professional addiction treatment, in addition to extending its positive outcomes. Drug-related self-help groups like Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous were designed on the same model as Alcoholics Anonymous, the longest-running and most-successful addiction support group in the country. These groups typically follow the 12-step model, wherein patients are asked to participate in group therapy sessions both while getting treatment and after they have undergone treatment.

Drug abuse self-help groups usually share the following characteristics:

  • They have only one requirement: the desire to stop taking drugs.
  • They are not-for-profit fellowships made up individuals for whom substance abuse had become a recurring issue.
  • They value the idea that people living with addiction should help others who are going through the same experience.
  • They are open to everyone with substance use disorders, no matter what drugs they have taken and no matter their sex, age, race, social class, or religious background.
  • They value anonymity; the sessions are designed so that participants won’t fear legal or social consequences.
  • They encourage members to completely stop using drugs and most other types of addictive substances, usually with the exception of nicotine, caffeine, and prescribed medications.
  • The meetings take place in spaces that are booked or rented from public institutions, religious communities, and other similar organizations.

The style of the meetings may vary according to the group you join, but the underpinning of all 12-step groups revolve around the principles of anonymity, openness, and desire to help others facing similar difficulties.

Here at Better Addiction Care, we understand that taking the first step to recovery can be challenging for anyone going through with a substance use disorder. As one of the country’s leading third-party information service providers of drug addiction treatment resources, our platform maintains a comprehensive directory of drug rehab facilities across the United States. Get started today by calling  (800) 429-7690.

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