Finding the Best Center – Drug Detox
Drug abuse is a major problem in American society. One 2013 study found that nearly 10 percent of American adults, roughly 25 million people, admitted to using an illicit drug at some point in the previous month. The study only looked at the use of illegal drugs, but nearly half of American adults also drink alcohol at least occasionally and, though most can do so for a lifetime without a problem, many millions of people are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction and are in hopes of finding the best center for themselves or their loved one.
Making matters worse, a very large fraction of people whose substance abuse is out of control have trouble finding the best center they need for their addiction. Another study found that as much as 90 percent of people addicted to just one drug, Oxycontin, never sought medical help for their problem. This is tragic, considering the magnitude of ER visits caused by or associated with substance use, and the sheer variety of treatments now available to help people who are struggling with addiction. For people in this position who are ready to change, finding the best center for treatment depends on knowing just what those options are and how they work.
Whatever the ultimate details of a person’s long-range treatment, almost all drug, and alcohol rehab starts with detoxification. During detox, the patient stops using the substance causing the problems and allows the body’s natural processes to flush it out of their system. This can be done abruptly, what’s often called “cold turkey,” or it may be done gradually via tapering off of the substance being abused. Sometimes, medication is given to help the patient manage the symptoms of withdrawal, which can often be severe enough to cause an immediate relapse.
Most addicts try to detox at home at least once during the course of their addiction, but this can be dangerous. Many drugs, such as alcohol, benzodiazepine, and methadone, create such a heavy chemical dependence in the user that detoxifying alone and unsupervised may be medically dangerous. People addicted to these substances usually need inpatient care and medication to alleviate some of the discomfort of this essential first step in recovery.
Just as serious, many people seeking help with addiction have what’s called a dual diagnosis, or comorbidity. This means that the person getting help has a secondary medical diagnosis – usually for a mental health issue – that may interfere with successful treatment. To be effective, drug treatment has to take secondary mental health issues into consideration and treat both issues at once. Naturally, a dual diagnosis makes finding the best center for treatment all the more important, as not every facility has the psychiatric or psychological staff needed to treat the psychosis, depression or bipolar disorder commonly associated with drug and alcohol addiction.
After the initial detox phase, which can be done anywhere competent medical supervision is available to comfort and care for the patient, the real treatment can begin in earnest. This treatment is different for everybody who passes through it, and over the years an awareness has grown among drug and alcohol therapy providers that a one-size-fits-all approach makes eventual relapses more likely for the patient.
This makes finding the best center for treatment crucial to the patient’s success. Various residential treatment centers maintain different rules and approaches to care, and no single method can work for all of the people who need it. Every commonly used treatment approach today has to be tailored to the specifics of the individual’s case and monitored for results with time so that patients and staff can both be confident they’re on the right treatment track.
Addiction is a chronic disease, and overcoming it is a daily struggle that never really ends. Studies show that between 60 and 85 percent of addicts relapse at least once post-detox, but that those results can be improved with continuing care under one or another long-term treatment plans. Several approaches to long-term care have been developed over the years, and people in recovery do best when they have a chance to try them out and find the one that works for them:
- 12-Step: 12-step is the name given to the Alcoholics Anonymous model for treating substance abuse. This was one of the first methods developed and widely deployed for addressing drug and alcohol addiction, and it remains the most popular approach in America, with something like half of all recovering addicts having tried it. In 12-step programs, individuals seeking help are given a set of 12 steps to progress through toward recovery. People in 12-step usually have a sponsor, who is a fellow addict who has completed the steps himself, to guide them through the process and talk through crises that could lead to relapse.
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT): CBT is an evidence-based approach to managing addiction that has gained traction in recent decades. People who opt for CBT meet with a knowledgeable therapist who can help them examine their behavior and identify the triggers that lead them to use drugs and alcohol. The patient and the therapist then develop unique strategies that are tailored to the patient’s needs to spot a relapse before it begins and prevent destructive old habits from resurfacing.
- Co-occurring Treatment: Co-occurring treatment is more medically intensive than the other approaches, as it includes mental health care for dual-diagnosis patients. This treatment approach may be used in conjunction with the others, but it will also include disorder-specific therapy and possibly medication to manage the mental health issues a patient is also struggling with.
If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, contact one of our addiction specialists to help you in finding the best center. 855-535-8501.