Some people believe that drug users can help themselves, that they can choose when to quit and stop using. Those who have experienced addiction will differ in opinion. While a person addicted to drugs may have taken the first step toward substance dependence, getting help is a little harder to do.
Addiction is a chronic disease that affects the brain of the person using and the lives of the user and those around him or her. The part of our brain that controls impulses, decision making, learning, and memory is affected in such a way that saying “no” becomes more difficult. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that over 23.5 million people over the age of 12 needed treatment for alcohol or substance abuse. If it were that easy to quit, that number might be far less.
There are a variety of treatment options available to those seeking help for alcohol- or drug-related addiction.
- Group or individual therapies
- Therapeutic or residential communities (sober living)
These recovery choices are aimed at eliminating the addiction, reintegrating the person back into society, and establishing a healthy drug-free lifestyle for the long-term. Even though some treatment plans may be shorter or longer than others, the ultimate goal is to facilitate sustained progress and give the person experiencing the addiction the tools they need to live a life without drugs or alcohol.
Residential Treatment/Sober Living
You may know this as “rehab,” short for rehabilitation. Residential treatment offers a user a comforting, drug-free atmosphere that focuses on getting sober in a healthy way. This inpatient plan offers physical, nutritional, mental, and spiritual guidance along with individual and group therapy. It is often paired with a variety of recovery plans in efforts to build a lasting addiction-free lifestyle.
Individual or group counseling can offer many benefits to one experiencing addiction. It is sometimes easier to speak to strangers about problems than it is to talk with friends and loved ones. Speaking with caring professionals and peers can help one to open up and seek support for addiction. This treatment option is often used in tandem with other recovery plans or utilized long-term for continual support.
Addiction can cripple a user and prevent him or her from managing day-to-day activities. When this is the case, partial hospitalization may be the way to go. Partnering intensive therapy with a structured, supervised environment can be a vital step in overcoming addiction. It is typically one step down from residential therapy and can offer an addict an effective way to get sober.
While often only a temporary solution, medication can offer an addict the initial jumpstart they need to get help. Prescribed medications can help suppress cravings and let the chemicals in the brain achieve balance. Medication may succeed in allowing a person to think normally without drugs or alcohol, so the user can make good decisions for a life without drugs.
Some of the most effective treatments are those that combine multiple therapies. Many alcohol or substance abusers have pre-existing mental illnesses that must be treated as well, along with substance rehabilitation. The best recovery option differs with each individual and the level of assistance needed.
If you or someone you know suffers from addiction of any kind, call us here at The Oaks at La Paloma for help. We have staff available 24 hours a day to talk with you and help you or your loved one along the road to recovery.