June 13, 2019 Felicia Durling

Typical Substance Abuse Programs and What They Can and Can’t Treat

Substance abuse is clutching the ones we love most and taking them away from us permanently.

To put the problem into perspective, 130 Americans die from an opioid overdose every single day. Every year, 88,000 Americans die from alcohol-related incidents. In 2017, 15,482 people died from a heroin overdose.

This is only a snapshot of the devastation resulting from addiction. Drug and alcohol abuse drastically affects our families and communities.

Maybe you have watched someone struggle with addiction. You understand the uphill climb to recovery.

A substance abuse treatment program offers people emotional and medical support, helping them overcome various addictions. Shuffling through substance abuse programs, though, is overwhelming and a little intimidating.

We’ve outlined treatment types and who they work for below.

Keep reading to find the alcohol or drug abuse program that can save your loved one’s life. This guide can help you avoid the frustration of wasting time on programs that don’t fit your needs.

Types of Addiction

Some individuals are more prone to substance abuse than others. Resisting the urge to consume a substance may be one of the most difficult things a person can do.

Risk factors like genetics, mental health, and everyday environment heavily influence addiction development.

Types of Treatment

Substance abuse treatment programs pinpoint the factors leading to addiction. They can also approach the recovery process from all angles.

Types of treatments include:

  • providing medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms and stop drug cravings
  • medical devices to treat withdrawal symptoms
  • counseling to reduce harmful behaviors leading to substance use
  • evaluation and treatment of mental health
  • long-term follow-ups to prevent relapse and introduce individuals back into society

Every substance abuse program varies. Most include detoxification, medically managed withdrawal, and therapy.

Alcohol and Drug Detox

The first part of treating an addiction starts with detoxification. Choosing a safe environment to detox encourages a smoother transition to getting clean. During the detox process, an individual’s body clears itself of the substance.

Once a person stops using the drug, they experience different withdrawal symptoms. The type of substance determines the symptoms.

These side effects can be distressing and uncomfortable. Additionally, when these symptoms are sustained alone, they can result in a fatality.

Detoxification targets the physiological symptoms of drug cessation. Physiological effects can include nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, tremors, and sweating.

To treat psychological, behavioral, and social symptoms related to substance abuse, other treatment types must be used.

Substance Abuse Programs

Drug or alcohol dependency can take over your life. There are several types of treatment programs that can help an addict. Some options may be better suited than others depending on the patient.

Inpatient Programs

In inpatient rehab, patients live in a non-hospital facility for different durations of time.

These programs last from 30 days to one year. They take an individual outside of his environment to help him avoid any possible substance triggers.

Individuals benefit from a structured treatment focused on all aspects of their addiction. Rehabs vary by location, staff relationships, and therapies offered.

Long-Term Residential Treatment

For individuals who suffer from co-occurring disorders, long-term residential treatment is the most effective.

In this treatment setting, patients receive help around the clock. They have a safe place to stay, available medical attention, and comprehensive care.

This type of inpatient program utilizes a therapeutic community (TC) and lasts six to 12 months. TC focuses on the resocialization of the patient.

Everyone within the facility serves as a critical component of the treatment. The staff and other patients work together to form a supportive environment.

Through TC, patients are encouraged to reflect honestly on themselves as addicts. They work to identify attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors surrounding their addiction. Any destructive cognitions are confronted and broken down.

The goal is for each individual to gain personal accountability and responsibility.

Short-Term Residential Treatment

Short-term residential treatment is still intensive but last for only three to six weeks. During this process, there’s a predominant focus on detoxification and early stages of counseling. This treatment is effective for individuals who have less severe addictions.

This treatment applies a brief 12-step approach originally designed to treat alcohol abuse. It’s now applied to include more substance use disorders like cocaine and heroin addiction. It allows individuals to form an understanding of a community-based setting.

Outpatient Programs

Outpatient programs share many similarities with inpatient programs.

However, the major difference is that patients can live at home during treatment. This type of program works well for people who need to earn an income. Additionally, it’s ideal for those who want to continue to play an active role in their family while seeking treatment.

Patients who are able to sustain this balance tend to have fulfilling jobs or social support. The most suitable candidates for outpatient programs have a mild form of addiction. They also express a genuine commitment to sobriety.

These programs exist beyond the walls of a structured residential facility. This may put patients at a greater risk of triggers and substance use. Outpatient programs offer individual therapy, group therapy, drug education, and rehabilitating activities.

Group Counseling

Substance abuse programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, have become synonymous with group counseling. In this type of treatment, individuals benefit from mutual support and peer discussion. The sense of community within group counseling increases the levels of empathy and understanding.

Individualized Drug Counseling

Not all individuals communicate honestly or openly when forced into a group setting. Some people may prefer a more intimate, one-on-one drug counseling session. This type of treatment focuses on reducing or stopping drug or alcohol use.

Individualized drug counseling fits the needs of each patient. It helps them find employment opportunities, avoid illegal activities, and form social relationships.

Get Your Life Back on Track

21.7 million people in America, aged 12 years or older, needed substance abuse treatment in 2015.

You don’t have to say an early goodbye due to an overdose of a best friend. You don’t have to painfully watch a sibling stumble through addiction for years. You don’t have to stand in solidarity with your partner if your child was driving drunk and crashed into a tree.

Addiction can be treated with substance abuse programs. Sobriety doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of love and the appropriate treatment.

If you want to explore substance abuse treatment models in Temecula, The Center for Life Change can help. For more information, call us at (951) 775-4000.



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