Drug addiction is a huge problem in the United States. Based on 2017 data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), nearly 20 million Americans aged 12 and older were experiencing an addiction — more properly known as a substance use disorder.
Substance use disorder also costs Americans more than 740 billion dollars per year in lost productivity, healthcare expenses, law enforcement, and crime-related costs.
Thankfully, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you are suffering from these kinds of disorders, there are several drug addiction treatments that can help you. Just like physical illnesses, drug addiction is a disease that can be treated.
Here are some effective drug addiction treatments you can consider.
Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment
Generally, drug addiction treatment comes in two versions — either inpatient or outpatient.
For inpatient treatment, you will stay inside a rehab center and live there for the entire duration of your treatment.
Outpatient treatment, on the other hand, does not require you to relocate to a treatment facility. Instead, you will just go to the facility during your scheduled therapy sessions. The schedule could be daily or a few times per week, depending on your needs.
If you are enrolled in an outpatient drug addiction treatment program, you can go on with your normal routines while getting help for your condition. You can arrange therapy schedules that are compatible with your shift at work or classes at school.
Outpatient treatments, though, are mostly suitable for mild cases of substance use disorder. If your case is more severe, you will have better recovery outcomes if you go through inpatient treatment.
Inpatient rehab can last anywhere from 30 days to 3 months. During the entire time, you will be living inside the rehab facility. There, your routine will consist of behavioral therapy sessions, group therapy, social activities, and recreational activities. Your daily schedule will be stringent, helping you develop healthy habits that take you away from drug-seeking behavior.
In inpatient rehab, you will learn to wake up and sleep the same times each day, as well as eat meals at consistent times throughout the day. These habits are often neglected when you develop a substance use disorder. Building those healthy habits again helps a lot in taking back control of your life.
In some inpatient rehab facilities, you can also enjoy a range of recreational amenities like swimming pools, basketball courts, ping pong tables, spas, and massage services. These are likewise important parts of a full recovery journey. You may even adopt a new hobby while in rehab, and this may overtake the desire to take drugs.
Also, after your inpatient rehab program is done, you may be offered aftercare therapies. These work like outpatient rehab, where you will go to scheduled therapy sessions a few times a week. These follow-up therapies will help you maintain a sober life.
You will likely receive more than one drug addiction treatment
Most of the time, mental health professionals will recommend both medical and psychological treatments for you.
Medical procedures include detox, which aims to flush out all traces of any addictive substance from your body. This process will help wean you off drugs in a controlled manner. This way, you will not suffer many of the painful and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms common to those who attempt to quit drug use without medical supervision.
Often, medically assisted detox is the first step of treatment. Afterwards, behavioral therapies are applied.
There are a wide range of behavioral therapies used in drug addiction treatment. Each one has its unique set of advantages and scenarios for use. These therapies include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Motivational enhancement therapy
- Community reinforcement
- Family therapy
- Couples’ therapy
- 12-step groups
Depending on the rehab program, many of these therapies may be combined to get the best results. Also, the most appropriate therapy depends on what substance you were previously using.
You may be given medications
In some cases, you may need medications to either counteract the negative effects of the substances you’ve been taking or to help manage the withdrawal symptoms while detoxing.
Medications will be doctor-prescribed, and medical staff will monitor your condition through the process. If you get any adverse reactions, the medication may be stopped or your doctor would switch you to another medication.
Take note that medications are not necessary in all cases. It’s possible to detox from drugs without the help of other drugs.
An intervention may be necessary before treatment begins
You could be hesitant to enter treatment despite concern from your family and friends. To help convince you to get treatment, a brief intervention may be necessary.
During an intervention, your most trusted family members or friends will start a friendly conversation and attempt to make you realize the importance of getting treatment. Often, an intervention specialist will be with them to facilitate the process.
Towards the end of the intervention, you will be asked to put together a plan of action for getting treatment. Often, this involves setting a deadline for when you should be enrolled in a rehab program.
Also, consequences would be set in case you fail to meet your end of the deal. This is part of making the intervention successful.
Which kind of treatment is best?
There is no single treatment that works best for everyone. Different patients have been addicted to different substances, so the effects on their brains and bodies are varied.
For that reason, most drug addiction treatments are combinations of different therapies. There’s medically assisted detox plus a variety of behavioral therapies afterwards.
In any case, the best way to combat drug addiction is through professional help. Attempting to quit drugs on your own is a huge challenge, and it often does not end in success. But with professional help, your prospects of recovery are much better.
If you believe you have a drug addiction problem, talk to your doctor or a mental health specialist right away.