Finding the right drug treatment center

Finding the right drug treatment center is critical to help ensure the best possible outcome for participants who are trying to overcome addiction and to remain compliant for long-term success and recovery. Drug addiction involves cravings that are uncontrollable and, as a result, drug-seeking behavior despite the possibility of negative consequences. At first, using drugs is a voluntary issue, but with ongoing drug exposure in the brain, the user’s body becomes addicted to the substance and the drug seeking becomes compulsive. This brain disease affects reward and motivation circuits, as well as memory and learning and behavior control. Stopping the addiction is no longer a voluntary option – although the willingness to recover from an addiction is vital in order to sustain a drug-free lifestyle and to return to a productive way of life.

A drug treatment center helps people to cease compulsive drug use and to develop coping mechanisms and tools to prevent relapse. Care in a drug treatment center can come in a variety of settings and with a variety of programs and durations. Drug addiction is a chronic disease that typically involves relapse, making short-term or single treatment usually insufficient for recovery. Successful care at a drug treatment center often includes a long-term program, with routine monitoring and multiple interventions. Multiple interventions may include medical treatment, behavioral therapy, individual therapy, group therapy, psychology, psychiatry, clinical treatment, physical therapy and spiritual counseling. The complex needs of patients explain why finding the right drug treatment center is so important.

Types of Programs to Consider when Choosing a Drug Treatment Center

  • Detoxification and rehabilitation are often offered through hospital inpatient units or in medical clinics.
  • Day treatment programs are sometimes offered in a drug treatment center, hospital, clinic, health department, community mental health facility or a therapist’s office. Patients attend treatment daily for as many as eight hours, but then go home for the evening. A day treatment program generally runs about 90 days and is best for people who have a stable home and family support.
  • Residential programs are for people who need treatment but who have little support from family members, no stable living environment or employment. A residential drug treatment center is a good choice for people who have a serious addiction or who have tried, without success, to achieve recovery in an outpatient setting. A residential treatment program can run from 30 days and longer.
  • Intensive outpatient programs at a drug treatment center generally involve as many as 20 hours of treatment weekly for eight weeks or as long as a year. The best candidates for outpatient programs at a drug treatment center are those who are open to routine counseling sessions, who have a strong support network of family and friends and who have a car or other reliable transportation and a home.
  • Medication-assisted therapy. Addiction patients who need medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction may choose to receive treatment in a medication-assisted program at a drug treatment center or at a methadone clinic. Some facilities have outpatient programs for people addicted to opioids, including heroin, OxyContin or Vicodin. Such a drug treatment center helps people stop using illicit opioids by using a medication-assisted approach with methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone. Opioid Treatment Programs (also called OTPs) have counseling services that supplement medication treatment.

    Medication-assisted therapy for tobacco addiction may include treatment with nicotine patches, gum or nasal spray or with medications such as varenicline and bupropion.

    To treat alcohol dependence, a drug treatment center may use medications, such as acamprosate, disulfiram, naltrexone or topiramate.

  • Treatment for co-occurring disorders. When a patient undergoing treatment for addiction also has a co-occurring mental health disorder – such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression or schizophrenia – that patient may need psychoactive medications, such as anti-anxiety agents, antidepressants, antipsychotics or mood stabilizers.
  • Behavioral Therapy. Behavioral-based therapies encourage people to continue with drug treatment by providing them with tools to cope with drug cravings and for relapse prevention. Behavioral therapy helps improve communication between a participant’s parents, family and other relationships that, when strengthened, can also encourage treatment compliance for long-term recovery.

Specialty care at a drug treatment center

A drug treatment center will often offer special care programs for certain populations, such as adolescents, young women, young men, adult women, adult men, senior women and senior men. Studies have shown that people who enter recovery with peers who have similar perspectives often have a more positive experience and a higher chance at long-term recovery.

Specialty niches may also include alcohol dependence, anxiety disorders, detoxification programs, depression, dual diagnosis (mental health disorder and substance use disorder), eating disorders (such as anorexia and bulimia), gambling addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorders, sex addiction and smoking cessation.

Evidence-based treatment

Evidence-based treatment at a drug treatment center is based on methods that have been proven to have good outcome rates. Such treatment may include a combination of medication therapy and behavioral therapy through counseling, contingency management or through cognitive therapy. Experts at a drug treatment center will evaluate the unique needs of each patient, depending on the type of addiction, environment, family support and other factors. In addition to identifying the type of addiction to be treated, the treatment experts will also assess the severity of the addiction and will look to see if the patient is suffering anything else that should be simultaneously treated – such as a mental health issue, a work issue, a legal problem, a family concern or a social problem. Additional needs that should be considered during treatment include cultural, sexual, racial, gender, pregnancy, physical and history of abuse.

Once a treatment plan is designed based on the individual’s needs, it will likely involve both individual and group counseling sessions. Individual counseling provides the participant with an environment that feels safe and allows a trust bond to be built with the counselor. Group therapy provides social reinforcement to help encourage treatment compliance.

Resources to find a drug treatment center

For addiction resources, try Recovery View Treatment Resources at 877-900-7326 or go to Recovery View is an online treatment journal where you’ll find cutting-edge articles and blogs from addiction treatment experts in the area of addiction medicine, behavioral therapy, chemical dependency, dual diagnosis, eating disorders, family issues, gender issues, interventions, life coaching, neuroscience, older adults, recovery and spirituality. Sign up for free daily email inspirations, read recovery stories, submit a recovery story, find out about the latest addiction-related legislation and more.

by josie

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