How to Choose Treatment for Substance Abuse
Alcoholics and drug abusers have the option of being treated in various formats.Their choices range from inpatient treatment in the hospital to outpatient treatment in the therapists office or clinic.Substance abuse treatment centers offer different programs and treatment interventions that are based on their particular philosophies of recovery.Also, programs can be customized to an individual patients needs in order to increase the chances of the patient staying clean and sober.
Outpatient treatment occurring in the doctors office can be an effective solution for the alcoholic or addict with a more recent history of addiction. However, treatment programs that are shorter than 90 days have a higher risk of not achieving the positive longer term result sought.
Hospital-based inpatient programs which last 90 days or more are considered a more effective option, however. Those programs lasting at least 12 months have the highest chance of resulting in long term sobriety because the patients physical addiction is treated together with his or her psychiatric problems.
Many of the briefer treatments can only provide detoxification and do not teach the addict the all-important skills necessary to remain free from alcohol or drugs in everyday life. Unfortunately, this leaves them vulnerable to the toxic pressures and stimuli that can cause them to abuse mind-altering substances once again.
Longer-term treatment programs enhance the addicts chances of success because of additional treatment customization and the powerful repetition of therapeutic concepts that occur. The best alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs provide diverse interventions that are customized to the addicts individual requirements.
However, the foundation of the therapeutic program is usually based on the Alcoholics Anonymous and Narconon 12-step models that focus on the addicts spiritual needs in preparing them for an alcohol and drug-free life. Behavioral therapies are also included which teach the alcoholic or drug abuser proven coping skills that are required to resist temptation.
Medications which reduce physical symptoms of withdrawal and counseling and psychotherapy used to treat any possible symptoms of mental illness are also usually part of a complete program.
These four methods are successful because of the powerful synergy they generate. Alcohol and drug treatment centers that provide this four-pronged approach focus on the unique needs of each patient. This comprehensive approach also addresses the psychiatric needs of the patient, whether they be symptoms of depression, anxiety or any other psychological disorder.
Alcohol and drug abuse patients, through these interventions, are likely to acquire new coping skills that are necessary for them to live their alcohol and drug-free lives effectively and successfully. These select programs also provide ongoing aftercare for the patient once he or she is released from treatment.
Sobriety skills are not learned in a day; patients are better served by programs of 90 to 360 day durations in order to receive the powerful repetition and reinforcement required to make them their own. This enhances the chances that alcohol and drug abuse patients will have stayed in treatment long enough to have integrated their competancies to remain sober well after treatment.
Longer treatment provides the time needed for the patient to thoroughly integrate their new coping skills and to resolve any past issues which may have been crucial in engendering the abusive behavior.
Shorter-term treatment does offer sufficient time to eliminate the addictive substance from the body but is usually not sufficient for the patient to master the skills required to function drug and alcohol-free in everyday life.
Longer-term alcohol and drug abuse programs provide the best chances of a patient living a sober life. The requirements of the alcoholic and drug addict are unique and being aware of the choices available for treatment will make selecting a substance abuse treatment program easier and more successful.
Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Huntley and Palatine. He's an expert psychologist, provides day, evening and Saturday appts, treats alcoholism and drug addiction and accepts all insurance plans. Call 1 847 516 0899 and make an appt or learn more about counseling at: http://www.carypsychology.com
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