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The Various Drug Recovery Treatment Methods Available

The Different Treatment Methods for Recovering from Drug Addiction

The addiction to drugs or alcohol is a complex issue that may include compulsive drug seeking and uncontrollable cravings. Even though the user notices that there are devastating consequences to his or her actions, they persist in their use. As you can imagine, something so overwhelming, so powerful, is not an easy issue to fix.

Because addiction and drug abuse have so many different dimensions and manages to disrupt numerous facets of the user’s life, recovery can be difficult. Oftentimes an effective recovery program will integrate a number of different components, all of which intended to address a specific aspect of dependence and the consequences that it brings forth. In order to have a patient recover, it goes beyond never using drugs again. It means maintaining a drug-free lifestyle and becoming a functional member of society.

Principles of Effective Drug Treatment

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Research on the subject of drug addiction has shown that in order to overcome addiction, avoiding a possible relapse and making a successful recovery, there are a number of important factors. The following key principles are based on research and should be the foundation of any effective treatment program:

  • Dependence is a complex issue that can be treated. It affects behavior and brain function. This leads to the uncontrollable and impulsive need to use.
  • There is no one particular recovery option that is guaranteed to work for everyone.
  • It is important that the user knows that treatment is readily available.
  • In order to be effective, the treatment must address more than just the drug abuse of the individual, it has to address multiple needs.
  • It is critical to spend an adequate period of time in recovery.
  • It is important to assess and modify the patient’s recovery program continuously. This is necessary to ensure that it meets the patient’s changing needs.
  • Detoxification is only the first step when it comes to treating addiction; it does little to alleviate long-term substance abuse by itself.
  • In order to be effective, treatment does not necessarily have to be voluntary.

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As you can imagine, providing such an experience means that the patient has to be engaged and comfortable throughout recovery. Because everyone is different, there are countless programs available to accommodate a person’s beliefs, their specific addiction and other possible issues that may be important to address. For example, if you were an atheist, you would likely feel uncomfortable in a recovery program that places heavy emphasis on Christian values. The same goes for vegans or people who have a holistic approach to life, they might feel uncomfortable with a drug replacement program because they want to heal themselves in a natural way. Even though some of these may seem trivial at first, if you remember that a person spends weeks, possibly even months in the same facility, you may begin to understand why it matters that the service fits with that patient.

Various Recovery Methods Available

There are numerous different types of treatment methods available and it is impossible for us to list them all here. However, once you have seen these different variations, you will have at least a basic understanding of what you can expect in your search:

  • Non-Faith Based
    This refers to a program that may be based on or adapted from the AA principles but does not carry the same religious undertones.
  • Faith Based
    There are some patients struggling with dependence who feel strengthened by their faith. This leads to the implementation of relying on God and/or using the power of spirituality. Simply put, those who have strong religious beliefs may feel more comfortable around individuals who share their beliefs.
  • Holistic / Biophysical Treatment
    This method stems from the belief that dependency must not be treated as ‘the problem’ but rather as a part of the problem. This means that merely addressing the physical problems is not going to be enough. It is important to address the social, spiritual and physical needs of the patient as well in order to be able to make a full body recovery.
  • Drug Replacement Therapy
    This rather controversial recovery method involves the use of powerful drugs to alleviate the pressures of addiction. Perhaps the most famous example is the use of recommending methadone for long-term heroin users. The idea is that taking the user out of the criminal element is an important step towards helping them get their life back on track.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    The question that drives cognitive behavioral therapy is ‘what is the underlying cause of the person wanting to use?’ A user did not wake up one day addicted to an illicit substance, oftentimes there were underlying reasons that caused him or her to turn to drugs in the first place. Addressing these underlying issues is an important step in ensuring long-term sobriety.
  • Dual Diagnosis
    This is another method that has proven controversial in the past. It describes patients who suffer from mental illness issues and a coexisting dependence on narcotics and/or alcohol. Because the relationship between the two problems is rather complex, proponents believe it is a necessary step while opponents believe that we have to be extremely careful to identify whether the issue existed beforehand or whether the mental issue might be drug-induced.
  • Non-12 Step Rehab
    Whereas the traditional Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous programs teach the 12 steps, these programs are different in their approach. Whereas AA is a spiritually centered program, the alternative methods believe in personal responsibility and a self-empowering method. Unlike the traditional twelve steps, this program promotes the idea of a personalized methodology that has to adapt to the patient rather than having the patient adapt to it.

Making Your Decision

With so many different types of rehabilitation methods available, it is important to weigh your options carefully before you make a decision. If you want to know more about the possible recovery methods and how they compare to one another, as well as where each are available, call New Beginnings right away.

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