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Getting Help for Drug Addiction

There are an estimated 20 million people in the U.S. alone who are in need of help for a problem they are having with drug addiction, yet have not received it. Each individual has their own varying needs, circumstances and problems that may hinder them from getting the help they need. However, all of these things become unimportant when one considers that remaining on drugs is not even an option. In the end, one either gets help or loses everything because of addiction. The purpose of drug rehab is to help the individual come off of drugs, give them tools to be able to maintain their sobriety, and help them transition into a more productive and drug-free life. For this to work, individuals must address all issues associated with their substance abuse including psychological, social, vocational, medical, and legal problems.

The most effective treatment method is going to allow for the individual to remain in drug rehab until they have received a sufficient amount of treatment. This can vary from individual to individual, and depends on their history of drug use including the type of drug the individual is using. However, long-term addicts and their families shouldn't kid themselves, as any drug addiction treatment method that takes under three months is ineffective in ceasing to use drugs. Getting over a drug addiction takes a lot of hard work and an honest effort, which may take a considerable amount of time; Up to a year in some circumstances. The more time the individual remains in treatment the greater the likelihood of recovery.

The initial phase of the drug treatment program is a thorough drug detox. This is the point when the individual will be going through what is known as drug withdrawal. Individuals will typically experience intense cravings during this time, and if not in a drug rehab most will revert back to drug use. The intensity and duration of withdrawal can vary depending on the individual's drug of choice. Many withdrawal symptoms pass quickly, while the complete detox can be in about seven days. Certain types of drug withdrawal and drug detox, such as from alcohol and benzodiazepines, can be life-threatening and medical supervision is advised. This is why it is always best to undergo drug detox and withdrawal in a drug rehab setting.

After detox, group and individual counseling is part of most if not all drug rehab programs. Most programs use both individual and group counseling to help individuals discover what may have caused their addiction issues. This counseling is also geared to help individuals recognize things in their lives which must change in order to achieve long-term sobriety. Group counseling is effective in helping individuals gain a different perspective regarding addiction, and they will be able to see that others are experiencing the same challenges and overcoming them. Many programs encourage families to take part in counseling as well, so that each individual that has been affected can be a part of the recovery process. This will also give loved ones an opportunity to understand addiction better, which can help them support the addict in recovery and when they return home.

Many drug rehab programs utilize behavioral therapy or treatment which helps individuals change their attitude and behaviors in relation to drug abuse and addiction. Behavioral treatment can be an effective tool to help and individual make healthier choices in their life so that they will remain sober and have a better shot at a more productive life. There are different approaches to behavioral therapy. For instance, Cognitive Therapy's goal is to help people face their lives head-on and deal with situations that trigger substance abuse. Behavioral treatment may also utilize motivational therapy which addresses the individual's motivation to change.

So drug rehab programs utilize medications as a drug addiction treatment method, which can be used used at all stages of treatment. The drug detox and withdrawal period is a very typical time when medication is used, to help ease physical withdrawal symptoms. Individuals seeking help for drug addiction and their families should be warned that addicts that go through a detox (assisted medically) but discontinue further drug addiction treatment are likely to relapse.

This takes us to another side of addiction treatment which is controversial, and will not offer the most effective treatment for most. Certain medications are used for more long-term "treatment", in an attempt to treat heroin and other opiate addiction. These medications are used for months, years and sometimes for the duration of one's life, and only work to suppress opiate withdrawal and cravings, and actually "treat" nothing. The medications which are commonly used as part of "maintenance" treatment are methadone, buprenorphine, and for some individuals, naltrexone. While an individual may not be using heroin or other opiates when taking subsitution medication, they most certainly become dependent on them and withdrawal symptoms will occur as if they were on an illicit drug. Many addicts describe methadone and buprenorphine treatment as going from being addicted to one drug, to becoming addicted to another. The withdrawal from these drugs is much, much worse than other opiate withdrawal, especially methadone withdrawal. That says a lot, since heroin withdrawal is particularly punishing. So again, addicts and their loved ones should not be fooled and should make sure that they are seeking the most effective treatment that will help guarantee a higher quality of life.

The most effective drug rehab programs are done on an in-patient basis. The residential treatment available is a tried and true drug addiction treatment option for people with addictions. Imagine trying to overcome drug addiction, when your dealer is just a phone call away. This simply doesn't work. In an in-patient drug rehab, addicts remain at the drug treatment center for up to a year. More importantly, there will be no drugs or access to drugs, and drugs will most certainly not be a phone call away. This will allow for the individual to go through the challenges and drug cravings, with all of the care and support needed to overcome these without reverting back to drug use. In an in-patient or residential setting, individuals will be able to stay clear of any negative distractions and influences which may hinder rehabilitation. This makes it possible for the individual to take the time to get to the root of addiction issues, so that they can have a better shot at long-term sobriety.

There are other drug rehab programs available which individuals may partake in, which are more short-term and even out-patient. These types of programs can last anywhere from a week to 30 days. This type of drug addiction treatment method is only recommended for individuals with very little history of drug use, who require only a moderate amount of treatment. Individuals and group counseling as well as education are all key components of such a program, which is delivered intensively in the short amount of time allowed in treatment. A short term drug addiction treatment program may seem appealing for someone who wants drug rehab to be a short process. However, short-term treatment and most out-patient drug rehab programs are not going to give individuals who have struggled with long-term addiction the results that they need to maintain any kind of long-term sobriety. It can take as long as 30 days to just overcome the physical symptoms, not to mention allowing for time to address the underlying emotional and psychological issues involved. So give yourself or your loved one a fighting chance in recovery, and get them the most effective help possible.

One drug rehab method has had much success in treating addiction and getting the individual fully rehabilitated with lasting results. This drug rehab program first focuses on a full drug detox. The individual is then put through an intense curriculum of education and counseling to take full responsibility for their addiction issues, and spot things in their life that need to be changed in order to live a drug free life. The individual will work with drug treatment counselors to develop new skills for life and new ways to cope with life situations which may have caused them to use drugs in the past. This ensures that they will be able to handle real life situations once treatment is complete, so that they can maintain long-term sobriety.

Sometimes, an individual cannot find the strength within themselves to seek help for drug addiction. In these cases, and when the individual's drug use has reached a crisis point, it is sometimes necessary for family members and loved ones to intervene to get them that help. An intervention is a coming together of loved ones, friends and even co-workers who care about the individual and will go whatever it takes to get them to get help. A drug intervention is typically overseen by a professional interventionist who will provide guidance and support to those who are assembling to help the addict who cannot help themselves. The interventionist will help devise and workable plan and agenda of how the intervention will take place, giving each individual who wishes to speak a chance to communicate to the individual how drugs or alcohol is destroying their relationship and the addict's life. The ultimate goal of an intervention is to communicate to the individual that there is an alternative to living a life of addiction, and it can start immediately if they choose to get help. The addict can be made aware of the treatment options that exist for them, a process which can be begun immediately. Many lives have been saved through interventions, and they are worth the effort in the end.

When the individual has completed a drug rehab program, strong aftercare programs can help the individual stay sober and continue their rehabilitation. Drug treatment counselors may suggest that the individual continue treatment through an outpatient drug rehab program or a 12-step program where they can continue to make progress in recovery. Some individuals need a more intense aftercare program, and may even require a stay at a halfway house or sober living facility. This type of facility is meant for individuals who need help during the transition period from drug rehab back out into to the real world. The individual will live at the halfway house or sober living facility and take part in counseling and educational programs where they can become more and more stable and able to maintain their sobriety long-term.

With the variety of drug rehab programs available, it is just a matter of choosing which is the best fit for you or a loved one and getting started on the road to rehabilitation as soon as possible. Many drug treatment programs take insurance and will work with individuals to help get treatment financed. For example, many drug rehab programs offer fees on a sliding scale which depends on an individual's income. Speak with a drug treatment professional to discover which drug rehab programs are available in your area and take the first step to a new life today.

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