Drug addiction treatment has helped countless people take back their sober lives. Unfortunately, many people are discouraged from seeking treatment for various reasons, from the cost of treatment to the social stigma against addiction. While both of these reasons can be seen as obstacles, preventing people from seeking treatment, the most common reason for neglecting professional drug addiction treatment is simply the fact that many people do not know enough about treatment beforehand.
Those with substance abuse disorders commonly want to seek treatment but will put it off because they just do not know exactly what treatment is like requirements, and the treatment center in general. Here, at Delphi Behavioral Health Group, we understand there are many questions to be answered before even considering seeking treatment, which is why we’ve created a list of questions that should be answered before someone begins their journey to sobriety in a professional treatment center.
Is Professional Treatment Really Necessary?
To answer this question simply, yes. Addiction, also called substance abuse disorder or chemical dependency, is a deadly disease that can be both psychological and/or physical. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Addiction is a chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences to the addicted individual and those around him or her.” As soon as a user loses control over their substance intake, their use becomes abuse and they will require professional help to treat their addiction fully.
A common misconception is that medical detox counts as treatment. Medical detoxification does not account for full recovery, and follow-up treatment after detox is almost always necessary if the goal is to achieve long-term sobriety. If detox programs claim to offer a full recovery, avoid that center. Detox only cleanses the body of any current substance or substance residue and does nothing to treat long-term addiction.
Some Common Signs You May Exhibit That Shows You May Need To Seek Professional Treatment Include:
- You begin partaking in risky behaviors, such as driving under the influence or shoplifting
- Your friends and family have asked you to cease substance intake or to seek treatment
- You are seeing a decline in productivity, either at work, school, or simply not being as active
- You have tried to quit, only to relapse and develop addiction again
- You find yourself lying about your substance intake
- You begin experiencing withdrawals
All of these are common throughout addiction, especially in the early stages of addiction. If you find yourself exhibiting any of these behaviors, it is not unlikely that you may be a victim of addiction, and thus require professional treatment.
What Kinds of Treatment Are Available?
This is a more difficult question to answer since everyone is different, and addiction treatment is tailored specifically to each individual. That being said, a common resource that almost every drug treatment center refers to when deciding which treatment suits which person is called the ASAM Continuum of Care. Starting from level one going up to level four (from least intense to most intense), the levels described on the continuum explain the different intensity levels of treatment.
Level One: Outpatient Services
As the first level of treatment, outpatient services are common methods of treatment. Outpatient services involve a user engaging in medications, therapy, and treatment on-site, then returning to their everyday lives after each session. Outpatient treatment requires generally nine hours a week for treatment (going down to six for adolescents) and works around the patient’s schedule, taking into account responsibilities like work and school.
Level Two: Intensive Outpatient/Partial Hospitalization
Still, technically under outpatient services (living off-site while in treatment), intensive outpatient (IOP), and partial hospitalization both offer a patient the time they need to take care of out-of-treatment responsibilities while also being a step up in intensity from regular outpatient services. Both IOP and partial hospitalization are similar in intensity to medical detox, commonly viewed as the most difficult and intense stage of treatment.
Both of these levels are tailored for more severe addictions, but the individual is responsible enough to avoid relapse while out of treatment. They involve a patient engaging in roughly 20 hours of treatment per week, a significant increase from the previous level of care.
Level Three: Inpatient Services
At this point on the continuum, we transfer from outpatient treatment into 24/7, living on-site inpatient treatment. In this level of care, patients are required to live at the treatment center as they engage in rehab. This allows doctors and nurses to maintain around-the-clock supervision to the victims of more severe addictions.
It is important to note that inpatient services not only treat physical addictions and withdrawals but also make a point to explore the psychological reasons for someone’s addiction. By living in an environment in which you are surrounded by people going through similar addiction treatment, inpatient services provide group therapy and social interaction between patients. This is important in the transition from drug treatment back to a sober life.
Level Four: Intensive Inpatient Services
While regular inpatient treatment, such as residential treatment, provides a long-term and more laid-back approach to treatment, intensive inpatient services, or detox, treat the most severe psychological and physical addictions. Offering every method of treatment that the lower levels offer, as well as daily physician checkups and 24-hour nursing care, intensive inpatient treatment services are the best course of action when it comes to treating the most unstable, high-relapse addictions. While it sounds daunting at first, inpatient treatment services, in general, provide the individual the friendly support and intervention they need to achieve complete sobriety.
It is important to note that between each level of care are mediums, such as level 3.5 (medium-intensity residential), and treatment centers will often place you in more specific levels after detox has been completed.
Is It Too Late?
Of course not! Even though as time goes on, addictions get worse and more difficult to treat, there is no completely untreatable addiction. This question, while it sounds simple, has huge room for discussion. Denial is among the main reasons that only one percent of those who abuse substances get the help they need. If an individual believes that their case is a lost cause, they generally give up on the idea of treatment.
Studies have shown over and over again that entering drug treatment with a positive attitude directly correlates with higher success rates. Remember: it is never too late to seek treatment. Here at Delphi, we believe that there is no such thing as a lost cause. That being said, seeking treatment should be an addict’s number one priority, as procrastinating will only lead to more severe withdrawal symptoms and thus a more difficult treatment.
How Does Medication-Assisted Treatment Work?
In case you are not aware, there are many different medications that doctors commonly use throughout treatment. This type of treatment is called medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and is one of the main reasons that people are so attracted to professional drug treatment. From treating withdrawal symptoms to acting as a substitute for an addictive substance, medications used in MAT can easily aid in the entire drug treatment process.
While MAT is pretty much commonplace in the drug addiction treatment industry, some treatment centers prefer traditional methods of treatment over the use of medications. For this reason, it is important to contact the treatment center you are considering and ask about their policy for MAT and exactly what medications they use.
Substances such as Suboxone can act as partial opioid agonists, mimicking the effects of an addicted opioid but to a lesser extent. For this reason, Suboxone can greatly aid in opioid withdrawals, except Suboxone is known to also be addictive in itself. Other substances, such as naltrexone mitigate the effects of opioids, causing opioids to have little to no effect on the user.
This medication is used in treatment to reduce cravings, a powerful weapon when fighting withdrawal symptoms. Unfortunately, many medications in MAT come with risks, and the use of naltrexone comes with said risks.
Because it blocks the effects of opioids, many people (when relapsing) will dose themselves with more and more of the opioid to achieve the high they desire. The fact that naltrexone can push people to increase dose size can easily lead to an overdose.
All of the potential benefits and dangers of MAT should be taken into consideration when deciding which treatment center works best for you, so contact the treatment center beforehand to get the proper information you need.
Here at Delphi Behavioral Health Group, we make it our mission to treat any and every addiction that may negatively influence your life. Our team of medical professionals, doctors, nurses, and therapists work around the clock during your treatment to make sure that it is as easy and carefree as possible.
Call us today if any of your questions regarding treatment was not covered above. Questions about pricing, insurance, what addictions are treated, locations, and anything else can be answered by one of our specialists at any time.
There is no better time to seek drug treatment than now. The longer you wait, the worse your addiction gets, so why not start today?