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Getting in the Door

Getting in the Door: First Steps in Addiction Treatment

Get Help Team / May 25, 2018

Treatment can be part of recovery

Addiction is a powerful and progressive brain disease that affects individual addicts and their families. Addiction is a disease that may be arrested through abstinence. But achieving and maintaining abstinence can be very difficult. Although there are many good options available for outpatient treatment,

the reality is that for many people, getting out of the environment in which their addiction progressed is essential to getting free.Quote author

There are many ways to treat addiction, and although some of them may look similar from outside, the differences between them are important. A person may go away to treatment for 30 or 90 days or even longer - but the experience in that time may be very different depending on the kind of facility in which they’re being treated. The needs of different clients depends on their medical history and mental health as well as the kinds and quantities of drugs they’ve been using.

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, “despite the fact that substance use disorders are widespread, only a small percentage of people receive treatment. Results from the 2015 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reveal that only about 2.2 million people with a substance use disorder, or about 1 in 10 affected individuals, received any type of treatment in the year before the survey was administered.” This is a catastrophe. Addiction is no way to live – it’s a way to die. Anyone who has a substance abuse problem is worthy of recovery  - and the chance to recover is absolutely worth fighting for. 

Fear is an Obstacle To Getting Treatment For A Substance Abuse Problem 

There are too many reasons why people don’t get the addiction treatment they need. One reason is fear. Those who have a substance abuse problem are well aware that withdrawal can be painful. The thought of checking into a rehab can be scary - the addict doesn’t know what to expect, and may be very concerned about leaving their lives and routines for an extended time. In a safe, secure environment it’s much easier to control for the physical and emotional challenges that make withdrawal frightening and to plan for a sustainable life afterwards.  Changing habits, assessing the elements of one’s life to determine what works, what needs healing, and what simply must change is much easier when we’re out of context for a little while. And we can determine strategies to make changes ahead of time. 

Addiction is exhausting.
If you have an addiction to drugs or alcohol and you’re reading this article, let’s be honest - you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired. Some part of you is ready to find a new way to live. You’re just not sure if you’re really ready to go to rehab. Maybe by the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll be more willing to make a decision about getting help.

Detox Services Are Often An Integrated Part of Rehab

The process of withdrawal is the shortest - but often the most difficult and frightening - part of recovery. Certain substances – like alcohol, heroin, or prescription opioids or sedatives like Xanax and Valium– can bring withdrawal symptoms that can be dangerous and even deadly. For this reason, residential treatment facilities and inpatient rehabs both offer medical detox services. 

A professional medical detox is administered by an medical professional who is an addiction expert. It includes round-the-clock monitoring and evaluation and specific medications tailored to the individual’s circumstances. The purpose of a supervised medical detoxification is to ensure safety and stabilization and greatly reduce cravings and pain. In a residential treatment facility or an inpatient rehab, the addiction specialists on staff will supervise your withdrawal and make the process as painless as possible.    

What You Can Expect If You Decide To Go To Residential Treatment 

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says that “because drug abuse and addiction have so many dimensions and disrupt so many aspects of an individual’s life, treatment is not simple. Effective treatment programs typically incorporate many components, each directed to a particular aspect of the illness and its consequences.” Residential treatment allows you to separate yourself from environmental triggers, temptations to use drugs or alcohol, and daily stress that can prevent you from focusing entirely on your recovery.

In residential rehab, you will stay at a rehabilitation facility that is designed to stabilize you while you withdraw from drugs or alcohol, keep you safe and secure during your first thirty to ninety days of recovery, and teach you the skills you need to enjoy a life in recovery. You will live with a small community of other people who are also recovering from the disease of addiction. You may have your own room, or share a room with someone else.   

Once you check into residential treatment, you will typically be assigned a case manager who will create a treatment plan for you. During your stay, you will receive individualized therapy, attend peer-group therapy sessions, and receive education about the science of addiction and recovery. 

The addiction services you receive will be evidence-based approaches that have been proven to drive positive results. One of the goals of your treatment will be behavior modification so you can learn to start making positive choices in your life and stop relying on self-destructive behaviors to cope. It is important to note that this is the best standard of care, but not always the case.  
 
Residential treatment typically happens in a comfortable setting that has been designed to feel like a relaxing and tranquil home environment. Some residential facilities offer luxury amenities like swimming pools, a jacuzzi, massage and spa services, recreational activities, yoga, acupuncture, meditation classes, and gourmet meals. Others take a more bare-bones approach to this time. Many will take patients to meetings or other support services “off campus;” others prefer to keep residents inside the facility for the duration of treatment.  

Inpatient Treatment Provides Short-Term Care For More Complex Issues Related To Substance Abuse 

Unlike residential treatment, which offers longer term care in a homey environment, inpatient rehab usually represents a short stay at a hospital or psychiatric facility. It is a clinical setting where patients receive 24-7 services for a period that usually lasts from two days to two weeks.  This more intensive treatment is recommended for people who are suffering from an acute medical condition or mental health issue related to prolonged substance abuse. 

Inpatient treatment is also ideal for those whose addiction to alcohol, heroin, prescription opioids, or other substances requires a more extensive medical detox than what is typically offered at residential rehabs. When withdrawal would be life-threatening, it is recommended that someone stay at an inpatient facility until they are stabilized and can continue treatment at a residential rehab. 

While many residential treatment facilities offer dual-diagnosis treatment, inpatient treatment specializes in this area. A dual diagnosis, also referred to as a co-occurring disorder, is defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as “the coexistence of both a mental health and a substance use disorder.” Inpatient treatment facilities have psychiatrists on staff who are highly skilled in acute treatment of those with co-occurring disorders. They offer medication management and psychiatric services. 

Most people who want to get treatment for a substance abuse problem do not require the extensive services offered at an inpatient facility. However, it is best to allow a professional to determine what services are necessary, especially for an addict in crisis.

Recovery Begins Now. Get Help to Get Started.  

Whether you or your loved one needs detox, residential treatment or more intensive inpatient services - we think it should be easy to Get Help and find your way in the right door, fast. 

If you think you might be ready to talk to someone about your treatment options, why not call a treatment center near you for a consultation? Many addiction providers will perform a free, confidential assessment over the phone to determine what course of action is best for you. You don’t have to make a commitment – you can just talk to someone who will provide greater insight into your situation.  

Get Help’s free search tool is the easiest way for anyone, anywhere to find addiction treatment fast. You can also download our app, go to www.GetHelp.com, or call us at (323) GET-HELP. There is absolutely no fee. Our only goal at Get Help is to connect  you with quality substance abuse treatment services so you, your loved one, or your client can find freedom from active addiction.