Substance abuse is serious, and most people understand that. However, before treating substance abuse, a few principles must be understood as the client’s family and loved ones move forward.
But, even before we discuss that, we must first define “substance abuse treatment.” According to www.drugabuse.gov:
Drug treatment is intended to help addicted individuals stop compulsive drug seeking and use. Treatment can occur in a variety of settings, take many different forms, and last for different lengths of time. Because drug addiction is typically a chronic disorder characterized by occasional relapses, short-term, one-time treatment is usually not sufficient. For many, treatment is a long-term process that involves multiple interventions and regular monitoring.
The key term in that definition is “stop compulsive drug seeking and use.” Any credible substance abuse treatment must have as its goal the end of substance abuse, not merely the cessation.
There are a number of substance abuse treatment options. Treatment also varies depending on the person’s characteristics and needs. Based on these variables, the substance abuser benefits immensely from having an advocate to help them choose the best treatment plan and center for the patient.
So, as the substance abuser’s advocates begin the search for the best treatment center program, here are several principles to consider:
- There is no “one treatment” that does it all: Substance abuse treatments can take many different forms, medications, and environments. Each treatment center has its own staff and methods of working with patients. Though one treatment may work for one patient, it may fail with another. Any licensed substance abuse treatment center will have statistics on its success or failure. One important point to consider is relapsing. Most short-term treatments fail as the patient returns to substance abuse. Thus, the consideration of long-term treatments, which are proven to be more effective, would be a wise choice. Again, the goal is the complete ending of substance abuse for the patient and long-term treatments have proven to accomplish that goal.
- Substance abusers cannot quit on their own: Most addicts believe they can quit and do it without anyone’s help. They believe they know themselves better than anyone else and are motivated more than anyone to quit. This is false. Substance abusers cannot quit on their own. They are, in fact, powerless to do so. As drug addiction research has shown, substances change the way the brain functions. Using the substance becomes a compulsory behavior that requires them to use it to fulfill the need. The substance controls them, not the other way around. Substance abusers need treatment, or else they will fail every time. Once the addict and their family accept this fact, they can then proceed with substance abuse treatment.
- The effectiveness of substance abuse treatment: Once the substance abuse treatment has begun, the medical personnel and case manager will direct the patient to become a positive, productive, and functional member of society. Their family, career, and community also become their focus, not just themselves. It means a complete turn-around from narcissistic drug use to serving others. Therapeutic treatment centers, such as ours, offer comprehensive and compassionate treatment. Make sure that the treatment offered to the patient is the same. It should treat the “whole person,” not just the addiction.
- Use of drugs to treat drug addiction: It may seem bizarrely hypocritical to treat addiction with another drug, but studies have shown that they work. Methadone is a proven, credible, and effective treatment for opioid and narcotic abuse. So, when researching treatment, consider these medications. Methadone has been used since the 1940s and has been shown to end the use of opioids and other narcotics.
- Keeping the patient in treatment: The substance abuse treatment may be working, however, the patient may not be so co-operative. They may even try to flee or check out of the treatment altogether. Counselors on staff have to be a strong force to keep the patient on-task. Make sure that the treatment center has experienced, no-nonsense, substance abuse counselors on staff. The counselor needs to develop a personalized treatment plan for each patient. Included in the case management team should be medical, psychiatric, social services, and other authoritative individuals to keep the patient-focused on the treatment plan.
- Follow-up programs when the patient finishes the treatment: Once the patient has completed the program, follow-up is crucial. They did not get off the drug alone, and they will not stay off it alone. They need to join a 12-step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, or the program that the treatment center recommends. A sponsor will take the patient under their wing and work with them and make them accountable.
Thousands of substance abusers successfully complete treatment every year. You, your family member, colleague, or friend can do it, too.
If you or someone you know needs substance abuse treatment, consult one of our experienced counselors. The Concerted Care Group of Central Baltimore, MD, and Brooklyn, MD, has a compassionate Behavioral Health team which includes therapists, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a nurse practitioner, and a psychiatrist. Services include individual and family therapy for adults and adolescents. Group therapy and psychiatric services are available for adults.
Contact us at (833) CCG-LIVE to make an appointment.