What Are The Different Approaches To Treating Addiction?
Addiction significantly affects a person's life, caused when a person engages in the repetitive use of potentially harmful substances such as alcohol and drugs. Other addictions involve incessantly undertaking damaging activities like gambling.
Unfortunately, while one can get over their addiction, there's no single treatment that works for all kinds of individuals. Rehabilitation may work for some, but not for others. As such, people have to find the best way to treat addiction in the most effective means for them.
On the bright side, researchers have made a lot of progress and developed more approaches to addiction treatment over the past few years. This guide will discuss the different strategies you can take when dealing with addiction.
One of the most popular approaches to addiction treatment is rehabilitation. This is an extensive treatment that involves therapy and medication. Most rehab programs include counselors who provide emotional support and advice, and medicine to help patients fight their withdrawals. Specific rehabilitation centers also offer patients access to self-help groups and other services. In other words, rehabilitation is a combination of numerous addiction treatments, and you'll get to know more about them later on.
On that note, if you're looking for a recovery center, it's worth checking what services they offer, although it's advisable to sign up for facilities that provide counseling and medication. One example is Jackson House Addiction and Recovery Center. It's also worth noting that there are two types of rehabilitation programs:
- Outpatient: Patients with only a mild addiction often take outpatient rehabilitation. It doesn't restrict patients much and only requires them to proceed to the recovery facility during the schedule. Hence, it's the perfect choice if you have a job, unless, of course, if you can apply for a leave.
- Inpatient: The inpatient type is more intensive than outpatient rehabilitation as it requires the patient to stay in the recovery center for the majority of their time. On the bright side, it boasts a higher success rate since it restricts the patient's movement greatly, preventing them from going back to their unhealthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, this approach is a lot more expensive than the other.
Rehabilitation programs are complex and often involve a combination of different treatments. Detox, therapy, and self-help groups are just a few examples. If you want to get over your addiction once and for all, signing up for rehabilitation programs may be a good choice, however, this is not the only available option.
Individual counselling or therapy is when an expert provides support and advice to patients according to their individual needs. While this is often suited for behavioral addiction, it also works when you're coping with drug or alcohol addiction as it can:
- Improve communication skills
- Help you cope with your situation
- Develop self-awareness
Usually, one can sign up for individual counselling or therapies by looking for addiction psychiatrists, psychologists, or even psychotherapists.
However, while these experts certainly know what they're doing, don't forget that counselling is a joint operation. It won't work if the counsellor is the only one putting in the effort. You, as the patient, also need to contribute, and you can do that by providing them the information they need.
Take note that counselling or therapy implemented in rehabilitation programs are often different from individual counseling you get from an independent counsellor. For instance, rehabilitation counseling may often involve one or more therapists catering to a group of people, while individual counseling, as the name suggests, involves one-to-one interaction. Speaking of groups, you might also want to look into self-help groups.
Self-help groups, by definition, are communities of people that come together to address a common problem to most of them. For instance, a self-help group on drug addiction may consist of heroin addicts, cocaine addicts, etc.
Although they're often called 'self-help' groups, some are led by professional therapists; the only difference, perhaps, is that it doesn't require participants to pay for the support. They simply rely on one another to solve their common problems. Most self-help groups can be made to deal with mental issues such as:
Unfortunately, self-help groups are often not enough to treat addiction. It may be a worthwhile approach, but you'll need to undergo other treatments on top of it. Nevertheless, participating in self-help groups has its perks:
- Talk openly about your experiences
- Surround yourself with people that won't judge you
- Seek companions amidst your life crisis
- Get a better understanding of your problem
If you want to join a self-help group, it's possible to look for one by asking people who are in the same situation. You may also form the group from the ground up if you want. But if you're not fond of sharing your experiences with people you haven't known for long, then it's never too late to involve your family with your problem. After all, they're the closest people to you and know you the best.
Usually, when people want to get over their addiction, they'll seek professionals and perhaps even individuals in the same situation as they are. But addiction isn't all about you. It can sometimes take a toll on the entire family, so it's only fitting to seek your family's help when dealing with addiction, especially if the main reason you're suffering from addiction is because of your family. Family therapy can have numerous benefits, including:
- Providing a place and time for every member of the family to be heard
- Rebuilding trust lost within the family
- Helping family members know how they contributed to the problem
- Healing wounds that were inflicted because of the individual's addiction
When treating addiction, a lifestyle transformation is essential. What's more, changing your lifestyle may also lead to other positive changes such as a healthier body, a more robust immune system, and better social skills. Here are some lifestyle changes that may assist you throughout your addiction treatment:
- Stay Physically Active: Yes, staying physically active can help significantly in overcoming addiction. By simply keeping on being active, you're reducing the time you can spend on unhealthy activities. Moreover, engaging in physical activities often produces hormones like endorphins that help you feel good, eliminating the need for vices like alcohol or drugs.
- Relax: One of the main reasons why people drink, smoke, or take drugs is because they're stressed. With that logic, if you minimise stress, you can get over substance abuse and unhealthy habits. To assist in treating addiction, you may want to consider participating in recreational and relaxing activities such as meditation, reading, etc.
- Sleep More: Believe it or not, sleeping more can also lead to less stress. Adults that sleep for less than eight hours show higher stress levels than adults who sleep more.
If you manage to make these changes within your lifestyle, you'll find it a lot easier to deal with your withdrawals as you become too busy to engage with unhealthy activities.
Detoxification, or detox, is the process of eliminating the traces of drugs within your body. Its primary purpose for those suffering from substance abuse is to ensure that they can manage their withdrawal symptoms more quickly. Regardless of what approach you pick, it's always important to undergo detoxification for extra measure.
Rehabilitation programs also offer detoxification options, which is yet another reason to sign up for rehab facilities. Here's a closer look at questions you should ask when deciding on how you should approach detoxification:
- What is the substance you're addicted to?
- How long has the addiction been going for?
- How severe is the addiction?
- Does your family have a history of addiction?
- Are you suffering from any medical condition?
If you're suffering from behavioral addiction, detoxification isn't necessary, though it's still worth taking a shot, especially since there are now medical devices specifically designed to combat addiction.
- Faith-Based Programs
Lastly, you can undergo faith-based programs. As the name suggests, these programs focus on the individual's spiritual needs to help them cope with their medical and emotional issues. While it may sound quite far-fetched, faith-based programs have seen a fair share of success stories. However, similar to the use of anti-addiction devices, this may not the first approach you'll look-upon when thinking about getting addiction treatment.
Addiction can be life-changing, and the longer it lasts, the harder it is to eliminate it in your life. Know that whichever option you choose, addiction treatment will always offer you a community of ongoing support and encouragement.