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The Importance of Aftercare
Even when someone has reached maintenance, it doesnt mean theyre cured of addiction. Like diabetes or heart disease, its a chronic condition that requires major lifestyle changes to keep under control. As such, its crucial that people in addiction recovery make continuous active efforts to maintain sobriety. Complacency or a sense that the work is done once you reach maintenance is often a one-way ticket to recovery relapse.
Aftercare helps you stay on track and keep practicing what you learned while in rehab. Whether its individual therapy, support groups, 12-step meetings or an outpatient treatment program, we recommend staying in some form of aftercare for at least one or two years after you complete a course of rehab program.
Role Of Medications In Substance Abuse Treatment
- Management of withdrawal symptoms.Medications such as Suboxone can decrease withdrawal symptoms, providing a more comfortable detox process. Managing withdrawal symptoms with medications can reduce the risk of relapse during detox.
- Medication-assisted treatment. Medication-assisted treatment can be used as a long-term treatment for opiate addiction. People on medication-assisted treatment are given a consistent dose of a medication, such as methadone or Suboxone, every day to ward off withdrawal symptoms and cravings and to decrease the risk of relapse. Medication-assisted treatment shows promise for helping people improve functioning in many areas of their lives and can help to prevent the transmission of diseases that might otherwise result from continued non-sterile needle-sharing.
- Relapse prevention. Cravings for drugs and alcohol can put people at significant risk of relapse. Buprenorphine and acamprosate and naltrexone can alleviate strong cravings. Disulfiram can also prevent drinkers from relapsing because people who take this medication know they will feel sick if they consume alcohol.
- Co-occurring conditions. Many people with substance abuse problems also experience co-occurring mental health disorders, such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder . Psychiatric medications can be used to concurrently manage these mental health issues.
Combining Medication With Other Treatments
S For Overcoming Drug Addiction
Bear in mind that stopping taking drugs is only one part of recovery from addiction. Strategies that help people stay in treatment and follow their recovery plan are essential. Along with medical and mental health treatments, the following are steps you can take to help overcome substance use disorder.
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Why Doesnt The Status Quo Work
With all of the options available, why do many people remain addicted or relapse? One reason is that most of the addiction recovery programs in the U.S. are based on the chemical hook theory of addiction that certain substances are addictive and if you use them, you will become addicted. This is, for the most part, a fallacy. Anyone who has had surgery has taken a good amount of heroin in the form of diamorphine! And yet most people who have had surgery are not heroin addicts.
Now, there are some people who truly may have a physical addiction to a drug I have a friend who was given morphine in the hospital at age 10 and says it was the best feeling ever. But, most people who become addicts have something else going on so that the standard chemical hook approach to drying out and avoiding the substance you are addicted to whether you use a 12-step program, rehab, a medical approach or some combination doesnt work. In fact, many people recover from addiction to one substance, then become addicted to something else, such as sex, smoking cigarettes, or working too much.
This supports the theory that pain, whether its physical pain or emotional pain both of which register in the same parts of the brain is the root cause of addiction, not the substance itself. In other words, what addicts are really doing is avoiding pain by using or doing something that makes them unable to feel it.
Common Medication For Drug And Alcohol Addiction
Clonidine is used to treat patients with Opioid, alcohol, and sometimes stimulant withdrawal. Patients enduring Heroin withdrawals, for example, have a better chance of completing treatment when prescribed Clonidine. Clonidine is prescribed in a patch or pills. Clonidine can reduce the severity of many withdrawal symptoms, including agitation, anger, anxiety, cravings, depression, diarrhea, facial flushing, fever, headaches, hot flashes, insomnia, irritability, mood swings, pain, and restlessness. Clonidine treats many side effects that are mild to moderate. Some patients have developed a dependence to this drug.
Naloxone is often used to treat patients with Opioid addictions. It is used to immediately reverse Opioid overdoses, in many cases saving a life. Naloxone is equally effective for individuals at any stage of severity of their substance use disorder if administered quickly enough. Naloxone can be taken nasally, into the muscle, under the skin, or intravenously, and side effects are generally mild.
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How Divine Love Can Heal Addictions
My good friend and colleague, Robert Fritchie, Founder of The World Service Institute, has helped many people overcome addictions using Divine Love healing energy. In fact, he helped a well-known rock star who had a cocaine addiction and didnt want to risk media exposure by entering rehab!
Divine Love healing uses the Creators Love to facilitate healing. Using a Divine Love petition in which you direct your energy toward your healing, you are able to bring the Creators Love to you. It works for everyone because we are all made of energy that is influenced by our experiences and our thoughts. So just as our energy can manifest as disease, including addiction, it can be influenced to heal. Divine Love petitions give you the power to readjust your energy to maximize your health.
How Many People Get Treatment For Drug Addiction
According to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 22.5 million people aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit* drug or alcohol use problem in 2014. Only 4.2 million received any substance use treatment in the same year. Of these, about 2.6 million people received treatment at specialty treatment programs .
*The term “illicit” refers to the use of illegal drugs, including marijuana according to federal law, and misuse of prescription medications.
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Is Treatment For Drug Addiction Inpatient Or Outpatient
Both inpatient and outpatient treatment plans are available, depending on your needs. Treatment typically involves group therapy sessions that occur weekly for three months to a year.
Inpatient therapy can include:
- Therapeutic communities or sober houses, which are tightly controlled, drug-free environments.
Self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can help you on the path to recovery. Self-help groups are also available for family members, including Al-Anon and Nar-Anon Family Groups. Participation in 12-step based recovery work has been proven to improve outcomes.
What Should Be Said During An Intervention
While a person is free to say anything they want during an intervention, its best to be prepared with a plan to keep things positive and on track. Blaming, accusing, causing guilt, threatening, or arguing isnt helpful.
Whatever is said during an intervention should be done so with the intention of helping the person accept help.
Bear in mind that setting boundaries such as I can no longer give you money if you continue to use drugs, is not the same as threatening a person with punishment.
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Using Medication To Treat Addiction
Two of the biggest challenges in addiction treatment are the withdrawal process as the persons body reacts to the loss of the substance use and the continued cravings that occur both during and after treatment. These are both major contributors to the individuals risk of relapse, as evidenced partly by an article from Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. As a result, researchers have increasingly tried to find medications that can help to ease the uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal and curb the destructive cravings that can cause a person to return to substance use. In the case of dangerous withdrawal syndromes, such as for alcohol, this can also decrease the chance of a lethal withdrawal reaction.
Some of the medications provided during substance abuse treatment are simple, over-the-counter products that ease physical discomforts that are typical of the withdrawal period. However, certain medications are also provided to directly affect the brain systems involved in the addiction response, in the hopes that they can deter the persons desire to start using again.
Another use of medication during addiction treatment is to manage co-occurring disorders that can contribute to substance abuse. For example, individuals who self-medicate depression by drinking alcohol may find it easier to stop alcohol abuse if they take medications to treat depression.
Build A Meaningful Drug
You can support your drug treatment and protect yourself from relapse by having activities and interests that provide meaning to your life. Its important to be involved in things that you enjoy, that make you feel needed, and add meaning to your life. When your life is filled with rewarding activities and a sense of purpose, your addiction will lose its appeal.
Pick up an old hobby or try a new one. Do things that challenge your creativity and spark your imaginationsomething youve always wanted to try. Learn a musical instrument, a foreign language, or try a new sport.
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Get Help For Drug Addiction From Private Rehab Facilities
If you have health insurance, drug rehab facilities are available to help addicts get better through private rehabilitation programs. However, many people with no health insurance who would like rehab do not find treatment. The best way to get into drug addiction treatment is by calling your county office and asking about resources in your area. They should be able to tell you what resources are available including mental health centers that offer affordable drug addiction treatment, sliding scale rates, scholarships, and grants, etc.
Its not uncommon for people to be nervous about entering drug addiction treatment. You might be worried about how difficult it will be or if youll fit in with the other patients since theyve likely had more experience than you. These concerns arent unfounded but theyre also not an indication that drug addiction treatment isnt right for you. In fact, many people go into rehab feeling the same way only to discover that they have a lot in common with the other patients.
One of the benefits of drug addiction treatment is that youll learn about relapse prevention techniques. These techniques can help you stay sober after you leave rehab. Youll also have access to support groups and counseling which can offer you encouragement and motivation when youre struggling.
Come To Reality With Your Addiction And Decide To Take Action
In many cases, drug addiction happens as a result of trauma in your life. However, there are many other cases when it happens almost by accident. An example of this is athletes who get addicted to painkillers. Either way, the first step to coming out of an addiction is facing the truth.
It can be easy to tell yourself that you dont have a real problem or that its not causing any damage, but these lies actually deepen your addiction. Admitting that there is a problem and being willing to reach out for help is the first step to recovery. It takes courage and strength to admit this to yourself and to anyone else, so dont diminish the importance of this first step.
Here are a few more tips to help you come to terms with your addiction.
Reflect on How Drugs Impacted Your Life
Think about the first time you tried drugs and what you were feeling. Ask yourself these questions:
- Have I seen my family recently?
- Have I seen my friends recently?
- Does my drug use make me feel shame or guilt?
- Have I broken the law because of these habits?
- Have I tried to stop and failed?
- Are these habits taking my life in a direction that I want?
You cant outsmart your addiction. But these questions can help you think about the difference between the life that you want to have and the life that you will have because of drugs.
Think About the Positive Changes When You Quit
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How Can I Tell If I Need Substance Abuse Help
If youre asking yourself whether you need help, theres a chance you might be ready to admit to the presence of a problem. If youre not sure, you might consider whether you meet the criteria for a substance use disorder, or SUD, which is the American Psychiatric Associations diagnostic term for addiction. These criteria include:15,16
- Using drugs or alcohol in higher or more frequent amounts than you originally intended.
- Wanting to stop using drugs or alcohol but being unable to do so.
- Spending a lot of time trying to get, use, and recover from the effects of the substance.
- Experiencing cravings, which are strong feelings and urges to use.
- Being unable to meet your responsibilities at work, home, or school because of your substance use.
- Continuing to use drugs or alcohol even though its causing social or relationship problems.
- Giving up or stopping activities you once enjoyed so you can use drugs or alcohol.
- Using substances in situations where it is dangerous to do so .
- Continuing to drink or use drugs even though you have a psychological or physical problem that you know is probably due to your substance use.
- Experiencing tolerance, or needing to use more of the substance to achieve the desired effect.
- Developing withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability or shakiness, when you stop using the substance.
How To Find Mat Treatment Near Me
American Addiction Centers is a leading provider of MAT at our inpatient and outpatient facilities located across the nation. We also specialize in co-occurring disorders treatment and offer individualized treatment plans that are customized to your specific needs. Our expert, compassionate medical staff and team of professional addiction counselors know what you are going through, and they are qualified to provide the best assistance to support you on your path to recovery.
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Who Should Be Included At An Intervention
Depending on the situation, interventions can include the following people:
- The person with the substance use disorder
- Friends and family
- A therapist
- A professional interventionist
You may also want to consider if anyone in the list of friends and family should not be included. Examples are if a person is dealing with their own addiction and may not be able to maintain sobriety, is overly self-motivated or self-involved, or has a strained relationship with the person the intervention is for.
What Causes Drug Abuse Or Dependence
Cultural and societal factors determine what are acceptable or allowable forms of drug or alcohol use. Public laws determine what kind of drug use is legal or illegal. The question of what type of substance use can be considered normal or acceptable remains controversial. Substance abuse and dependence are caused by multiple factors, including genetic vulnerability, environmental stressors, social pressures, individual personality characteristics, and psychiatric problems. But which of these factors has the biggest influence in any one person cannot be determined in all cases.
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Dont Be Afraid To Ask For More Help
If you identify that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol but dont think that the resources you currently have are enough, do not be afraid to ask for more support from people around you or from doctors. Many people like to suffer in silence with their problems, but almost everyone is able to find support if they look for it properly.
How To Overcome An Addiction
John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. He is the medical director at Alcohol Recovery Medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health .
People who have a substance use disorder often find that overcoming it is more challenging than they expected. They may feel that addiction is a myth and they can quit any time they want or that they are an exception to the rule. This can also occur with behavioral addictions involving activities such as eating, sex, gambling, shopping, and exercise.
Learning how to overcome an addiction is important for anyone experiencing a substance use disorder , alcohol use disorder , or behavioral addiction. While challenging, recognizing that there is a problem and learning more about the process of quitting are important first steps in recovery.
This article discusses what you will need to do to overcome an addiction and offers tips that can help. It also covers the symptoms of withdrawal that you might experience and some of the effective treatment options that are available.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
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How Does An Intervention Work
An intervention includes trained professionals like a drug and alcohol counselor, therapist, and/or interventionist who can help guide a family through the preparation and execution. It occurs in a controlled setting . Intervention works by confronting the specific issues and encouraging the person to seek treatment.
What Is Samhsa’s National Helpline
SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.
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