Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect from my first appointment?
What’s the difference between abuse and addiction?
A psychological dependence on the drug of choice (e.g., cravings)
A physical dependence on the drug of choice and the experience of withdrawal symptoms, physical and/or mental in nature, when without the drug of choice
Increasing problems caused by use of the drug of choice (e.g., health issues, legal problems, relationship difficulties, etc.)
An inability to stop using the drug of choice despite a genuine effort
Which treatment program should come first: mental health treatment or substance abuse treatment?
Though it may be necessary to attend to a client’s physical needs first in terms of providing medical detox assistance as needed, therapeutic treatment, when it commences, must focus not only on the issues that drove addiction but also on the issues created by the mental health disorder.
How can a family communicate with their loved one in rehab?
After the first few weeks, however, regular communication and interactions with family members are not only provided for but encouraged. The support of family can be a critical part of recovery, and the more informed that family members are about the nature of treatment and recovery, the more effective they will be in positively supporting their loved one when they transition back home. Regular communication during the rehab period is an essential part of that process and may include family visitation days, family therapy sessions, regular phone calls or emails, and more.
How do you know if someone is addicted to drugs?
The fact that addiction is a concern: Substance abuse or addiction is rarely ever a concern when it is clear that there is not a problem. Only those who drink heavily and/or use a significant amount of legal or illegal addictive substances on a regular basis are concerned that they may be living with addiction – and in most cases, they are indeed struggling somewhere on the spectrum of a substance use disorder.
Changes in personality: The person may once have had a sense of humor and loved hanging out with friends, and now would rather be alone. Conversely, if someone was once shy and now regularly drinks heavily and jumps into the spotlight or is suddenly very chatty and social, it can indicate a problem as well. Extreme changes in personality that are not clearly caused by other events (e.g., depression after a divorce or loss of a loved one) when drug or alcohol use is an issue can indicate a disorder.
Lying, stealing, and other dishonest choices: Generally, people lie when they feel they have something to hide. Similarly, stealing and being dishonest in order to cover the use of drugs and alcohol or to buy more is a clear sign of a problem.
Significant time spent under the influence: “Normal” use of alcohol is defined by having no more than a drink or two a day, and no use of illegal substances or legal drugs outside of their indicated use is considered appropriate. When someone spends a significant amount of time under the influence, recovering from using, or seeking substances, it’s a sign of addiction.
Isolating if unable to be with others who drink or get high: Spending time alone or shifting to a pattern of spending time only with others who abuse substances heavily can indicate addiction as well.Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.
What are the health concerns of drug abuse?
The drug of choice
Interactions with multiple substances
The length of time spent living in active addiction
Trauma and other occurrences during active addiction
Co-occurring mental health disorders
The support available during detox, addiction treatment, and beyond
It is not uncommon for those who are physically dependent upon their drug of choice to experience cravings and other withdrawal symptoms that require physical attention. These are acute issues, however, and pass in a few weeks, in most cases, unless the person opts for long-term medication-assisted detox.
Unfortunately, ongoing drug and alcohol use can contribute to the development of chronic physical disorders and, in some cases, mental health disorders as well – or it can exacerbate a co-occurring or underlying condition. Though immediate cessation of use may be able to stop further problems from starting, it may not be possible to reverse the damage completely. Again, it depends heavily on the details of the individual’s experience. No matter what the circumstances, however, getting help to stop using drugs and alcohol as soon as possible is always the best choice for optimum physical and mental health.
How does therapy fit into an addiction treatment plan?
Therapy addresses those cravings. It delves into where those cravings began and why, and provides the client with actionable coping mechanisms to not only limit the intensity of the cravings but also their frequency, and render them powerless when they arise.
After detox, clients immediately begin to take part in therapy. Many even begin attending therapy sessions during detox in order to ensure that they have the professional and peer support necessary to navigate the emotional issues that often arise during that process. Throughout treatment, therapy becomes a tool to not only connect clients with therapists and others in support groups but to also explore their own feelings and needs in day-to-day life.
Comparing Therapy Options What therapies should be standard in the recovery process?
Personal therapy: Meeting regularly with a personal therapist can help to set the tone for rehabilitation. These meetings can serve to identify personal treatment goals, the other types of therapy that will help to accomplish those goals, and coping skills that will empower the client to manage stressors and triggers for relapse as they occur.
Group therapy: Group sessions led by a substance abuse treatment therapist will provide clients with a safe forum to work toward shared treatment goals, benefit from others’ personal experiences, and manage personal issues in rehab. A substance abuse treatment professional will facilitate the group and provide guidance to participants as they work together toward recovery.
Support groups: Support groups offer clients a way to benefit from the experience of those who have gone through similar struggles and are also working toward building a new life in recovery. Strong bonds are created in the context of support groups and supported by a professional therapist.
Family therapy: Family members can play a large role in the recovery of clients. Family therapy sessions are often incorporated into treatment to facilitate the repair of bonds broken during addiction, provide for effective communication, and enable preparation for a future in recovery.
Alternative therapies: A wide range of alternative therapies, including artistic therapies, sport and movement therapies, outdoor and adventure therapies, animal-assisted therapies, and more, can help to provide an experiential option for clients. Rather than using talk therapy and narrative to explore the details of past experiences and hopes for the future, alternative therapies provide an active approach to healing and help clients to move outside their comfort zones and improve growth and wellness.
Additionally, holistic treatment options are often considered standard in some rehab programs. In fact, many programs incorporate yoga, meditation, acupuncture sessions, and other holistic treatments as a standard part of recovery.
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