For an individual struggling with addiction, the decision to get help can be the most difficult step they will ever take. It can take time to arrive at a point where they’re willing to move forward. Once they have made a commitment, they must explore the treatment options available.
Here are the most common types of drug treatment programs:
Long-term residential treatment entails 24-hour care, usually in a specialized treatment facility, for a period of 6 to 12 months. A therapeutic community (TC) focuses on re-socializing the patient with the help of the staff and other residents.
Treatment typically focuses on teaching individuals a sense of responsibility and accountability, while also helping them to lead socially productive lives. Programs are highly structured and occasionally confrontational. They’re designed to help residents examine their destructive behavior patterns, self-esteem issues and limiting beliefs. The goal is to teach them better ways to interact with others, so they can lead happier lives and contribute to the world around them.
Some TCs offer additional services, such as employment training, to help residents get their lives back on track. These programs can be modified to accommodate residents with special needs, including the homeless and those with mental disorders.
For patients seeking more affordable rehab centers, short-term residential treatment is a popular choice. These programs are brief, but intensive, and typically based on a 12-step approach. While originally designed for the treatment of alcoholism, the programs were modified somewhat in the 1980s, due to the emerging cocaine epidemic. Treatment consists of spending 3 to 6 weeks at an inpatient facility, followed by outpatient and self-help group therapy. These aftercare programs are designed to reduce the likelihood of a relapse.
Outpatient treatment services vary, in terms of type and intensity. If there are no affordable rehab centers in the patient’s area, outpatient services may be sought out, since they cost less than residential treatment. They’re often more suitable for working individuals or those with extensive support networks. However, they don’t all offer the same types of services. While some programs do provide intensive day treatment, others offer mostly drug education. There are also outpatient programs that offer group counseling and additional treatment for patients with mental health problems.
Individualized drug counseling focuses on stopping substance abuse, while addressing other dysfunctional areas of the patient’s life. This may include their family life, employment status and other illegal activities that may be tied to the problem. By emphasizing short-term goals, these programs aim to help the patient develop improved coping strategies that will keep them from returning to drugs. Counselors typically encourage participation in 12-step programs and make any necessary referrals for medical or psychiatric help.
Group therapy capitalizes on the power of social reinforcement to promote a drug-free lifestyle. Studies show that regardless of what other type of program the patient may be involved in, when he or she discusses their problems with their peers, they’re more receptive to getting help and less likely to give up. Researchers are currently looking for ways to standardize these programs for use in affordable rehab centers.
Remember that every patient has different needs and there’s no program in existence that is guaranteed to work for everyone. Treatment is typically customized to suit each patient’s unique situation. Finding the right program is crucial to maximizing the individual’s chances for success.