When it comes time to find a treatment program for yourself or a loved one, you want to ensure that your program of choice aligns with your needs. Most treatment centers share the common goal of helping patients achieve sobriety, but not all of them go about this process in the same way. An approach that works well for someone else may not necessarily be effective for you.
Despite all the differences between various forms of addiction treatment, there are a few core traits that all successful treatment programs have in common. Intentionally seeking out these qualities will allow you to reap the benefits of the treatment process, which is essential to sticking to your recovery plan in the long run.
Here are ten truths about effective addiction treatment that are worth factoring into your search.
1. Successful treatment does not take a one-size-fits-all approach.
People often attempt to boil down addiction into a fixed set of symptoms. However, this is an oversimplified view of addiction that ignores each individual’s unique experience. Everyone battles substance abuse in their own way, and these differences should be recognized during treatment.
The best addiction specialists honor each person’s needs and goals. They look at their patients for who they are and take their time to develop a treatment plan that works for each individual. Throughout the treatment process, they closely monitor every patient and evaluate their progress to determine whether they’re on the right track.
Custom-tailored treatment enriches the lives of recovering addicts in a multitude of ways. When patients know that they’re being listened to and cared for, they’re less likely to relapse and more likely to stick to their plan for recovery. As a result, they are empowered to lead happier and more fulfilling lives.
2. Effective addiction treatment does not focus solely on substance abuse.
A person’s substance use problem does not define who they are. Each individual who enters a treatment center has their own background, needs, desires, personality and genetic makeup. Instead of focusing exclusively on a patient’s addiction, treatment specialists should take other aspects of their life into account to maintain a holistic view of that individual.
Seeing every patient as a whole person can help shed light on the optimal path to recovery. As discussed earlier, everyone experiences addiction in a unique way. This also means that the road to sobriety will look different for every patient. The best way to map out this path is to learn more about each person by delving into their past, as well as their present.
Moreover, patients respond more positively to treatment that takes their various needs and goals into account. They want to be treated like the complex human that they are, rather than another name on the list. It’s vital for treatment specialists to personalize each recovery plan so that it accounts for the age, gender, culture and ethnicity of every patient.
3. Treatment experts understand the full impact of addiction on a person’s life.
The effects of substance abuse are deeply complex and impact various areas of a person’s life. Different effects can also appear at different stages of addiction, with some lasting long after substance use has ceased. Successful addiction specialists recognize this and take the right measures to address each patient’s specific set of symptoms.
It’s also worth noting that the symptoms of drug and alcohol abuse go beyond the substances themselves. Once a drug enters a person’s system, it begins to alter their brain function and structure. This paves the way for long-term effects that can adversely impact the user’s cognitive function, decision making, work performance and more.
Given the wide range of effects related to substance use, it can be easy for many patients to relapse even after completing treatment. For this reason, treatment experts must be available to provide each patient with the tools they need to maintain a substance-free lifestyle after treatment.
4. Co-occurring disorders are also taken into consideration.
Addiction is a mental health condition that often co-occurs with other mental disorders. Some of the most common co-occurring disorders include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders and borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, there are numerous other types of conditions that may accompany substance abuse.
These mental disorders play a key role in a patient’s addiction treatment plan. For example, some may require medication to treat the symptoms of their mental health condition. In some situations, medical experts might also opt to administer medication for the co-occurring disorder as well as the addiction itself. This helps ensure that the patient receives optimal treatment throughout their stay at a rehab center.
In addition, the diagnosis of an underlying condition allows treatment specialists to better understand a patient’s substance use. Mental health and addiction are closely intertwined, and both issues must be taken into account to administer successful treatment.
5. Regular monitoring is a crucial part of successful treatment.
The urge to use substances can be difficult to resist when treatment begins. The detox phase in particular proves to be the most challenging step for recovering addicts. During detoxification, patients gradually withdrawal from drugs or alcohol and give their bodies the chance to grow accustomed to being substance-free. There are a number of side effects that may occur during withdrawal, such as:
- Changes in appetite
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Mood swings
- Difficulty sleeping
- Muscle pain
Coping with these side effects can be challenging for patients who have just begun to wean off of substances. To better manage these unpleasant symptoms, many people are tempted to resume using drugs or alcohol. It’s imperative for experts at the rehab center to continually monitor each patient to ensure that they haven’t relapsed at any point during treatment.
Regular monitoring also helps keep substance use at bay. When patients are aware that their behavior will be closely observed by the professionals around them, they will likely think twice about sneaking in drugs and picking up their bad habits again.
6. The duration of treatment directly impacts success rate.
As with every other aspect of addiction treatment, the length of a treatment program is not the same for each patient. The optimal amount of time for a patient to spend in rehab is largely dependent on their needs and goals, as well as the length and severity of their substance use. It’s vital to ensure that each individual stays in treatment until they’re ready to reenter the real world.
Generally speaking, it’s ideal for recovering addicts to remain in treatment for three months or more. Longer treatment programs tend to be associated with higher rates of recovery. Additionally, it isn’t uncommon for patients to have to go through multiple treatment episodes before they are ready to check out of the rehab center.
Above all, it’s important to remember that alcohol and drug treatment is a long-term process. To ensure that patients get the most out of a treatment program, addiction experts should work closely with them to prevent them from relapsing or leaving treatment prematurely.
7. Therapy is a central aspect of effective addiction treatment.
To help patients overcome a drug or alcohol addiction, it’s imperative to get to the root of their substance use problem. Where detoxification acts as the physical component of treatment, therapy serves as the cognitive and emotional component of treatment. The most successful rehab programs place just as much emphasis on emotional recovery as they do on physical recovery.
Behavioral therapy can encompass a wide range of treatment forms. The most common types of therapy include individual counseling, group counseling and family counseling. Through these sessions, patients are introduced to a series of tools that they can use to combat addiction, including relapse prevention skills, incentives for abstinence and strategies to replace substance use with other activities.
Group therapy in particular can have a positive effect on a patient’s success during treatment. By connecting with others who are experiencing the same struggles as them, addicted individuals have the opportunity to discover a sense of belonging. When patients feel that they are understood and accepted, they are more likely to stick to their plan for recovery.
8. The best treatment specialists understand the toll that addiction takes on loved ones.
Substance abuse is not an isolated experience. Drug and alcohol use affects not only the user, but the people around them as well. Living with or being in a relationship with an addicted individual can take its toll in many ways, whether it involves the user constantly asking for money or lying to their loved ones to further fuel their addiction.
Trying to help someone who is addicted to drugs can also be burdensome. Despite a loved one’s best efforts to discuss treatment with a substance user, the addict will often remain in a state of denial that prevents them from getting the help they need. They may downplay the extent of their substance abuse or claim that they can stop anytime they wish.
This behavior can make a loved one feel powerless or like a failure. It’s crucial for addiction specialists to recognize this and offer the proper support during the treatment process. After all, substance users aren’t the only ones who need healing from addiction. Friends and family members require their own care and support to move forward as well.
9. Medical care is provided as part of the detox process.
The detox process is one of the most painful stages of addiction treatment. As patients purge their bodies of toxic substances, they often suffer a number of severe side effects, some of which can be life-threatening if left untreated.
Fortunately, professional medical care can reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and lower the risk of serious health complications. It’s ideal that a treatment center has nurses and general practitioners onsite so that the patient does not have to leave the premises to receive emergency medical care.
A skilled and supportive medical staff is essential to helping each individual feel safe and secure at the treatment center. This is also a major determining factor for families who are concerned about the safety and well-being of their loved one. It’s well worth your time to look into the availability of high-quality medical care throughout the detox process.
10. A successful treatment center provides a comfortable environment to support healing and recovery.
The environment in which treatment takes place is just as important as the treatment itself. Patients should feel safe and comfortable while being cared for at a rehab facility. In addition to having access to skilled and experienced staff, they should feel at home in their surroundings. A patient’s comfort level is a key part of their happiness and overall success during the recovery process.
Undergoing addiction treatment is a daunting experience for anyone. However, by providing access to the right accommodations and amenities, addiction experts can boost a patient’s chances of fully completing their treatment program.
There are various types of amenities that patients value in a treatment center, such as comfortable rooms, nutritious meals, cleaning services, recreational areas and exercise facilities. However, it’s important to tune into the needs of each individual to ensure that they get the most out of treatment and that they have everything they need to thrive.
Find a Treatment Center That Aligns With Your Needs
These ten truths about successful addiction treatment help give a general idea of what to look for in a rehab facility. At the end of the day, though, only you can decide what works best for you or a loved one. Be sure to always keep your specific needs and goals in mind as you choose a treatment center that’s right for you.
At Mayflower Detox, we’re happy to answer any questions that you might have during your search. No matter where you are on your personal journey toward sobriety, our dedicated treatment specialists are committed to working one-on-one with you to help you maintain a healthy, happy and substance-free lifestyle.