Treating Addiction Disorders

Treating Addiction Disorders

by Laura Geftman, LCSW  

There are a wide range of treatment options for those struggling with addiction. Devising the best treatment plan is the most important to part in beginning the recovery process. Treatment planes are variable and based on the individual need of the patient. Contributing factors are the type of addiction, length of use, severity of use and effects on the individual. Patient are also commonly diagnosed with co-occuring medical and/or mental health conditions. 

Several treatment options and approaches are available. Treatment for addictive disorders is relative to each person’s needs. Common interventions might involve various methods like rehab, counseling, support groups, medication and more. Let’s take a closer look…

Inpatient Treatment for Addiction Disorders

Inpatient treatment requires an overnight stay. Patients are admitted to a hospital, treatment center, or rehabilitation center. While taking residence at a facility, patients are under the care of medical professionals and remain under supervision. Here are the different types of inpatient care facilities often involved with addiction disorder treatment:

Detoxification is the process of clearly the body of substances and limiting withdrawal symptoms. Detoxification is a medical process that can have significant effects on the body if not properly managed. Common symptoms can include sweating, headaches, nausea, vomiting, shaking, irritability, insomnia, high blood pressure, and racing heartbeats. Detox can take from a few days to a couple weeks depending on the individual. Medically managed detox is overseen by a medical professional to help minimize the symptoms of withdrawal.

Hospitalization can be a part of your treatment process. Hospitalization isn’t very common for addictive disorders. However it can be helpful with difficult withdrawal symptoms. Dual diagnosis patients- those who need to heal from co-occuring conditions.

Rehabilitation offers a long-term program for substance addiction disorders. Programming is focused on maintaining sobriety, developing comping skills, and socialization with support system. Patients live on premises and devote their time to focusing on remaining drug-free. Different programs offer various interventions for different lengths of time.

Recovery Housing provides supervised, short-term housing amongst peers that are all working to adapt with life without substances. This also provides a community of support and other services during this transition.

Outpatient Treatment for Addiction Disorders

Outpatient care is attended as needed while remaining in your ow home. Overnight stays are not a part of outpatient care. After treatment, a patient can return home and to their everyday activities. It is less expense to go through outpatient treatment when medical warranted. Keep in mind, most addictive substances will need inpatient detox to ensure safety. Here are the types of outpatient services to consider for recovery:

Therapy aims to help those in recovery change behaviors and attitudes around using substances. Some therapy can focus on the underlying reasons for addictive disorder. Others focus on maintaining sobriety and building the skills to do so. There are various practitioners that provide recovery treatment services including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and counselors. There are also various types of therapy modalities to treat addiction disorders including cognitive behavioral therapy, trauma informed therapy, harm reduction, and more. 

Support Groups serve as important and useful source of community for those in recovery. Groups provide education and information essential to everyday success of taking it one step at time. Participants find they lessen isolation and provide a sense of motivation.

Types of Recovery Treatments

There is a diverse selection of therapies to treat addiction disorders. Finding the one that resonates with you in a very important part of your recovery. If one doesn’t work for you, it’s worth giving another a try. The options vary with their approach and foundation. Here are the two most commonly known options:

12 Step Program Otherwise known as Alcoholic Anonymous (AA), this program includes different steps and goals to adhere along your recovery process. Groups exist for a vast array of addiction disorders all over the world. Critics of this program take issue with its reference of a “Higher Power.” Keep in mind that can be defined however you choose. 

Smart Recovery This recovery model involves a 4 step technique to change your life from destructive to constructive. Teaching coping skills and focusing on present day events, smart recovery focuses on creating positive lifestyle changes.

Seeing a Mental Health Professional

If you become concerned addiction, it’s best to seek the support of a mental health professional- such as a social worker, counselor, psychologist or psychiatrist. When you see someone professionally trained in mental health care, they can help you understand the difficulties you’re experiencing. 

Sure just the thought of seeking mental healthcare can create more cravings. You may think they will make you talk about your past. Or that you won’t connect with them to feel comfortable to talk about anything. Maybe you’re afraid to cry in front of anyone let alone a stranger. Worse- you think they’ll put you in a hospital, rehab or institution.

Please know I don’t bring this up to elicit fear but to say- those who work in the mental health field are trained to work with you at your own pace. You don’t have to talk about anything you don’t want to. Ever. The idea is to create a safe space for you to feel comfortable to connect with someone who can help you understand your symptoms and learn to manage them. Therapist are legally bound to uphold privacy and confidentiality. That means they can only repeat what you’ve said to them if they are concerned about your safety or the safety of others. Anything else you tell a therapist, they cannot repeat to anyone else without your consent. You literally have to sign paperwork stating they can talk to others about what you’ve shared with them.

Keep in mind- Untreated substance abuse disorders can be harmful to your health and even fatal. If you think you or your loved one may have a substance use disorder or addiction, see a doctor or therapist to determine the best course of treatment.

When to seek emergency treatment

Here are the signs and symptoms would warrant a trip to the emergency room immediately:

  • changes in consciousness
  • trouble breathing
  • seizures or convulsions
  • signs of a possible heart attack, such as chest pain or pressure
  • any other troublesome physical or psychological reaction to use of the drug

If anything listed is cause for concern, call 911 or go to your local emergency room immediately.

About Laura Geftman, LCSW

Laura Geftman, LCSW

Laura Geftman, LCSW is the Founder of The Calm, Cool & Collected and a practicing therapist. Beyond all things cannabis and mental health, Laura is passionate about developing greater understanding for kindness and acceptance. In her free time, Laura can be found on her yoga mat, in a kayak or singing karaoke.

Pin for later!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.