Addiction Treatment Myths

Addiction recovery encompasses a range of variables and stages that work together to address the challenges that one faces when starting the road to their recovery as well as providing help for the loved ones that are also affected along the way. The treatment process is different for everyone and are determined by the individual needs of the person suffering from addiction and what type of treatment they will require for them to reach recovery successfully.

Through each stage of recovery, the addiction treatment process will meet you every step of the way. Understanding how the addiction treatment process works can help you make an informed decision once you’re ready to get needed treatment help.

Treatment Myths About Addiction Recovery

Addiction affects a person psychologically and skews one’s thinking and emotions making the decision to enter an addiction treatment program perhaps one of the most difficult decisions you’ll ever have to make in your life. Myths that abound about treatment and addiction recovery and these can feed the doubts already festering and can make the choice all the more difficult.

Getting a clearer understanding about addiction recovery helps to dispel any of the myths that breed misinformation and keep people who want help from seeking it.

Common misconceptions about addiction recovery include:

  • It’s all a matter of willpower
  • It’s easier once you hit rock bottom
  • You can quit on your own if you really want to
  • You’re fully recovered once drug use stops

Addiction is not about choice or willpower. Addiction takes root in a person’s thinking and becomes part of who they are. Overcoming the influence of addiction means stepping outside of your frame of reference and and being able to reach out to get needed treatment help. It’s normal to feel afraid and vulnerable at this critical point but, it is imperative for one to move past the fear and take back the control in your life.

The Addiction Treatment Process

Whether you or a loved one are dealing with a drug or alcohol problem, addiction treatment is the process of healing on both a mental and physical level. The more severe the addiction is the longer the addiction treatment process will take but every step will bring you closer to a successful recovery.

The treatment process is designed in stages and each stage is designed to help you work on the different aspects of your recovery. Addiction counselors will create a treatment plan and aftercare plan as well as provide ongoing support.

Drug and Alcohol Detox

Stopping drug use is the first step in the addiction treatment process and, as a user, you’ve probably already experienced how difficult it can be to abstain from using for a prolonged period of time. Drug and alcohol detox provides you with the support you need to make it through this difficult stage.

Treatment supports can vary depending on the severity of your addiction and may include:

  • 24-hour, round-the-clock care and monitoring
  • Relieving withdrawal symptom severity
  • Proper diet and exercise
  • Medication therapies, such as Antabuse or methadone (for severe addiction problems)

Inpatient Rehab vs. Outpatient Rehab

detox and recovery

While most people entering addiction treatment require some form of detox treatment, the need for inpatient vs outpatient rehab depends on the severity of the addiction problem. Without question, Inpatient rehab offers the most intensive level of care, while outpatient rehab offers the least intensive level of care however, each play an important role in the recovery process.

Those entering a treatment program in the early stages of addiction may only require outpatient care, especially in cases where job and family obligations are an issue. Outpatient programs allow a patient more freedom and flexibility allowing a person to schedule treatment sessions around his or her existing schedule.

It is not at all uncommon for someone coming off of severe addiction to develop chronic medical and/or psychological problems as a result of their drug use. People struggling with severe or long-term addiction problems will likely require a more intensive treatment approach such as those offered by inpatient programs. Inpatient programs provide medical, psychological and addiction treatment 24/7.

Behavioral Treatment Therapies

Behavioral treatment therapy plays a critical role throughout the addiction treatment process. Behavior-based treatments address the psychological aspect of addiction that affects one’s thinking, emotions and daily behaviors. The need for behavior treatment therapy is a result of how long-term drug and alcohol use changes the way the brain works. Behavior treatment therapy helps one to retrain the brain to think and act without the need for drugs or alcohol.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, behavior treatment therapies vary in purpose and, different therapies are used to treat different types of problems. Some of the most commonly used therapies include:

  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy — helps replace addiction-based thoughts and behaviors with habits and routines that build a healthy lifestyle
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy — helps identify addiction-based thoughts and emotions to help better avoid relapse triggers
  • Faith-Based Treatment — behavior-based change using spiritual principles and faith in a higher power
  • Experiential Therapy — designed to help work through repressed emotions that drive addiction behavior; use of non-traditional approaches such as rock climbing or wilderness therapy
  • Holistic Therapy — uses meditation, acupuncture and yoga to promote wellness
  • Dialectal Behavior Therapy — treatment to address severe psychological disorders and addiction; this therapy works to enhance self-esteem and improve stress management skills

Experts agree that behavior treatment therapies equips one with the tools needed for coping with triggers that prompt drug use. Addiction counselors play a primary role in conducting behavior-based treatment therapies.

Aftercare Treatment

Addiction recovery doesn’t end when the treatment program ends, but continues so as to provide the level of support needed to help maintain continued abstinence. Program addiction counselors will prepare an aftercare plan based on your treatment needs and may include one or more of the following:

  • Ongoing behavior treatment therapies
  • Support groups
  • Sober living program
  • Support Group Options
  • Support group options run the gamut in terms of the types of approaches used. Some of the most common support group types include:
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • 12-Step Programs
  • SMART Recovery
  • Narcotics Anonymous

Sober Living Homes

Going from an addiction treatment program back to normal, everyday life can be challenging for anyone and can easily compromise the recovery progress. For someone coming out of chronic or long-term addiction, sober living homes can offer a gradual way to transition between the treatment program environment and the real world.

Sober living programs are environments where individuals are required to:

  • Maintain employment
  • Take care of the home
  • Pay rent
  • Attend weekly support meetings
  • Maintain sobriety

This type of aftercare treatment program can be a lifesaver for someone who’s struggled with addiction for a number of years.

Treatment Help for Loved Ones

The effects of addiction can cause considerable hardship for everyone involved including loved ones. Ensuring that the loved ones of someone who is struggling with addiction receives treatment as well not only addresses their mental and emotional needs but also works to further support the recovery efforts of the person addicted.

Treatment options for loved ones may take the form of:

  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Support groups, such as Al-Anon, Adult Children for Alcoholics or Alateen
  • Intervention training, in terms of how to stage an intervention in the event of a relapse

Finding an Addiction Treatment Center

While making the decision to get treatment for you or a loved one suffering from addiction can be difficult, help is out there and there is a wide range of various types of treatment programs available that can help you find a program to address your specific treatment needs.

<< back