A crucial intervention that is seen as the cornerstone of the early recovery process is the use of medical detoxification in order to rid the body of the toxins that have accumulated as a result of substance use and abuse. When a substance is used in a chronic and abusive manner, an individual becomes both physically and psychologically dependent on that substance. If an individual ceases use of a substance after chronic use and abuse, they can experience a myriad of withdrawal symptoms that have the potential to cause significant physical and psychological harm and can even lead to death.
Depending of the substance, some of the withdrawal symptoms that can be experienced can include:
- Anxiety and restlessness
– Nausea and vomiting
– Muscle cramps and spasms
– Hallucinations (auditory, visual, and tactile)
These withdrawal symptoms are felt on the physical, psychological and the emotional level. Because of the potential of harm that is present in the withdrawal symptoms associated with drug abuse, it is important that medical detox occurs so that an individual can get to a point of stability so they can transition into formal treatment options.
Alcohol and Drug Rehab
After the initial intervention measures that medical detoxification provides, those individuals who are seeking help with substance abuse issues will enter formal inpatient treatment at a drug rehabilitation or alcohol rehabilitation center. The overall objective of undergoing treatment at an alcohol rehab or drug rehab center is to address these three main issues:
1. To address the powerlessness the individual has regarding their substance abuse
2. Address the unhealthy and destructive attitudes and behaviors that accompanied their substance use
3. Making the decision to stay abstinent and put forth a plan to achieve and sustain long-term recovery.
To achieve these goals, individuals who enter intensive inpatient treatment at addiction rehabilitation facility will live in the facility itself in order to devote their focus and energies towards meeting each of the steps as outlined above. It is also important to understand what benefits are inherent in undergoing inpatient treatment, the length of time an individual will expect to stay in an inpatient facility as well as what programs are offered at an addiction rehab and treatment facility in order to build the blueprint for long-term recovery.
Outpatient drug rehabilitation programs, otherwise known as intensive outpatient programs or outpatient rehab programs are another excellent option for the recovering addict to pursue once formal and intensive inpatient treatment has concluded. These types of programs are considered “step down” programs in the fact that as a recovering individual becomes more independent they are “stepping away” from the support that treatment provides. In addition to providing an effective and complementary rehab option to inpatient treatment, an intensive outpatient therapy program may be also recommended for those who don’t need formal medical detoxification and can provide the essential support they need to perpetuate recovery and accommodate both work and family life.
Substance Abuse Aftercare
The journey of recovery is one that is ongoing and has different areas of focus as that journey progresses. Medical detoxification is a cornerstone of the early stages of recovery and helps the addict medically, physically and emotionally stabilizes for their transition to inpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment provides the addict with comprehensive counseling, therapy, and life skill development training in an in-house setting. Once inpatient treatment is completed, the next step in the recovery process is a substance abuse aftercare program that will assist the recovering addict into their next transition back into their normal routines and lives.
Halfway Houses and Sober Houses
Sober living environments, which include halfway houses and ¾ houses, can be seen as another important tool for those in recovery to actively utilize the life skills that were learned while in intensive inpatient treatment as they transition back into society and their normal lives and routines. Halfway houses, ¾ houses, and other similar living environments are alcohol and drug free places of residences for those individuals who completed treatment and are looking to continue on the path of recovery and abstinence. Those who live in these types of sober living environments generally can stay as long as they wish and the residences themselves are sustained through resident fees. Sober living can be seen as the final transition point between inpatient care and fully integrating back into normal life.