Seeking Help for Addiction
When you or a loved one are struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, it can be difficult to know what the right step is. According to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 2013 Survey on Drug Use and Health, up to 90 percent of people in need of treatment for addiction don’t receive it.
Several factors contribute to this statistic, including:
- Addicts have difficulty admitting that they have a problem and seeking help
- Addicts and their loved ones have difficulty finding effective treatment locations
- Commitment to a treatment plan
- Barriers to treatment once the search begins
The rehab industry is often predatory and rife with false promises. Our guide will act as a primer for those seeking addiction help so that you know what to look for when seeking effective treatment.
Helping Someone With Addiction: First Steps
The first priority when you or a loved one has admitted that they’re addicted to drugs or alcohol is open communication. It’s often a difficult experience to get someone to admit to themselves that they have a substance abuse problem, let alone talk to someone else about it. So, it is crucial to be supportive and communicate during this window of clarity.
Addiction is a disease, and if not treated effectively, it is extremely difficult to recover from. Like many chronic diseases, addiction has a high relapse rate — the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that it’s between 40 to 60 percent, consistent with other chronic conditions like asthma and high blood pressure.
The most important part of getting someone struggling with addiction the help they need is knowing where to go. How do you find the best rehab, where you trust that your loved one will receive the help with addiction that they need?
Types of Treatment Solutions Available
There is no medical standard for what “rehab” has to include. Some addiction treatment locations only offer detox, giving addicts a place to get clean before releasing them. Others include any combination of the levels of care discussed here. It’s important that the process of finding an effective rehab for yourself or a loved one addicted to drugs/alcohol includes an understanding of the principles of effective treatment, according to NIDA.
Some of these principles include:
- The belief that addiction is an incurable disease, but with effective treatment, addicts can achieve ongoing recovery
- An effective treatment plan must be personalized and unique to the individual
- Treatment must address more than a drug abuse problem
- An appropriate length of treatment is critical
Levels of Care
Addiction treatment facilities offer services that combine some/all of the following degrees of care:
- Detox: Most detox facilities use a process called medically-assisted detox, where the patient is weaned off of one or more substances under the supervision of a trained medical staff
- Inpatient/Residential: Intensive inpatient involves supervised treatment where the patient lives at the treatment facility where they attend meetings, therapy sessions, and other types of programming
- Outpatient: Outpatient treatment can be offered on several different levels, from partial hospitalization programs (PHP) in which the patient doesn’t live at the facility but spends the majority of most days there, to intensive outpatient (IOP), and normal outpatient programming. Many rehab facilities offer patients the ability to ease back into society by offering outpatient programs with schedules that are progressively less demanding.
Clients also can utilize aftercare options, which can include support group meetings and integration into 12-step programs like AA and NA. It should be noted that while these are great options for anyone interested in ongoing recovery support after treatment, these options should not be a substitute for stand-alone treatment.
At FHE Health, we offer a full continuum of treatment care including Sober Living, a housing program for clients who have recently completed treatment. This program allows addicts to build healthy habits outside our facility, whether they reside in a sober living community or use the program on an outpatient basis.
NIDA’s recommendations prioritize treatment facilities that can offer the most comprehensive care possible to patients. Addiction is a complicated disease, and options that can offer personalized, nuanced treatment options to clients are going to better poised to provide consistently positive results.
The Lure of Self-Treatment
Addicts are often resistant to getting help with addiction that involves a period of time in residential rehab. Many of the people struggling may still lead relatively functional lives, and while they recognize that they have a problem, making their whole life about rehab is prohibitive.
They may even think that they can solve the problem without taking the steps necessary to get into a rehab center, but this isn’t the case. Many addicts have already tried and failed to get clean by themselves, but even if a person is successfully able to detox on their own, self-treatment is unable to help them rewire their brain to make positive choices as rehab can. Self-treatment also lacks the ability to identify latent mental illnesses that either contributed to or appeared because of substance abuse.
Does Rehab Work?
The detox step of rehab invariably works. Beyond detox, measuring success after rehabilitation is a bit trickier. There is no standard measurement for the effectiveness of most treatment facilities, which may lead to some inflated numbers. Some centers simply consider addicts who make it through the entirety of their program to be successful cases, even when many of these addicts relapse.
When administered correctly, rehab is a worthwhile endeavor and those who discredit it based on relapse rates are not taking a practical approach to the issue. it’s true that relapse rates are between 40 and 60 percent for addiction, but as mentioned, this is on par with the relapse rates for other chronic conditions and is lower than the 50 to 70 percent relapse rates for asthma and hypertension.
While addiction can be categorized like other chronic diseases, it is inherently more difficult to treat. Millions have successfully gone on to live substance-free lives with the assistance of rehabilitation. The most successful programs offer a breadth of services that can adequately create a personalized treatment plan for your recovery.
The Barriers to Seeking Help
When you or a loved one are trying to get addiction help, the cost of treatment is likely to be a major concern, including the cost of missing work and taking time away from normal life to handle the issue. While it’s understandable that many find the thought of stepping away from their life for weeks to be virtually impossible, here are some things to consider:
Your current trajectory: if you have reached the point where you are seeking help, you likely recognize that the path you are on cannot sustain your employment for much longer. It is imperative you seek help before your employer takes steps to relieve you of your role.
Job Protection: There are laws in place to protect your job if you must attend rehabilitation. This is considered a medical emergency and you are likely eligible for FMLA protection. If you are part of a union, you likely have more bargaining power to protect your position while you receive the help you need.
Another major concern is the financial burden of addiction treatment. Insurance companies are bound by law to cover addiction treatment and cannot refuse you coverage due to it ‘pre-existing’ condition. Our admissions team has experience handling both the job protection and financial concerns of patients. If you have more questions about these barriers to treatment, reach out to them today.
Seeking help for mental health treatment faces similar challenges. Many patients who need help believe it’s an issue that would be better to solve on their own. This ideation, unfortunately, causes them to suffer from the condition longer than necessary.
What Should You Look for in a Rehab Center?
When choosing a facility for addiction rehab, there are a few things that cannot be compromised:
- Medically-assisted detox: Addiction treatment necessarily involves detox, and the rehab you choose for addiction help should offer patients access to safe detox that mitigates the risk and the symptoms of withdrawal.
- A complete continuum of care: The rehab you choose for addiction help should offer stages of treatment to allow a patient to successfully recover and be eased back into their normal routines
- Contextual, tailored treatment: There’s no place for “one size fits all” treatment solutions in the addiction rehab industry. The facility you go to should build a personalized treatment plan for each patient, taking into consideration unique concerns like community factors, co-occurring conditions, and lifestyle factors, amongst others.
Specialized Care from FHE Health
FHE Health is a recovery campus that gives patients the opportunity to recover without distractions and incorporates the best practices of a successful addiction treatment system while offering a complete continuum of care and modern resources.
We use the latest and best methods of treating patients so that they can build healthy behaviors as a foundation for long-term recovery. Call today if you or a loved one find yourself in need of the high-quality, comprehensive addiction help that FHE Health can provide.