People who are battling with drug and alcohol problems have a number of options when it comes to drug treatment. From the early days of intervention and detox through to the later stages of behavioral therapy and aftercare, it’s always important to find a comprehensive treatment program that tackles all aspect of addiction. Common treatment options include medical detox, residential rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation, community support programs, sober living programs, 12-step facilitation, and relapse prevention.
Sub-Acute Detox or Medical Detox
Medical detox is the first stage of the drug treatment process for many people, with detox available from dedicated detox clinics and large drug treatment centers. The detox process includes three separate yet integrated phases, with evaluation followed by medication and consultation. During the evaluation phase, patients are given physical and psychological tests for circulating substances, secondary addictions, and mental health problems. This is an important part of the process, with doctors needing to be careful to avoid dangerous drug interactions.
After an initial drug treatment evaluation, clinicians will start the process of medication. Prescription medications are generally used to help reduce and manage physical withdrawal symptoms, especially those associated with central nervous system (CNS) depressants such as alcohol, heroin, prescription opioids, and benzodiazepines. People addicted to drugs that produce a psychological withdrawal syndrome may be stabilized with discontinuation and support measures alone.
After completing a detox regime, most patients will be directed towards residential rehabilitation or outpatient rehab. While detox helps people to stop using addictive and dangerous drugs, it does not address the underlying issues that surround drug abuse and addiction. A range of drug treatment methods are initiated during rehab, including cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, and motivational incentives. These drug treatment programs aim to tackle the environmental and emotional precedents of addiction, with a drug treatment specialist often needed to get to the root of these problems.
Inpatient Drug Rehab vs. Outpatient Drug Rehab
Before deciding on a rehab program, it’s important to research both residential and outpatient programs. Also known as inpatient treatment, residential programs provide addicts with a chance to live at the treatment center for the duration of the program. This type of treatment is recommended for people with extensive drug problems and physical drug addictions. Outpatient programs provide a less intensive option, with patients living at their regular home while attending counseling and psychotherapy meetings. A number of drug treatment articles have been published about the pros and cons of each approach, with some people more likely to thrive with residential treatment and vice versa.
Drug Addiction Counseling in Drug Treatment
Conventional counseling still forms the basis of most drug treatment programs, including traditional 12-step support programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Both group and individual counseling programs are available, with professional counselors working through residential and outpatient facilities. Drug treatment centers in Los Angeles and elsewhere offer counseling services to people in need, both during rehab and aftercare. These services are often used as drug treatment alternatives to prison, with some people attending 12-step programs and similar groups on an indefinite basis.