Three Approaches To Treating Addiction
Draws upon three contemporary approaches to therapy, each of which questions more traditional attitudes toward recovery. Includes such not uncontroversial suggestions as the counselor’s own entering into abstinence (if not from alcohol, then from some cherished behavior) and finding alternatives to such commonly employed labels as “alcoholic” or “addict” by implementing instead a “language of hope.”
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5 Major Types Of Drug Rehab Treatments
Short-Term Residential Treatment
Short-term residential programs provide intensive but relatively brief treatment based on a modified 12-step approach. These programs were originally designed to treat alcohol problems, but during the cocaine epidemic of the mid-1980s, many began to treat other types of substance use disorders.
The original residential treatment model consisted of a 3- to 6-week hospital-based inpatient treatment phase followed by extended outpatient therapy and participation in a self-help group, such as AA.
Following stays in residential treatment programs, it is important for individuals to remain engaged in outpatient treatment programs and/or aftercare programs.
These programs help to reduce the risk of relapse once a patient leaves the residential setting.
Benefits of Short-Term Residential Rehab
There are advantages and disadvantages to all forms of treatment, whether the program is residential, outpatient, intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization, or another type of rehab. Short-term residential offers many benefits to those seeking solid recovery from addiction, including:
Intense focus on recovery of residential treatment with a more affordable cost than long-term residential rehab
Less time consuming than long-term treatment for those who cannot be away from home for more than 30 days
Less disruptive to personal life than longer term absence
Opportunity to start recovery with greater momentum than outpatient
Provides readiness for outpatient continuation of treatment with a more solid position in sobriety than outpatient treatment alone
Quality time spent physically adapting to a clean body with adoption of better nutrition and physical fitness
Establishment of a lasting, supportive community of peers and counselors in recovery
Long-Term Residential Treatment
Long-term residential treatment provides care 24 hours a day, generally in non-hospital settings.
The best-known residential treatment model is the therapeutic community (TC), with planned lengths of stay of between 6 and 12 months. TCs focus on the “re-socialization” of the individual and use the program’s entire community—including other residents, staff, and the social context—as active components of treatment.
Addiction is viewed in the context of an individual’s social and psychological deficits, and treatment focuses on developing personal accountability and responsibility as well as socially productive lives.
Treatment is highly structured and can be confrontational at times, with activities designed to help residents examine damaging beliefs, self-concepts, and destructive patterns of behavior and adopt new, more harmonious and constructive ways to interact with others.
Many TCs offer comprehensive services, which can include employment training and other support services, onsite. Research shows that TCs can be modified to treat individuals with special needs, including adolescents, women, homeless individuals, people with severe mental disorders, and individuals in the criminal justice system.
A substance abuse treatment plan is often divided into various stages, which typically consist of medically assisted detoxification (detox), rehabilitation therapy, and aftercare support.
Different approaches to treatment are offered on either an outpatient or inpatient treatment facility. Though treatment lengths will vary, on average outpatient rehab facilities offer relatively short-term substance abuse treatment, while inpatient or residential treatment centers are able to accommodate individual needs for longer-term drug or alcohol rehab.
Long-term rehab or residential treatment centers typically involves several days of closely monitored detox, followed by 90 to 120 days of intensive substance abuse therapy and aftercare planning.
This type of rehab works well for individuals with long-standing or severe addictions, as well as dually diagnosed patients, or those individuals who struggle with both a substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health disorder. Residential treatment centers can also provide assistance for adolescents addicted to drugs or alcohol.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, highly structured long-term rehab programs in therapeutic communities typically last from 6 to 12 months. Long-term rehab is recommended for people who are exhibiting recovery challenges as part of a more standard, shorter-term inpatient or residential rehab program, or people who experience multiple relapses and other difficulties following the completion of one of these inpatient treatment programs. One variety of long-term recovery setting – that of the therapeutic community – exist specifically tailored to specific demographic groups, such as women who have children, pregnant women, as well adolescents and teens.
Outpatient Treatment Programs
Outpatient treatment varies in the types and intensity of services offered. Such treatment costs less than residential or inpatient treatment and often is more suitable for people with jobs or extensive social supports. It should be noted, however, that low-intensity programs may offer little more than drug education. Other outpatient models, such as intensive day treatment, can be comparable to residential programs in services and effectiveness, depending on the individual patient’s characteristics and needs.
In many outpatient programs, group counseling can be a major component. Some outpatient programs are also designed to treat patients with medical or other mental health problems in addition to their drug disorders.
Individualized Drug Counseling
Individualized drug counseling not only focuses on reducing or stopping illicit drug or alcohol use; it also addresses related areas of impaired functioning—such as employment status, illegal activity, and family/social relations—as well as the content and structure of the patient’s recovery program.
Through its emphasis on short-term behavioral goals, individualized counseling helps the patient develop coping strategies and tools to abstain from drug use and maintain abstinence. The addiction counselor encourages 12-step participation (at least one or two times per week) and makes referrals for needed supplemental medical, psychiatric, employment, and other services.
Addiction is considered a disease; however, people get addicted to drugs and other substances for different reasons. While the effects of addiction are almost always the same, the cause of the problem varies from case to case. There is no one particular treatment that is guaranteed to work on all addicts. This is why addiction counselors and rehabilitation facilities apply different methods and programs to help addicts get on the road to recovery.
Group therapy sessions are helpful, but for a lot of rehab patients, they may not be enough. This is where individual addiction counseling comes in. A lot of recovering addicts also prefer individual sessions to maintain their privacy, especially if they feel uncomfortable sharing their experiences with a group.
In a lot of cases, counselors use individual therapy to prepare patients for group counseling sessions. During individual sessions, the counselor can help a recovering addict focus and deal with the root cause of their addiction on a more personal level and teach them techniques on how to cope with the issues that caused them to turn to drugs in the first place.
The Advantages of Individual Counseling
According to the survey conducted by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in 2009, only 11.2 percent of the 23.5 million people with alcohol or drug problems actually got the treatment they needed from substance abuse treatment facilities.
This number is quite alarming; one way to raise the number of people getting treatment for their addictions is to create awareness of the different options available to them and what each option can do for them.
The benefits of individual addiction counseling are:
More time with the counselor or therapist
Sessions are focused on you and your problems, allowing you to dig deeper and progress faster
Not having to listen and deal with other people’s problems
Flexibility and convenience in scheduling sessions for outpatient treatment.
Individual addiction counseling has been proven to be an effective way to battle addiction and maintain sobriety for a lot of people who have gone through this treatment method.
Many therapeutic settings use group therapy to capitalize on the social reinforcement offered by peer discussion and to help promote drug-free lifestyles. Research has shown that when group therapy either is offered in conjunction with individualized drug counseling or is formatted to reflect the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy or contingency management, positive outcomes are achieved.
Currently, researchers are testing conditions in which group therapy can be standardized and made more community-friendly.
What Is Group Therapy?
Group therapy is a specific form of counseling that is used to treat psychological disorders including substance abuse and addiction.
It typically involves regular sessions where one or more therapists work with several individuals who are being treated for the same health issue.
Overview of Group Therapy
• Allows people to share experiences with others who are dealing with similar issues.
• Can consist of as little as 3-4 members or more than 12.
• Generally held once or twice weekly for 1-2 hours.
• Appears to be more effective in an inpatient setting .
• Type of group is determined by the therapist and can include support groups, skills development and psycho-educational.
Group therapy can help people in several ways:
Being able to interact with other individuals who are learning how to cope with and overcome a drug or alcohol addiction can be quite helpful for those who are beginning the process
This type of setting also helps members realize that they are not alone and allows them to share information and experiences with one another, which can help boost confidence and self-esteem. Overall, sharing experiences and feelings has been shown to reduce stress, guilt and pain among group therapy members.
Group therapy becomes a setting in which members can learn how to avoid engaging in destructive behaviors such as actively seeking out drugs, and instead begin to practice new, healthy behaviors.
The therapist provides a structured platform that controls the discussions and also offers feedback and additional advice that helps each member gain a better understanding of themselves as well as ways to make continuous progress.
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