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7 Things You Need in a Treatment Program

7 Things You Need in a Treatment Program

Once free from addiction, the second phase of treatment is counseling

While drug treatment programs vary somewhat between locations and programs like in Des Moines, there are some similarities that all effective treatment programs have. These similarities range from core events to the services offered, but each are vital to have in an effective drug treatment program.

  1. These core events are detox, counseling and aftercare. Every drug treatment program, whether inpatient or outpatient, short term or long term, faith based or not, should have each of these elements. These events are important both for clinical purposes and because it gives the individual going through treatment a road map.
  2. Detox breaks the physical aspects of drug addiction by cleansing the body of drugs and other harmful toxins. This core event is often painful and at times even life-threatening depending upon the specific drug, the strength of the addiction and the physical condition of the individual in detox. Due to the risk, those responsible for overseeing the detox will evaluate whether medication should be used to assist in the detox. Commonly referred to as Medication-Assisted Treatment or MAT, medication supplements counseling and behavioral therapies to reduce cravings and other symptoms of withdrawals.
  3. Now that an individual is free from the direct influence of the drug she is addicted to, she moves to the second core event of treatment, counseling. During counseling, she is given the opportunity to explore the root cause of her addiction and to understand the triggers for her drug use. She also begins to develop improved coping strategies for each of these triggers and learns strategies for her reentry back into her normal life after the counseling core event has come to an end.
  4. The goal of aftercare is a smooth transition back into a normal life after the intensity of detox and counseling. Aftercare has a number of different placement options dependent upon the therapists’ view of each individual’s relative strengths and readiness for reentry. Options include sober living facilities, meeting with a behavioral health counselor, continuing to participate in group therapy sessions at the inpatient rehabilitation center, regularly schedule outpatient services and consistent drug testing. Any combination of these options can be effective in assisting an individual transition back to a typical life.
  5. Family support is a near necessity for a successful treatment program. Often the bridges to family relationships have been burned as a result of the decision made, lies told and promises broken while struggling with addiction. Nevertheless, having the support of family and friends is often the difference between a successful treatment program and one that fails in the long run.
  6. Highly trained multidisciplinary professionals are simply a must. Breaking the cycle of addiction is more than being in a bed and forced to not consume drugs. True recovery is the reestablishment of a foundation in life that is not dependent upon addiction. It requires cognitive behavior training; it requires the support of others who are on the same path as you, and it requires counselors who are able to know the difference between an addict trying to weasel into another dose and someone who needs help. Without highly trained professionals, the odds of success plummet.
  7. The 13 principles of effective treatment identified by the National Institute on Drug Abuse identify the general approach that proves most effective in treatment centers. Some of the concepts covered in this document include the ideas that no one treatment is effective for everyone, treatment must be readily available, treatment must address multiple needs rather than only the addiction, adequate time for treatment must be provided, counseling in group, family and individual setting must be allowed for as appropriate continual assessment for progress and adjustment should be undertaken, and an awareness of other mental disorders must be accounted.

It May Hurt, But Good Will Come From It

Regardless of how good a treatment program is, it will still be difficult. You are literally breaking a physical dependence to an external substance that your body believes you need to function. As if that is not difficult enough, you have the psychological and emotional components of addiction at play as well. Entering and successfully completing the full cycle of a treatment program may be the most challenging thing you ever accomplish in your life.

It will be worth it though. You will regain control of your life. You may be able to reestablish trusting relationships with those you love. And most importantly, the power of the drugs over you will be broken.

If you feel like you cannot do this, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. We can help you. We can answer your questions. The admission counselors at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can help you learn more about addiction. They can help you or your loved one in Des Moines find his or her way.