Few things can destroy families and lives as quickly as drug and alcohol addiction. What once provided a temporary escape from life problems soon becomes the source of many of the most overwhelming problems an individual may ever face in their life. It isn’t enough to tell people that drugs are wrong, or even to create laws against drug use when some of the most dangerous and damaging drugs available today are masquerading as helpful medications. Even more disheartening is the fact that while many highly dangerous illicit and medical drugs are already in existence, newer and more powerful drugs are being designed and introduced every year. Youth who are uneducated in drugs and their effects are beginning to misuse and abuse prescription medications, believing that they are safe since they are FDA approved, and doctor recommended. Meanwhile, countless individuals struggle with prescription drug addiction, sometimes even after using their medication exactly as recommended.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), over twenty-two million individuals suffered from substance abuse in America in 2012. This is roughly eight and a half percent of the American population over the age of twelve. SAMHSA also reports that in 2012, nearly two and a half million individuals used marijuana for the first time, almost two million individuals used prescription pain relievers for non-medical reasons, close to two and a half million individuals used tranquilizers for non-medical reasons, nearly one million individuals used Ecstasy for the first time and over half a million individuals tried stimulants, cocaine or inhalants for the first time.
It is not true that every person who tries drugs, or even uses them for a period, will become addicted or go on to abuse more dangerous drugs. However, many do exactly this and suffer the consequences. The CDC reports that in 2010 nearly forty thousand individuals died from drug overdose, and sixty percent of these deaths were prescription drug related. Drug overdose deaths surpassed motor vehicle deaths in 2010, indicating how severe the problem of substance abuse and addiction has become.
An individual who is attempting to fight drug and alcohol addiction on their own could be likened to a person trying to climb a waterfall unassisted. Without the benefit of professional drug rehabilitation services, it is unlikely the person will succeed in recovering from substance abuse and addiction or maintain their sobriety in the future.
Achieve Freedom From Addiction
Addiction Freedom is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility that works to help substance-abusing individuals reclaim and rebuild their lives. In many cases, a substance abuser is at least somewhat aware of the damaging effects that substance abuse has had on their life, and is interested in escaping the prison of drug addiction. However, they may feel that they are alone in their struggles with substance abuse, or they may feel that it is not possible for them to recover from addiction. Rehabilitation treatment can not only disabuse the individual of this idea, but it can also often save the individual’s life and show them the way to a much happier, healthier one.
While we live in a time where speed seems to be a highly desirable trait, speed in rehabilitation treatment is not usually a good thing. It is important to bear in mind that substance abuse and addiction did not occur overnight, and that removing drugs from an individual’s present does not automatically grant them a healthy, happy future. Rehabilitation treatment must work through all the many causes and effects of substance abuse, adequately addressing and resolving each one. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, rehabilitation programs that are at least ninety days in length are the most successful in not only restoring an individual’s physical, mental and emotional health but also in effectively preparing them for a drug-free future.
There are a wide variety of rehabilitation facilities and programs available, including:
- Residential rehabilitation – this can be a practical and wise choice if the individual would benefit from a change of their normal environment, if they have been abusing highly dangerous drugs like heroin or prescription opiates, or if they have been abusing drugs for a considerable length of time. Most residential rehabilitation programs understand that the term of the program can have a bearing on the outcome of the treatment.
- Outpatient rehabilitation – this type of therapy, while intense, is not quite as extensive as residential rehabilitation. It may work well in situations where the individual has a stable living environment, has not been abusing dangerous drugs or has not been abusing drugs for very long.
- Holistic rehabilitation – some people do not feel that replacing one drug with another, even if the substitute is a medical drug, is truly achieving sobriety. Holistic rehabilitation programs use more natural and calming methods to help the individual detox from drugs and deal with withdrawal symptoms and cravings, and may include yoga, meditation, massage therapy and more.
Even among rehabilitation facilities that provide a particular type of rehabilitation – like holistic rehabilitation – there may yet be many vast differences from facility to facility. An individual often knows what kind of program will work for them, and what the plan must address needs. Rehabilitation programs should never be a “one-size-fits-all” proposition, simply because each is different and has different needs. What may work for one person may not work for another, but this does not mean that some people are beyond help through treatment.
The Phases of Successful Rehabilitation
Just as drug addiction did not occur overnight, neither can successful rehabilitation. It is a complicated process that seeks to address and resolve each and every cause and effect of drug abuse, thereby restoring the individual to a healthier mental, physical and emotional state. Full drug rehabilitation consists of the following phases:
- Detoxification – The person’s body must be cleaned of drug toxins for the person to be relieved of the constant pressure to use more drugs. The individual may often suffer through uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and cravings, and must receive support and encouragement to make it through their detoxification program to completion.
- Counseling – Drug use often begins when the individual seeks to avoid or suppress some problem in life, and physical detoxification and rehabilitation treatment does not automatically make the person more willing or able to confront and resolve this and other problems. Through counseling, the individual can learn why they turned to drugs in the first place, and can begin to rebuild their self-esteem and self-confidence.
- Life skills – If a person is rehabilitated from past drug use, but is not prepared to live life with drug-free solutions for the future, they may have a high likelihood of relapse. Life skills courses can further boost the individual’s self-esteem and self-confidence, and make them feel as though a drug-free future is not only possible, it is theirs for the taking.
- Aftercare – No matter how thorough a rehabilitation program is in addressing and resolving all the causes and effects of an individual’s drug use, it cannot possibly predict every future life environment or life situation the individual will encounter. Aftercare provides continuing support and assistance to people who are working to maintain their hard-won sobriety.
The Outcome of Successful Rehabilitation
For many, drug addiction can make them feel that they are in the passenger seat for their life. Successful rehabilitation restores them to the driver’s seat, with the tools they need to steer into a happy future.
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