Guest Post: Substance Abuse Treatment Is Out There by Crista Nezhni

Our friend Crista Nezhni has written another guest post for us about substance abuse and dependency treatment options. This is a follow-up to her previous guest post on signs that someone may need to pursue substance abuse treatment; reading that post before this one is recommended.


Substance Abuse and Dependency Treatment Is Out There

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It’s an unfortunate fact that the need for alcohol and drug abuse or dependency treatment is becoming greater by the day. Yet there aren’t always enough treatment centers or counselors to provide immediate help within close proximity.

The type of aid that the individual in need prefers may not be available at that time, or it may not be the recommended course of action by the intake specialist. This can pose a major issue for someone in active addiction, as defining characteristics of someone currently engaging in the misuse of mind-altering substances typically include impulsivity and a concept called “instant gratification,” which refers to a desire for quick results.

If the individual in need wants only one sort of treatment option, this often deters the person who finally decides to begin the healing process. For that reason, I have organized this list of substance dependency and substance abuse treatment options so that people in need can become aware of what their options are.

Therapy

 

Types of treatment options include but are not limited to sober living/recovery houses and drug court. Another common form of substance abuse treatment is residential dual diagnosis treatment, which incorporates therapy to help manage mental health difficulties. These forms of substance abuse treatment can be more effective for some individuals since underlying mental health issues can often be related to or can exist alongside drug and alcohol dependency.

MAT programs are another treatment method that is quickly gaining attention. In these programs patients typically attend group and individual therapy sessions on an outpatient basis to aid in relapse prevention. Under recommended guidelines, medications such as Methadone, Vivitrol, Suboxone, or Subutex may be provided to clients as conjunctive therapy.

Support Groups

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12 step programs are another viable option for individuals struggling with alcohol or drug dependency. There are online meetings, in person get-togethers, and meetings that address underlying mental health issues or additional addictions. The secret to success in this path is all about finding a group where the person in need feels most comfortable.

While common and seemingly ubiquitous, the traditional routes of AA and NA are not the only methods one can participate in. Refuge Recovery is an excellent support group that incorporates Buddhist teachings, and SMART Recovery is a  4-point secular alternative to the religious angle provided by other support programs.

Asking for a sponsor with a good amount of sober time under his or her belt can be a huge help. It is suggested to find a sponsor of the same gender unless your sexual preferences are geared at the same sex. If this is the case, it is recommended to request an individual of the opposite gender who is also attracted to his or her own gender.

Support groups aren’t designed solely for the individual attempting to regain their freedom from mood-altering substances. These meetings can help family members and loved ones to better understand the nature of addiction as well. By taking part in the recovery process, someone close to an individual struggling with substance dependence or abuse can gain insight into options regarding what they can do to help those they care about. Participation also allows individuals to meet others in similar predicaments as themselves.

Training

 

If you know someone who is not quite ready to pursue the path toward a life of sobriety, another option is to receive training in Narcan administration as well as CPR and first aid. These classes typically take less than one day to complete and will allow you to keep Narcan on you for the purpose of administering it to anyone you believe to be overdosing from opioids.

In most states, one is considered to be acting under the Good Samaritan Law when executing this process, although they must also stay with the individual until medical help has arrived. Please be advised that there are restrictions on Narcan in different states, so it is crucial to review local laws. One must also be aware that Narcan does not always lead to resuscitation and is not a valid form of substance abuse treatment in and of itself.

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Online Resources

 

  • Samhsa provides a 24-hour hotline regarding finding treatment options for substance abuse disorders that can be called at 1-800-662-HELP. They also have a website with suggested readings and information about their services.
  • Another great resource to look up self-help and 12 step meetings is Addiction.com.
  • “In The Rooms” offers an online mobile platform for 12-step meetings as well that can be found by clicking this link.
  • Additional online support groups can be found through 12step.org.

Closing Thoughts

 

Please note that one can go through various bouts of treatment before engaging in a sober lifestyle. Sometimes a person in recovery may relapse; this can be part of the rehabilitation process, but it certainly doesn’t need to be. Different levels of treatment may be required in order to fully meet a struggling individual’s needs.

Also remember that any person in an active state of addiction must also be ready to make a change is his or her life. Support is a lovely thing: It can help the individual reach this state and push forward more easily. However, it is not the driving force in recovery; the entity entering into treatment is the main factor.

Help is out there. The metamorphosis does not happen overnight and it involves hard work, but rehabilitation is possible. Typically, those in sobriety know that good things happen when one is patient instead of behaving impulsively or rushing into things. The same is true for achieving sobriety. 


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Hopefully, this information has been helpful for you, whether you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and dependency. If you need more information, you can always reach out to us for more information through our Contact form or by sending an email to contact@elanab.com. Thanks for reading.

UPDATE: I recently became aware of another program available for individuals struggling with addiction and dependency called The Recovery Village. If you’re interested in a comprehensive treatment from highly qualified professionals, you should definitely check out their website!

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