Substance Abuse Treatment

Finding Freedom Through Substance Abuse Treatment

Substance abuse is a disease that leads to the compulsive use of drugs at all costs. Too often, this behavior is dismissed as a moral weakness and left untreated. While initial use of drugs is a choice, over time harmful substances physically change the structure and function of the brain. This results in a spike of impulsive and obsessive behavior, while self-control and sound judgment melt away. Eventually, substance abuse becomes an all-consuming black hole that swallows the addict and his or her life. Substance abuse also affects the nation; for example, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (2012), over $600 billion a year is spent in drug-related costs to healthcare, crime, and lost productivity at work. Our goal is to help as many addicts as possible, and also help bring down the costs and crime related to drug abuse and addiction.

Insidious Substance Abuse

The causes and triggers of drug abuse are a complex mix of genetic, environmental, biological, and psychological factors that require comprehensive substance abuse treatment. In 2012, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that over 8 percent of non-institutionalized civilian U.S. citizens, over 12 years of age, were using illicit drugs. Drugs affect the brain in at least two ways. Some mimic the brain’s natural messengers, called neurotransmitters, and trick it into sending the wrong messages. Others release a dopamine deluge, which results in exaggerated feelings of euphoria, or a high. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that affects the control of emotion, feelings of pleasure, and motivation. It is usually released in response to activities necessary for survival, such as eating, sleeping, and sex. The inflated dopamine high that results from drugs rewards a person for using and conditions them to keep doing so. If use turns into abuse, the brain adapts to the abnormally high levels of dopamine released, and the person must use more and more drugs to achieve the same high.

Substance Abuse Treatment

The goal of substance abuse treatment is rehabilitation to a drug-free life, in which the patient can resume functioning positively at home, work, and in society. However, effectively treating an addict is tricky because the addiction takes hold over their life in so many ways. The siren call of addiction will never cease; it can only be managed, so total abstinence is required to prevent falling back into the cycle of abuse. Relapse rates are high, so it’s important to find a high-quality substance abuse treatment center for maximum chances of recovery.

Effective substance abuse treatment plans incorporate many elements to combat each aspect of the addiction. Some of the most important principles include:

  • No single treatment plan will work for everyone.
  • Treatment must be easily obtainable.
  • For treatment to be effective, it must address the patients multi-faceted needs, not just the substance abuse.
  • Medication, behavioral therapy, and counseling are important elements of substance abuse treatment.
  • Treatment must be monitored continually and adjusted as the needs of the patient change.
  • Often a mental illness or physical disorder is an underlying problem.
  • Involuntary, as well as voluntary treatment can be effective.
  • Drug use must be strictly monitored to prevent relapse.
  • Treatment centers should test patients for infectious diseases, such as HIV and tuberculosis, and provide education and counseling to help reduce the risk of transmission.

Inpatient Treatment

The Rehab & Treatment Foundations Recovery Network (2011) estimates that 90 percent of people needing treatment for drug addictions are not receiving it. Inpatient treatment programs are highly beneficial to recovery. One of the most important aspects of inpatient programs is the presence of a community of patients who understand each other in ways that a non-user never could. Those that have experienced substance abuse are also much less likely to be judgmental than those who have not. Treatment centers provide structure and support from staff to help patients get back into a healthy and functional routine. The social interaction and stability helps patients adjust and prepare for return to mainstream society. Many treatment centers are designed to accommodate special needs, including women who are pregnant and those with children.

Substance abuse treatment begins with detoxification followed by cognitive behavioral treatments. Cognitive behavioral therapy is used to help prevent relapse by directly involving the patient and seeking to instill modified attitudes and actions regarding substance abuse. There are a variety of cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, including:

  • Cognitive-behavioral, which focuses on helping patients acknowledge, avoid, and cope with their substance abuse issues and triggers.
  • Multidimensional-family therapy addresses a variety of influences that affect the patient’s substance abuse patterns, and seeks to improve healthy interaction within the patient’s family.
  • Motivational interviewing capitalizes on the readiness of a patient to receive treatment and adjust their behavior.
  • Contingency management uses positive reinforcement to encourage a drug-free lifestyle.

Patients must have continual support and a solid treatment plan to remain drug free. The important thing to remember is that addiction is a disease and it can be treated. There are many substance abuse treatment centers waiting and willing to help throw off the chains of addiction and find healing and peace. Best Drug Rehabilitation has many years of experience in treating addiction and our compassionate, qualified staff is ready to help you join the ranks of those that have successfully conquered their addictions. Begin your own success story by picking up the phone and calling us now.


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