Should I Recommend Addiction Counseling to a Family Member, or Rehab?

Recommending Rehab To A Family Member - Addiction Treatment Services

Addiction rehabilitation centers and programs change a person’s life in ways that cannot be overstated. Most individuals caught in addiction will resist this step, often because it means admitting to having a problem and needing help. This is where the family and the support system need to step in. The sooner a person gets into a rehab program for help, the greater likelihood he or she will have of succeeding.

However, knowing when and how to step in can be difficult to determine. Family members and loved ones often struggle with the decision to pursue treatment through a rehabilitation center or try counseling sessions. Both courses of action require professional treatment to aid the person struggling with addiction recovery effectively.

Why Addiction Treatment Is Necessary

Addiction to a substance presents a complex problem that most people cannot solve on their own. The illness carries strong cravings that compel a person to use drugs and/or alcohol regardless of the consequences. Addiction is both a physical illness and mental health issue that not only affects reward and motivation neurotransmitters, but also learning, memory, and self-control.

Most people trapped in an addiction do not have the capacity to recognize or address the condition themselves and require help. Long-term exposure to substances alters the brain’s chemistry. Therapy in the form of counseling is an option, and a professional counseling session can help determine the exact course of action required for effective treatment.

Severe addiction sufferers eventually lose all control over themselves. They’ve reached a point where they are incapable of successfully recovering on their own. They are sick and need care.

You wouldn’t tell a family member suffering from pneumonia to figure it out on his or her own: You’d take them to the hospital. Drug and alcohol abusers and addicts need the same kind of professional treatment, help, and care as any other major illness.

Diagnosing the Need for Treatment

The best course of action for seeking effective treatment begins with contacting an addiction treatment center. Rehab treatment facilities offer professional, interdisciplinary staff who are trained to determine the severity, degree, and type of addiction present.

Choosing a rehab program is an important step that provides the addiction sufferer access to medical professionals, including but not limited to:

  • Medical doctors
  • Nursing staff
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Counselors
  • Therapists

What the Initial Assessment Involves

In most scenarios, multiple members of the medical staff will take part in the initial addiction treatment assessment. The accuracy of this crucial first step determines the efficacy of subsequent treatment, whether this involves counseling, inpatient treatment or outpatient treatment. These assessments entail specific questions, physical exams, and preliminary counseling sessions.

A major component of the initial assessment is developing a full understanding of the type of addiction and its severity. It’s important that an addiction sufferer be as forthcoming and transparent as possible when undergoing the initial assessment.

Key details of the assessment may include, but are not limited to:

  • Health history
  • Behavioral patterns
  • Addiction history
  • Family history
  • Identifiable symptoms
  • Current effects of the addiction

A Direct Assessment Comes Next

Following the initial informational session, a clinician will perform a direct assessment, which features an in-depth dialogue session. This session assists in clarifying the level and source of the addiction, along with the appropriate course of action. This professional will generally record notes and document important details, which they are trained to pinpoint and analyze.

The direct assessment also helps to uncover and begin to treat the presence of potential emotional trauma or other mental health concerns, which ultimately will be addressed through the complete recovery plan. This session is completely confidential.

Addiction Treatment Assessment Processes, Tools and Functions

Several screening tools may be implemented to determine the diagnosis. Possibilities include:

  • NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) Screening Tool
  • CAGE Assessment
  • Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)

An addiction treatment center’s staff will include medical professionals from various disciplines, applicable to different stages of the recovery program.

Following the initial counseling assessment, a physical examination will generally follow – to evaluate the physical symptoms of the addiction. At any point in the initial assessment, a nurse, counselor, social worker or psychologist may refer an addiction sufferer to a doctor to perform an immediate physical exam, however.

A doctor may determine that the patient is experiencing co-occurring health issues, which require independent treatment. This treatment may be completely separate from the addiction treatment therapy.

The addiction itself is separate from a potential medical emergency that may co-exist with dependency. A reputable substance abuse recovery center will be equipped to address both concerns immediately, potentially saving the life of a severely addicted individual.

Addiction Counseling vs. Rehab

Every addiction, and every addiction sufferer, is different. Some patients require inpatient therapy, while others are best served with substance abuse counseling.

Due to the presence of multiple factors that accompany substance abuse, such as physical health, mental health and withdrawal types and symptoms, the decision regarding which treatment method to employ is best made by multiple medical professionals.

A thorough and multifaceted addiction treatment assessment process will ensure an accurate diagnosis, and keep the individual in optimal health and under detailed monitoring, providing the most efficient foundation for the subsequent treatment plan.

Not all addictions require full treatment at a rehabilitation center. The crucial initial assessment, however, should always be handled by medical professionals to ensure the health, safety and long-term success of an individual in addiction recovery.

Read More About the Levels of Care Available to Treatment Seekers

Addiction Treatment Program Options

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Addiction

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Addiction

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For AddictionMany people aren’t sure what cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is. The phrase usually conjures images of a patient lying on a couch, recounting every facet of his or her childhood to find the one incident that caused a problem. Although most clinicians don’t adhere to this stereotype, they can become skeptical of “talk therapy.” Some rehab facilities are moving away from CBT in favor of more active recovery approaches.

Active therapies such as equine, art and music, and psycho-drama are wonderful. They each have their place in addiction recovery. However, cognitive behavioral, or “talk therapy,” is still vital for addicts and their families. It carries myriad benefits most alternative therapies can’t quite touch. The first step in any recovery is communication, and CBT gets it started.

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

CBT is a type of psychotherapy that addresses negative thought patterns about the self and the world. Low self-esteem, negative self-concept, and trauma play roles in all addictions. Addicts use their substances of choice to escape physical, mental, and emotional suffering. They tell themselves, “I need this because I’m not normal without it,” “I’m worthless,” “I deserve the trauma that happened to me,” or “I’m not good enough without drugs.”

Addicts undergoing CBT have other thought pattern distortions, too. They often experience all-or-nothing thinking, where everything is black and white (“Either I use this substance or I suffer and die.”). Many addicts have a corrupted mental filter that dwells only on negatives. They don’t want to be fatalistic or depressed – they simply cannot see anything positive about life anymore. Addicts often view their addictions as never-ending patterns (“It’s no use; I can’t quit. I’ll be like this forever.”). They jump to conclusions, assuming beliefs about themselves are true without any evidence other than what they tell themselves.

CBT works to address these destructive thought patterns one at a time. The cognitive behavioral therapist works as a teacher and teammate. He or she analyzes the addict’s behavior and helps him or her see connections between self-concept, cognitive distortions, and addiction. The therapist also suggests intervention plans and helps put them into practice. He or she often gives the addict “homework,” such as journaling, breathing exercises, or affirmations to repeat. This ensures the addict always takes something practical from the CBT session.

Benefits Of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT does not “cure” addiction, but it does reduce the triggers that cause it. Let’s say Gloria became addicted to alcohol partly because she was molested as a child. CBT helps her identify triggers such as settings, emotions, words, and events that remind her of the molestation and tempt her to drink. Once Gloria can identify the triggers, she can say to herself, “I know what this is and I choose not to drink to deal with it.” She then replaces drinking with exercise, a constructive hobby, or a constructive social outing.

CBT also reduces the chance of relapse. Let’s say Brian is a cocaine addict who has tried to quit numerous times but always relapses. He has learned to tell himself, “I’ll always be addicted to cocaine so I might as well take it.” Brian’s therapist can teach him the choice to stay addicted is in his control. He or she gives Brian affirmations or meditations such as, “I can beat this addiction if I take it one day at a time and stay patient with myself.” Brian might still relapse at first. Yet it may take him longer to relapse and eventually, he will stay sober permanently.

CBT affords more freedom than many other therapies. It can be done almost anywhere at any time. Despite stereotypes, it doesn’t have to involve an office and a couch. Many drug rehab facilities use CBT in conjunction with other activities. For instance, a therapist might start a cognitive session during equine therapy. The addict’s concentration on the horse frees him or her up to talk about difficult subjects.

Addicts struggle to maintain or rebuild relationships. Many of them have lost touch with family members, spouses, fiancés, or children because of addictive behaviors. An addict’s relationship with a CBT professional may be the first he or she has worked on in a long time. The confidentiality and rapport required in CBT helps the addict feel safe. Over time, the addict can use relationship-building skills learned in CBT to reconnect with loved ones.

Finally, CBT lets the addict keep a record of every thought pattern. This is not “thought policing.” Professionals do not discipline or shame addicts for having “incorrect” thoughts. Rather, they help addicts recognize what negative thoughts and prompt them with questions like, “What should you tell yourself instead?” For example, an addict might think, “I have to be ‘perfect’ in therapy or I’ll never recover.” The CBT professional might say, “There is no such thing as ‘perfect.’ What can you do today that will influence your recovery?”

Over time, addicts learn to record and respond to their thoughts without aid from the therapist. Many people journal in conjunction with CBT and after they finish treatment. Some connect affirmations or reminders to spirituality. A Christian addict, for example, might meditate on uplifting Scriptures or song lyrics. Others use hobbies or gifts to remind themselves they are strong, competent, and in control.

CBT For Co-Occurring Disorders

Many addicts struggle to recover completely because they have comorbid mental disorders. They might suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, a variety of other mood disorders, or forms of psychosis. In these cases, it’s difficult to tell whether the mental disorder or addiction came first. CBT is designed to treat comorbid disorders along with addiction. The addict may receive separate coping mechanisms for his or her dual diagnosis. The CBT professional may work with a physician or other clinician to determine if medicine is needed.

CBT is just one of the many therapies that can be used to treat substance abuse, addiction, and mental health issues.

Addiction Treatment, Insurance & Levels of Care

Treating Opiate Addiction - Addiction Treatment Services

What Does Treating Opiate Addiction Involve?

Opiate and Heroin Treatment - Addiction Treatment Services

Addiction to opiates – also called opioids – is incredibly difficult to break and can cause devastating damage to various aspects of a person’s life. One reason for this is that when someone stops using, they suffer painful withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, withdrawing from a substance can be life-threatening.

The best treatment for heroin addiction or any other kind of opiate (opioid) dependency is medically assisted detox followed by comprehensive addiction therapy. Many people struggling with opiate or opioid addiction are not heroin addicts.

Prescription opioid painkillers are the most commonly misused drugs in the country, but painkiller addiction treatment doesn’t sound as dire as addiction to a street drug does. Because of this, many wait to get the help they need.

Why Opt for Medically Assisted Detox?

Some individuals attempt to “self-detox.” They may fear repercussions and judgment from coworkers and employers for needing to take time off to address their addiction. Others feel determined, believing they can overcome addiction by their own willpower. Some people feel trapped or believe they cannot afford treatment, not realizing detox insurance is something many health insurers offer.

While these reasons are valid, they shouldn’t stop people from getting the help they need; and, rest assured, they do need the help. Self-detox can be dangerous. Because of how difficult it is, repeating the process time and again can make people feel like a failure.

Success rates of detox without the help of a professional treatment center are extremely low. After repeated attempts to detox that eventually lead to relapse, some people feel like they can never be free of their addiction.

The Effects of Opiate (Opioid) Detox

Opiates and opioids are powerfully addictive due to their effect on the human brain. These drugs attach to the brain’s natural opioid receptors, eventually blocking the release of dopamine until the person takes another dose of drugs. Dopamine is the “reward” or “pleasure” neurotransmitter, and most people experience a dopamine release when engaging in pleasurable activities.

An opiate or opioid user will eventually require drugs to feel this sensation, and opiate abuse affects the rest of the body in dramatic ways as well. When a person suddenly stops taking opiates, the body can react in violent and unpleasant ways.

Some of the typical opiate and opioid withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting, which can quickly lead to dehydration
  • Sweating and fever
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Intense cravings

The effects of opiate or opioid addiction will also become more apparent once withdrawal occurs. A person struggling with opiate addiction will likely neglect his or her own health while maintaining the habit.

Many opiate addiction sufferers experience malnutrition and dehydration, which can have a devastating effect on various bodily systems. Without medical assistance, these symptoms can put a person’s life in danger and create serious medical problems later in life.

Medical Assistance in Detox and Rehab

When a person enters detox for opiate or opioid addiction, he or she will receive medical care to flush the last of the drugs out of his or her system. Once the person is free of opiates in his or her system, treatment can start.

Treatment for painkiller addiction requires medical assistance beyond detox. The effects of an opiate dependency can wreak havoc on the body without medical intervention and comprehensive counseling and therapy.

The Need for Therapy

Addiction is deeply rooted in psychology, and therapy can help a person struggling with addiction learn to identify troublesome influences and triggers for addictive behaviors, as well as how to manage cravings responsibly.

In many addiction cases, a person struggling with addiction is also suffering from a mental health condition. These “dual diagnosis” cases require thorough care that addresses both the addiction and the mental health issue simultaneously.

Dual diagnosis cases are difficult to effectively treat, and people who face dual diagnoses are less likely to recover without treatment that addresses both issues.

Finding the Best Treatment Option

If you are considering entering addiction treatment or you are searching for a reputable and reliable rehab program for a loved one, we strongly recommend professional guidance in your search. Our team specializes in helping people struggling with addiction and their families find trusted providers who can work with their individual insurance plans.

Our network offers people seeking addiction treatment the widest variety of options for treatment and more flexibility when it comes to billing. In short, Addiction Treatment Services can help struggling individuals find programs that actually work for them.

Contact us now if you have any questions about your insurance coverage or which treatment options are available to you. Some carriers will pay for opiate detox and other aspects of addiction treatment and recovery. Anyone can break out of opiate or opioid addiction with proper care, but time is a critical factor, so contact us today.

Learn How We Help with Rehab Insurance

Staying Healthy in Recovery Weights Water Bottle - ATS

The Importance of Staying Healthy in Recovery

Why It Is Important to Eat Healthy and Exercise During Addiction Recovery - ATSRecovery from addiction is an ongoing process that involves making better decisions and living a healthier lifestyle. During this phase, many people undergo various types of treatment and therapy to restore equilibrium after substance abuse. People in recovery benefit greatly from making healthier life choices that support physical well-being.

How Optimal Health Improves Recovery

When the body is healthy, it’s easier for a person to handle life’s challenges. Many people must relearn how to handle everyday life in recovery, and learning to take better care of the body should play a role in treatment.

Some of the keys to a healthier lifestyle and curbing the possibility of relapse are:

  • Proper nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Outdoor activity
  • Mindfulness exercises

Mindfulness Exercises

“Mindfulness” is the idea of being more self-aware of one’s choices. During alcohol and drug rehab, many people learn mindfulness through exercises, yoga, counseling and other therapies.

Being mindful helps a person make sense of a situation and understand the body’s reactions to stress, fear, temptation, cravings and more. Recovery doesn’t end with rehab: Recovery requires a daily reaffirmation of one’s commitment to living sober.

Mindfulness exercises and meditation typically accompany many other therapies and counseling structures in recovery, and it’s important for people in rehab to remember what they learn there so they may apply to their lives in recovery. These exercises also serve to rebuild self-esteem and help people in recovery remember they are more than their addictions.

Understanding and using mindfulness will also help the individual make better dietary choices and develop healthy exercise habits.

Benefits of Good Nutrition

Many people struggling with addiction cause serious harm to their bodies. Not only do many addictive substances alter the body’s systems and brain chemistry, but drug abuse often leads to self-neglect.

When a person is in the grips of a serious addiction, he or she will likely look for the next dose before addressing basic needs like food and water. It’s not uncommon for people who enter detox to be malnourished and dehydrated, and nutrition therapy can help their bodies recover so they can more easily handle rehab.

A weakened body will lead to a weakened mind, and it’s vital for people in recovery to physically rebuild themselves so they can handle the stress of rehabilitation. Many people who enter substance abuse treatment receive nutrition therapy and dietary counseling to help them recover physically. After rehab, good eating habits can make sober living easier.

Proper nutrition will help a newly recovered person process stress and stay focused on sobriety. When a person is unhealthy, malnourished or dehydrated, it becomes very difficult to handle stress and stave off cravings, and the risk of relapse increases.

Living Healthy, Active Lifestyles

Exercise and outdoor activity are also important in recovery. Many people dread their daily workout routines, but in recovery, it’s a good idea to find a few exercises or physical activities that help release endorphins and keep the body fit. During rehab, people recovering from substance abuse will have the opportunity to explore new physical activities that help them release stress and manage cravings in healthy ways.

People who complete substance abuse treatment often cultivate new hobbies that afford them healthy outlets for stress relief and a way to connect with others. One of the lesser-known benefits of increased physical activity is making new friends. This is important because many people who complete substance abuse treatment often leave to find themselves isolated from their old friends and acquaintances.

Team sports, learning new physical skills like martial arts, yoga, rock climbing, hiking and other activities help keep cravings in check. Additionally, seeing the results on one’s own body after committing to regular exercise and physical activity is usually positive motivation to keep on track with a healthier lifestyle.

Rebuilding Emotional Stability

While mindfulness exercises, nutrition, and physical activity are crucial to the healing process after completing treatment, it’s also important to rebuild one’s emotional health. Addiction can cause feelings of regret, low self-esteem, sadness and guilt for pain caused to others. People who enter rehab learn how to confront and address these feelings in healthy ways. After rehab, it’s vital to use those lessons learned and apply them to daily life.

Finding the Right Treatment

If you’re wondering where to start in searching for the right drug or alcohol rehab program, Addiction Treatment Services can help. We connect individuals and families all over the country to the best treatment centers, therapy programs, counselors and other substance abuse resources – from intervention all the way through outpatient treatment and aftercare.

Before you start looking for a program to help yourself or a loved one recover from addiction, understand the different levels of care that are available to you. Contact us if you want a more-detailed explanation or some assistance in your search for the right treatment program.

Learn The Different Levels of Rehab Care