If you have finally made the commitment to stop drinking or taking drugs and are ready for recovery, you are more than likely wondering what your options are. You may have no idea of where to go for information or advice. The good news is that you have a number of options when it comes to addiction treatment; below are a few examples:
- You can quit by yourself
- You can attend a fellowship group such as AA or NA
- You can attend an outpatient programme
- You can enter a residential clinic for inpatient treatment.
For most individuals with substance addictions, it will be necessary to complete a programme of detox first regardless of your choice of rehabilitation. Detox is the process through which all alcohol and drugs are eliminated from the body.
As various symptoms can occur during detox, it is recommended that patients detox in a medically supervised facility. Symptoms can be mild or severe and there is no way to tell who will suffer the most severe symptoms until the process begins.
Quitting by Yourself
Many addicts are of the opinion that they can simply quit drinking or taking drugs themselves. While it is not impossible to do so, it is quite rare for someone with an addiction to recover without help. Addiction is a complex illness of the brain and requires intensive treatment that includes therapy, and counselling. Recovering addicts also need to be educated in how to reintegrate back into society so that they can live independent sober lives.
Fellowship support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have been helping people to overcome their addictions for many years and they are hugely successful. In fact, fellowship support groups are often an essential part of outpatient and residential programmes, and most addicts are advised to attend regular meetings and complete the 12-steps. Some recovering addicts can have long-term success by following fellowship programmes alone but, for most, it is more effective when it forms part of an outpatient or inpatient programme of care.
There are many options when it comes to outpatient programmes. It could be that you work with a doctor, psychiatrist, counsellor or therapist and attend sessions on a regular basis. Outpatients programmes can be daily for a particular period or can be held on a weekly basis. Outpatient programmes are generally recommended for those with less severe addictions or those for whom residential care is not an option.
For those with the most severe addictions, a programme of residential treatment is the optimum choice. Staying in a clinic for a set period of time gives patients the best chance of success as they are free from distractions and temptations and have constant access to support and care during their stay. These intensive and concentrated programmes combine a variety of treatments that can include cognitive behavioural therapy, one-to-one counselling, 12-step work, group therapy sessions, and complementary therapies.
Most clinics will encourage patients to adopt a healthy diet and exercise regimen and will provide nutritious meals as well as the opportunity for physical exercise and activities. Patients are also taught basic life skills and are typically encouraged to take responsibility for their own recovery so that they can return to independent living as soon as possible.
It is important to realise that you have many options when it comes to overcoming addiction. The type of treatment you choose will depend on the kind of addiction you have as well as how severe it is. Your decision will also be affected by your personal circumstances and budget. However, no matter what type of treatment you choose, you will find that you can beat your demons if you are prepared to work hard and commit to a programme of recovery.